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Small Farmers,Institutions and 12th Five year Plan : Making the Triad Talk

Ranvir Singh

Biraj Swain



This paper is an empathetic look at the government of India’s claims on prioritizing agriculture and amongst it, the role of small farmers. The authors used the 12th Five Year Plan as the starting point and went back to major literature till 70s (two decades pre and post reforms) and did an institutional analysis ranging from institutional credit access, research and extension, agricultural data, inputs access to government’s line ministries’ proximity to the last mile farmers. The authors chose to not address the question of land, land-holding because the seriousness of that issue and the contested nature of discourse would have meant doing injustice to the same. Besides it is impossible to be empathetic to the government, any which way when the question of land arises. Empathetic optic notwithstanding the short-comings are glaring and the measures half-hearted. Te authors found the plan documents’ focus on farmers’ organization and collectivization as a very good beginning. But to stop it from reducing to well-begun but half-done, the authors emphasize a host of measures for truly giving the small farmer their due. This paper concludes by making an emphatic case for breaking silos, trans-disciplinary analysis amongst researchers, practitioners and government to make any credible progress in agriculture in general and for small farmers in particular.


Agricultural growth is central to any strategy of reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The centrality of the role of the government in driving agricultural growth is well argued in the literature. The phenomenon of ‘market failures’ has come to be recognized almost universally (Stiglitz 1996). In developing countries, given the incompleteness, and often absence, of rural markets in a large number of spheres and the pervasiveness of information asymmetry, the role of the government in agriculture becomes even more crucial. Specific forms of public expenditure have direct and indirect impacts on agricultural growth.

Although agriculture now accounts for only 14 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (12th FYP), it is still the main source of livelihood for the majority of the country’s population. As such, rapid growth of agriculture is critical for inclusiveness. It provides employment to 53 per cent of the Indian workforce. This huge proportion of workforce represents the largest group engaged in any single economic activity in the country. Dev (2012) mentioned that agriculture not only contributed to overall growth of the economy but also reduced poverty by providing employment and food security to the majority of the population in the country. According to Fan, Hazell and Thorat (2000) who examined Indian data between 1970 and 1993, government spending on productivity-enhancing investments, such as rural infrastructure, irrigation and agricultural research, have significantly contributed to growths in agricultural productivity as well as rural poverty reduction (see also Sen 1997).

For 40 years (two decades’ pre-reform to two decades’ post reform), India’s agricultural growth rate has averaged less than one-third of the government’s modest target of 4% (Desai et al, EPW, Vol XLVI, No 53). The sector’s performance has been about the same before and after the economic reforms in the early 1990s. The reforms that brought a dramatic acceleration of growth in urban sectors have essentially had no effect on agriculture. Slow agricultural growth has had ill-effects on food security, food price inflation and poverty reduction because of the inadequate level and composition of public expenditure. Agricultural education, research, extension and a wide range of ancillary public institutions have also suffered. Agricultural growth always demands massive public goods provisioning and that in turn requires a radical reorientation of central, state and district government activities. During the reform period, these excluded sectors showed low growth and the spate of farmers’ suicides in recent time as a result of state failure.

I. Evolutionary Phases

Agriculture is a ‘state subject’ under the Constitution of India. However, the central government plays a crucial role in shaping agricultural policies. Although Indian agriculture is in private hands, government policies have greatly influenced its pace and character since independence. Following are the evolutionary phases in the sector and the challenges faced by some interventions:

1951-65              Institutional reforms and public investment packages

1966-80              Public Investment policies with Incentives for adoption of new technology

1981-95              Terms of trade has changed and private investment has increased

1995 Onwards   Heavy input based agriculture, lead to agrarian distress and farmer suicide became a consequential phenomenon. Hunger became so prevalent that we have exceeded Sub-Saharan Africa's rate of child malnutrition in a few years and will be challenged by the upstart Rwanda in few years in the Global Hunger Index (Sainath, 2012).

