In an agricultural dominat economy, the landless labourers, marginal and small farmers are treated as target group, who should receive a high order of priority in the strategy of planning for rural development. Agricultural is the dominant sector of the Indian economy. i. GDP contribution in 2.5%.
ii. Arable land is 143 in ha. iii. Farm holding is about 89 million iv. Average size of holding is 1.
84 ha. v. The small and marginal farmers holdings constitute around 75% of the total holdings in our country. vi. Small farmers have increased due to subdivision of medium sized holdings by their heirs. vii. Marginal farmers have also grown in number when small farmers are shared by the heir. viii.
Large holdings have become medium sized holdings due to the operation of land ceiling act under land reforms. ix. According to National sample survey, 63.0% of the holdings are < 2 ha and they occupy nearly 19% of the total cultivated land.
x. Agricultural work force of 299 million in India (1931) which has grown to nearly 74% of this work force is agricultural. xi. The landless labourer has no self-employment; they depend entirely on daily wages for their living.
This category constitutes the core of the employment problem in the rural sector.
Small farmers and marginal farmers i. Poor land use ii. Surplus family labour iii. Under nutrition iv. Higher debt v.
Distress sale of farm produce
Small Farmers (%) Landless ha sources Work force65.31%55.72%House hold engaged in agricultural91.05%98.90%Literacy37.45%26.50%Bullock power13.
43%11.11%Own bullock carts2.2%2.
2%Average gross incomeRs. 14,000Rs. 3,400Per capita2,600Rs. 765An average consumptionRs. 894Rs.
623Status (Social): The status of small and marginal farmers varies only marginally and that of landless agricultural laboures is slightly less than the above two categories. Extent of sub-division and fragmentation Problems of small holdings: 1. Small size holding are many. 2. Many owners have small pieces of plots, so there is difficult to cultivate them together in a efficient manner. Lack of capital surplus for investment: Majority have less area (< 1 ha), so they are cultivate and get only less yield, so this is insufficient for them to create capital surplus investment in land development.
Status of Big farmers: i. They can mobilise surplus capital for investment in land development. ii. More land under cultivation. iii. Using modern equipments.
iv. Green revolution benefitted the big farmers than marginal and small farmers.