KICS Manifesto
KICS Manifesto
State and Drought
State and Drought
Solar Feeder
Solar Agriculture Feeders: An Attractive Alternative compared to Solar Pumpsets in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
...some of the commonly listed causes for the current distress of farmers in India: (1) globalisation, resultant
competition and exploitation by big capital and its minions; (2) peculiar banking practices in India and the nonavailability of loans from formal sources for farming operations; (3) social and cultural distress among farmers; (4) fragmented holdings of an unviable economic size; (5) absence of adequate appropriate
research in new methods of farming and the exhaustion of current farm research to cope with contemporary circumstances; and (6) inability of the official machinery to provide appropriate services to the farmers and provide them with adequate succour [Government of India 2007 - ‘Report of the Expert Group on Agricultural Indebtedness’, chairperson R Radhakrishna, Banking Division, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India].

taken from Rejuvenating Agriculture with the Help of the Small Farmer by Meeta, Rajivlochan
Economic & Political Weekly Magazine, VOL 43 No. 11 March 15 - March 21, 2008
http://eldoc.doccentre.info/eldoc1/k04_/150308EPW17.pdf

“In the agro-economic setting of the Asian countryside, the introduction of capital-intensive technologies inevitably increases economic disparities between the small group of surplus farmers on the one hand and the majority of subsistence cultivators, sharecroppers and landless laborers on the other.” [emphasis mine]

-Francine Frankel in Food, Population, Employment (1973)

30% of the agricultural
population in India are landless
labourers, who are hard put to earn
even their basic means of subsistence,
and would not even come
into consideration in any scheme
designed to promote an entrepreneurial
class of agricultural capitalist
farmers. Another large proportion
of the agricultural population are
small farmers owing tiny plots of
land and engaged in mere subsistence
farming, using family labour.
Very often they are obliged to hire
out their labour to larger farmers because
their meagre cultivation is not
enought to meet even this requirement,
apart from other fixed monetary
obligations they might have,
such as interest on previous debts or
consumption expenses. Tenant
farmers and sharecroppers, who
form another large majority of the
agricultural classes, are even more
directly hit by the 'Green Revolution'
programme in areas where the
HYVs have been introduced. In
Punjab, for example, landlords
enhanced their rents to as much as
50—70% of the total crop, the
tenant being forced to comply or
face eviction. Further, because of
the high costs of the required
technological inputs the peasants
dependance on the moneylender is
increased since they have virtually
no other source of agricultural
credit. The cooperative rural banks
supposedly provided to benefit the
peasantry in general are in reality
open only to the rich farmers who
can provide the necessary security
for a loan. According to a field
study done in the east Thanjavur
district, a middle farmer (owing
20-30 hectares of land) could
borrow up to Rs. 750 per hectare
from the co-ops societies at 8.25%
interest per annum. A sharecropper
or tenant farmer cannot borrow
from the co-ops at all. owning no
land as security, and would have
to pay an interest of 100—200% if
he went to private moneylenders.
When one talks of moneylenders in
India it doesn't necessarily imply
a separate class of persons otherwise
unconnected from the land; very
often the larger landowners themselves
are able to borrow money
from the co-ops at low interest
rates and re lend it to the poor
peasant at a much higher rate.
Benifit to large landowners
It is obvious then, that the Green
Revoluation' programme was
designed, by its very nature, to
benefit only the very small minority
of large landowners who would
develop along capitalist lines. And
certainly a powerful kulak class has
emerged as a dominant interest
group in certain areas where the
programme has been 'successful'.
These big landowners either cultivate
the land themselves, introducing
a greater degree of mechanisation,
or hire wage labour. Using
the terms 'capitalist farmer' or
'wage labour' does not, however,
imply any significant change in the
productive relations between these
two classes. Since most labour is
hired on a seasonal basis, the latter
have employment only for some
months in the year, and rather than
starve during the rest they hire
themselve out at basic subsistence
wages in an almost feudal relationship
with the landowner. Reports
have further shown that, in Punjab
and Haryana, the two States where
the programme was declared most
successful there was a fall in the
real wages of agricultural labourers
due to the fact that food prices rose
much faster than the wage rate.
According to one study the daily
average wage rose by 89% between
1961 and 1968 whereas prices rose
by 93%, despite an increase in
agricultural production of 66%.

extract from The Green
Revolution :
Its Social
and
Economic
Consequences
by
AYESHA HEBLE,

How
01/08/1979