Additionally, or rather centrally, the policy discourse should manifest in the implementation while  getting connected with the last mile with the real toiling farmer. While analyzing the agriculture extension in India and suggesting a demand-driven model for its betterment, Birner and Anderson (2007) categorized the failure of existing extension through market, government as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and also the Farmer Based Organizations (FBO) as:

  1. Market Failures - affect demand and supply sides
  2. State Failures - related to information, incentives, capacity, political interests, and bureaucratic procedures and attitudes
  3. NGO Failureslimited outreach capacity and absence of market mechanism, they are, in principle, subject to the same types of information problems as the public sector
  4. FBO Failures -the classical problem of collective action - the participants expected to benefit directly from their ‘participation’

II. Small Farmers’ BIG Role

The role of small farms in development and poverty reduction is well recognized (Lipton, 2006). While explaining the global experience of growth and poverty reduction, World Development Report (2008) mentioned that GDP growth originating in agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth originating outside agriculture.

Small and marginal farmers which comprise 83% of total agricultural workforce, form the backbone to agrarian economy. With an average land holding size of 1.37 ha. these smal farmers share in operational area is around 44%, but they contribute 41% of India's food grains. Therefore, the future of sustainable agriculture growth and food security in India depends heavily on their performance. Despite their immense contribution they face multiple forms of denial at various institutional levels.

The public support to agriculture is largely cornered by rich and large farmers. The glorious example of such discriminatory policy is limited coverage of food grain procurement through minimum support price which largely benefits large farmers in few states. Ghosh (2005) also analyzed that Small farmers were substantially affected by cuts in public credit support to farmers. The situation is much worse and is reflected by the distress of the those 42.4% of small farmer households in India surveyed by the NSSO 59th round reported that, they would quit farming, given a choice (GOI, 2005a).

III. Indebted Farmers and Growth in Agriculture Sector –The Enigma that begs unraveling

While there is no large scale survey capturing farmer’s plight after 2003, evidence strongly suggests of worsening condition. Between 1995 and 2010, a quarter of a million farmers’ have killed themselves. By the 2011 census re-analysis, Sainath (2011) pegs the numbers of agricultural abandonment by farmers at 2000/day or 7 million in a decade. Evidence suggests that most of the farmers get heavily indebted in the course of their farming and are pushed to take the extreme steps.

  • Out of 89.35 million farmers’ households, 43.42 million (48.6%) were reported to be indebted (GOI, 2005a).
  • More than 50% of indebted farmer households had taken loan for the purpose of capital or current expenditure in farm business (GOI, 2005a).
  • The most important source of loan in terms of percentage of outstanding loan amount was banks (36%), followed by moneylenders (26%) (GOI, 2005a). Report of the Expert Group on Agricultural Indebtedness also mentioned that the major source of credit to farmers was informal sector, where the interest rates were predatory and ranged between 20 to 38 percent (GOI, 2007a).
  • While considering the income, farmers majorly earn from the cultivation and in terms of wages. But surprisingly expenditure data reveals that they spend more on farm related activities and very less proportion of their income goes to non-farm related activities which also include other household affairs. On an average, 81% of the monthly expenditure of the farmer household on productive assets was for farm business, 13% was for residential building and 6% was for non-farm business (GOI, 2005b). It is evident, that this major expenditure on farming shares various imposed (by States’ Policies) costs and burden on the small farmers. Farmers' investment decisions are directly influenced by the investment climate in which they operate (Silva, 2012).

Formal credit flow to agriculture has to specifically target small and marginal farmers, and emphasis should move away from generating agricultural growth by channelling credit to agri-business firms and corporate players in agriculture. However, rural credit flow in the first decade of this century, India has mainly targeted export-oriented agricultural enterprises, corporate agri-business groups and big farmers. Widespread agrarian distress and farmer’s suicides in the same decade forced the government to announce a debt waiver scheme. Yet, the faulty design of the debt waiver scheme led to major exclusions of farmers from the scheme: farmer households who borrow from informal sources were left out; farmer households in dry regions of India with more than 2 ha of land received only partial waiver; and there have been widespread complaints that banks have been hesitant to provide further credit to beneficiaries of debt waiver.

Raising public investment in agricultural research and extension is central to bridging the yield gap that persists. While analyzing the agricultural growth since 1991, Balakrishnan et. al. (2008) mentioned that public spending on agricultural research in India was only 0.52 per cent in 2004-06, as compared to 2 to 3 per cent in the developed world and the same did not rise at all in most States in past two decades.

Washington Consensus-type agricultural policies in India in past two decades were deeply antithetical to agricultural growth and poverty reduction. Promotion of private corporate players and export-oriented commercial forms of agriculture; low agricultural growth and utterly failed public policy concern to address the persistent high levels of malnourishment and hunger put the interests of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers on the edge.

