Enhancing the Role of Tenant Farmers in Achieving Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture

Vijayabhinandana. B, Jyothi. V and Venkata Subbaiah. P


Most of the India’s poor rural men and women make their living by working as agricultural labour or by leasing in<br />the agricultural lands. Today more than 65 per cent of the agriculture is practiced by the tenant farmers who are<br />either landless or small farmers or marginal farmers. These tenant farmers are the people who actually reside in the<br />villages. Out of the remaining 35 per cent owner farmers practicing agriculture, majority are migrated to nearby<br />towns and cities for better amenities to their family and practice week end farming. Most agricultural land agreements<br />are informal because landowners are often reluctant to let out their land as they fear their tenants will overstay or<br />permanently occupy the land. The land owners rent out their land only for short periods to ensure that tenants do<br />not stay on. These short term informal rental agreements mean that the tenants have little or no incentive to make<br />long term, productivity enhancing improvements to the land. This perverse incentive framework combined with the<br />fact that tenants have difficulty accessing loan or other services are resulting in lower agricultural productivity<br />and increased land degradation. A total of 400 tenant farmers were sampled at random. Focussed group discussions<br />were conducted with the respondents to probe in the problems faced by the tenant farmers. Accordingly measures<br />were formulated to enhance their role.

Keyword: Tenant farmer; Land leasing; Rental agreements

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