V. Bringing access to credit by farmers to the centre of the discourse:

Ostracizing small farmer is evident from shift of direct finance in agricultural credit to indirect finance to increasing tolerance to debt out-standings from large debtor with loan port-folio of Rs 10-25 crores and increasing intolerance to debt-outstanding of small and medium debt portfolio of Rs 1-2 lakhs (Ramakumar, 2012). This shift in last two decades is visible from the following table.

Table 1: Distribution of amount outstanding under total agricultural advances by scheduled commercial banks, by credit limit size-classes of loans, in per cent

Credit limit size

class of loans (Rs)

Share of amount outstanding in total amount outstanding (%)





Less than 2 lakh





2 lakh to 10 lakh





10 lakh to 1 crore





1 crore to 10 crore





10 crore to 25 crore





Above 25 crore




Total advances





Source: ‘Basic Statistical Returns’, Reserve Bank of India, various issues

An important policy intervention by the government in the sphere of rural credit was the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme (ADWDR), 2008, which was first large-scale debt relief programme after 1990, when the government had initiated the Agricultural and Rural Debt Relief Scheme (ARDR). The ADWDR was necessitated by reports of an acute “agrarian distress” from different parts of the country from the mid-1990s onwards. There was an overall breakdown of the institutional support structures in agriculture, albeit minimal, that the state had erected over the years. The breakdown of institutional support structures in rural areas took place in following ways:

An evaluation of the debt waiver scheme is deeply limited by the availability of disaggregated data. Perhaps, this explains why there have been very few evaluations of the scheme. Kanz (2011) attempted to study the debt waiver scheme using survey data collected from 2897 beneficiaries in Gujarat and mentioned, “debt relief does not improve the investment or productivity of beneficiary households, but leads to a strong and persistent shift of borrowing away from formal sector lenders”. On the same note, Rath (2008) also argued that while debt waiver would “bring some relief to many farmers”, the “long-term consequence” of the scheme would be “a gradual demise of the people’s own institutions like the cooperative credit societies and self-help groups”, driven by moral hazard.

A debt waiver, by itself, does not remedy a distress but can only be a useful starting point where a whole series of measures are required to rejuvenate the agrarian sector in post-waiver phase. Yet, in the case of the 2008 waiver, such a follow-up policy was conspicuous in its absence. As a result, a number of commentators have viewed the debt waiver as a politically motivated policy in the eve of general elections, rather than a genuine policy intervention. It is also important to note that in any debt waiver, the design of the scheme is important and should ensure that the benefits are fully passed on to the most acutely affected regions and classes. Have the affected regions and classes received adequate coverage under the debt waiver scheme? And the answer is a re-sounding no because of two fundamental flaws in designing the waiver: a) Exclusion of informal credit from the waiver and b) Exclusion of farmers with land-holding above two hectares

VI. A tale of Despair Suffering and (in)Equity in relief

While measuring and linking major aspects of the life in economic variables, farmers’ lives put on the threshold within a consideration for agriculture as unviable economic activity. Data on the change in the labour force and the shift of %age share of GDP from primary to tertiary sector substantiate the argument. High input costs and low return make farmers’ more vulnerable to the external forces (i.e. natural and manmade). This vulnerability differs from land holding, crop, time, region and the status in social hierarchy. Dhas (2009) explained this problem of income deficit in agriculture in three dimensions: first, adverse terms of trade; second, low productivity of resources engaged in agriculture leading to low level of production, and third, the excessive use (dependence) of inputs such as labour, fertilisers, pesticides, etc., causing the cost of cultivation shooting up compared to that of the final sale value of the crop output. During the period between 1976–80 and 2001–03 public investments in agriculture declined from over 4% of agriculture GDP to 2% dynamically contributed in already existed catastrophe.

Indian farmers’ entrapped in global economic shift and realized that agriculture is no more yielding remunerative income for them. Initially they altered the crop pattern (shift for cash crops) and when it disappointed them they altered their profession itself. Ironically, farmer suicides and the agrarian can be framed as many disruptions in Parliament, but when the time comes to discuss the issue, hardly anyone bothers to attend. Lack of political sensitization of the government[1] is clear enough from the fact that there were not even 60 MPs were present in the upper house of the parliament when the issue was in the panel for discussion (TOI, 2011).

Polarization of income is another major challenge which made this whole scenario worse than ever. A classic example has been pointed out by Sainath (2010) that when the media celebrate the Mercedes Benz deal in the Marathwada region as a sign of “rural resurgence,” the latest data show that 17,368 farmers killed themselves in the year of the “resurgence”. It is a matter of grief that in a country which considers agriculture as backbone of its economy is providing car loans at interest rate of seven per cent but for a tractor, farmers have to pay interest rate of 12 per cent. Micro-finance institutions (MFIs) do worse by providing small loans but on huge interest rates of between 24 and 36 per cent or higher.

Tail of despair suffering is getting highlighted by following limitations:

  • Loan waiver criteria of <2.0 Hectare of land is not practical when small and marginal farmers account 80% of total farm households.
  • Financial institutes consider their financial year (March) to announce loan waiver, but most of the agriculture loans face one year set-back because they have been availed as per crop season (mostly during monsoon, i.e. May-July).
  • Relief plans projected in Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi are not truly fit for rural foreground (ref: hybrid cow story of Prime Minister Relief Package to Vidarbha region, Sainath (2011))  
  • Lack of fertilizer input on time make farmer more prone to loss when they rely only on rainfed irrigation

VI. Research and Extension Services (including input access):

Investment in research and extension has been compromised since so long that consecutively from four decades growth rate for public expenditure on research and education reached its lowest mark which is worse than the figure which was there half century ago (Table 2). From dwindling staff strength at state levels, to decreasing share of investments in extension to increasingly expensive credit access which makes adoption of new technologies by small farmers prohibitively expensive, from supply to demand side research and extension has been the victim. The naïve assumption of market reaching knowledge to farmers has also proven a non-starter and a dangerous premise at that.

Table 2: Growth in real public expenditure on agricultural research and extension, in per cent per annum


Growth rate of public expenditure in

Research and Education

Extension and Training













Note: For Extension and Training, the figure for 1980s is for 1980-1994.

Source: Balakrishnan, Golait and Kumar (2008).

The share of public investment in agricultural research in agricultural GDP in India has always been lower than the corresponding shares for developed countries. As a share of the agricultural GDP, public spending on agricultural research in India was only 0.52 per cent in 2004-06, as compared to 2 to 3 per cent in the developed world (Ibid). Weak public representation gave enough space to private firms and they grabbed research and extension with full swing. Private sector agricultural research which is mainly focused on chemical induced interventions, storage and processing technologies; covers mainly those crops and food grains where they expect high level of profit. In this whole spectrum capital is the central theme which small farmers lack into.

The Prospective Framework: 12th FYP

The 12th FYP makes a recording of the past mistakes and the skewed agricultural policies and its impact on food security, poverty alleviation, agrarian institutions, departments and prospective programming. From recognizing the (i) centrality of small-holders, (ii) emphasizing on the importance of robust data-sets for planning, programming, monitoring and evaluation, (iii) cereal production and stocking, (iv) market access, (v) food security provisioning to (vi) need for protecting the consumer, it takes cognizance of all these issues and gives them due importance.

It is a progressive framework to locate the revival of agrarian sector and the farmers. Thorat et al (2010) have clearly demonstrated the caste-based discrimination in rural markets from land purchase, produce sale, to use of water resources and market linkage of milk and vegetables. There is enough scope in the FYP to also work on farmgate discrimination that Dalits and small and marginal farmers face.

To accelerate the growth in the sector government plans private investment in the farming and it is surprising that having majority of the workforce engaged in agriculture sector, government is still not assured with “adequate labour supply”. Following are some of the core challenges mentioned in 12th FYP, which needed to be taken care of:

Way Forward: Action Agenda

Globally while evaluating the last four decades it became evident that technological innovation played a part, but the vast increase in food production has been largely driven by institutional reforms. And the key to institutional reform is to place farmers, the primary producers in central oversight and ownership positions (Ambler, 2012). However, it is yet to be realized in India. The experience from the performance during the 11th Plan realized the policy gaps and it has been mentioned in the current plan document that, “several policy imbalances exist that can prove to be major handicaps” (GOI, 2012).

Not just in India, but globally the agrarian sector, food production and hunger challenge has got a lot of visibility and traction. From inspirational examples like Brazil to propositional discourses on farmers’ role and leadership in ploughing investments into agriculture by FAO DG Graziano the world is in the middle of it all. The other



Recent developments in the sector which contribute to the energy and momentum for an apt course correction

  • The recognition of small farmers/family farmers (in UN parlance): 2014 being declared the year of Family Farmers and recognizing their role in global food security
  • The global movements on “Future of Agriculture” from Mindanao (Phillipines) to Maryland (USA)
  • After lifting 28 million people out of extreme poverty in a decade, the FAO-DG’s Zero Hunger Challenge declared in Rio+20 summit in June 2012
  • The global outrage on commodities speculation globally and German Banks and Inter-faith Investments banning the same and the international build-up of momentum on regulation/ban on core cereals’ speculation
  • The focus on food price volatility and the vulnerability of small farmers and urban poor consumers which is breaking old barriers and building new alliances between the consumer and producer groups
  • Last but not the least the global debate on food Nutrition has gained focus across India This is an opportune historical moment for meaningful collaboration:
  1. Making the nodal department fit-for purpose: From the Farmers’ Commission report to the 12th FYP, the organization of the nodal departments, have come under scanner. Both at national and sub-national level, departments have not been serving the purpose of the farmers. Human resource network from top to bottom is not well proportionate as per its requirement. It is serious concern that whether the organizational structure represents a shape of a normal pyramid or work like an inverted one in real scenario, where top level positions occupy the larger proportion and the end which supposed to be near to the farmer is too narrow to carry the whole burden of the institution. Spatial access/coverage is another major concern which needed to be taken care of on the same line of public health system, which works on the guidelines about specific radius and catchment area. Designing and supporting state departments and making them fit-for-purpose will go a long way in building the argument for:
    1. Appropriate Staffing levels
    2. Penetrating and delivering till the last mile
    3. Being proximate and accessible to farmers
    4. Adequate ratio of extension workers to staff: The current ratio is 1: 3000/5000 which is much above the 1:1000 which many experts (Desai et al) feel is still very indaequate for knowledge transfer purposes
    5. Making the radial distance travelled by the farmer realistic and making it equitable in hilly regions
  2. Waging war on food wastage: Food wastage, which has been under scanner, both by the hon’ble Supreme Court and through international hunger discourse through FAO’s work in the past year. From the SOFI 2012 to launching a campaign with UNEP and partners (Think Eat Save), FAO has been shedding a light on this perverse aspect of hunger where 868 million (revised estimates, though many academics and activists including the largest public broadcaster BBC still go by the 1 billion figure) go hungry and 1/3rd of all food produced, worth 1 trillion USD goes waste. Hence it will be logical and incumbent to provide knowledge, political will-enabling strategy and evidence review and modeling support  to farmers’ organizations and line ministries for limiting/curbing food watsge from farm to the kitchen via retails and pop-and-mom-shops.
  3. Convergence among Ministry of Civil Supplies and Ministry of Agriculture for Better Procurement and Distribution System: It is irony of the biggest democracy of the world that 50% of its small farmers have no ration cards while they contribute 41% of the food grains which government distributes through PDS. Unabated high level of food inflation since 2007 makes these small farmers prone to harsh market. Situation calls for cohered approach at an urgent level so the support can be provided through
  1. Support strengthening of Research and Extension: Special focus on bridging the gap between scientific explorations and farm realities is needed within a consideration of prioritizing research and extension services at national, state and regional level. It cannot be achieved without a proper support mechanism with policy discourse, evidence as well as infrastructural support. Some pilot is also suggested to analyze the expansion in the base while also focusing on human resource network through extension workers. Longitudinal impact in the mentioned framework can be assessed while monitoring the food production. The public agricultural research entities need to be reclaimed also for the farmers and the food security of Indians and not for agri-business majors. Public scrutiny on the research agenda of our public institutions is, hence, a necessity.
  2. Convene Policy Forum round-table on credit and compile global best practices on credit models: The Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already highlighted the fact that only 40% Indians have bank account, which makes financial inclusion a challenge. The nationalized banks also do not penetrate beyond district head-quarters and if pushed, to the block head quarters. Indian farmers are at the mercy of rural banks linked SHGs, and usurious informal sector. In this context, a dispassionate discussion, evidence review, designing of credit instruments and structures to make them most accessible to small farmers at the best rates is called for.
  3. Supporting Agricultural Data Resource Centre: Several academics and practitioners have been raising issues with the quality of data on public investment in agriculture being generated by the Central Statistical Organisation. On the similar note 12th FYP also mention Vaidyanathan Committee’s concern on the crop cutting and yield data and strengthen the case for better agricultural statistics. The GoI is already equipped with AMIS (Agriculture Management Information System) where an Agricultural Data Resource Centre compiling investment and production data-sets could be an option in the near future.
  4. Systematic Review on Inflation, Hunger and Nutrition inter-sectionality and Policy Round Table on the same: The global evidence on linkage of food price to nutrition levels is inadequate resulting in policy paralysis and governmental inaction. India has been a concerning case of over seven years of run-away food inflation. The hunger levels are also going up. Many economists attribute it to the rising food and fuel component of domestic expenditure. Identify/collaborate and commission systematic review on the global evidence on food inflation and nutrition linkage, its knock-on impact on Public Distribution  design and Public Procurement policies will be immense. Follow up the systematic review findings with a collaborative approach to support GoI with action plan.
  5. Support building of farmers’ institutions through small grants: The 12th FYP suggested that collectivization of farmers is a better response to address the market assymetries,  limited access to the input and various other barriers. Breaking barriers, negotiating better rates and getting recognition are some factors which enhance the authority of farmers’ institutions. Some vibrant examples of the same are Kudumbashree (Kerala) and Deccan Development Society Model (Andhra Pradesh). These need to be studied and harnessed for larger dissemination and adoption for best practices while supporting NGOs, farmers led advocacy groups through a longitudinal project. I will support farmers’ collectivization process and making them inclusive institutions (farmers’ institutions have been known to be deeply discriminatory, victims of elite capture too in many instances, hence inclusive progressive institutions’ identification becomes necessary). The gains made by these institutions, the market access they broker and the rates they negotiate should also be part of the data-generation and tracking.
  6. Research and policy support on eliminating farm-gate discrimination: The multiple caste based discrimination in rural markets is evident in terms of land purchase to homestead ownership, market linkages to discrimination in access to irrigation water, input access to sale of perishables like milk and vegetables. The class based discrimination and the marginal farmers and their destiny of their farms being located in waste-lands is also well documented. The natural extension of this work will be to support the discriminations experienced/practiced on the inter-sectionality of multiple marginalisations (class, caste, gender, minority religion etc.). The programming and institutions needed to make services accessible to them and the enabling externalities required to make “working hard, work for them”.
  7. Drill holes through silo-ised institutional analysis and optics: The drafting of the paper and the literature and evidence review revealed a very concerning trend. There is plenty of analysis and data-sets on topical institutional analysis i.e. credit, market linkage, input access, research and extension services, inter-play with rural development, but no updated comprehensive analysis which looks at all these alongwith the state (national and sub-national) departments and farmers’ institutions. This specilised optic of looking at one area/issue throws robust data-sets and in-depth analysis but inadequate evidence and scenarios for policy formulation or programme design. Academia and research doesn’t have the incentive to delve into it considering the multiple skill-sets that will be required. But the need and time for this can not be over-stated and it could be under-taken by a multi-disciplinary team with a trans-disciplinary optic. Research/review/analysis (call it by any name) should be supported and it will be a landmark contribution to the agrarian discourse. This could be undertaken in collaboration with government and team of practicing researchers too.



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A short-duration discussion on the agrarian crisis, led by BJP's Venkaiah Naidu and Congress's Mani Shankar Aiyar, turned into a routine debate with a majority of members from both the ruling party and Opposition benches absent. Even among those who spoke, on both sides, many left immediately after their speech.


About the author

[1] Ranvir Singh finished his PhD in Public Health from Jawaharlal Nehru University and has keen interest in spatial dimensions of the social aspects.  He has expertise in information management system for efficient modeling, monitoring and evidence based planning.  His expertise on Geographical Information System (GIS) and its usage in various settings further enhances his research and programme implementation skills.

[2] Biraj Swain is an independent researcher working on the inter-sectionality of food, nutrition and agriculture policy and the citizen-state interface. She has various teaching affiliations including the UN University Tokyo, Swedish University of Development and Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala and the Pondicherry Central University, India. She claims to be dedicated to working (read nomading over the poorest and hungriest parts of the world i.e. South Asia and East Africa respectively).

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