Agriculture Census shows land holdings of SC/ST farmers up 10% in five years

SC and STs had more than 20 percent of the country's overall 138.35 million agri-land holdings in 2010-11. Over 80 percent of total land was held by men, it said.

hidden December 09, 2015 21:55:11 IST
Agriculture Census shows land holdings of SC/ST farmers up 10% in five years

New Delhi: The number of farm holdings of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in India jumped 10.18 percent to 29.10 million in 2010-11 compared with 26.41 million in 2005-06, the latest agri-census report said.

SC and STs had more than 20 percent of the country's overall 138.35 million agri-land holdings in 2010-11. Over 80 percent of total land was held by men, it said.

Agriculture Census shows land holdings of SCST farmers up 10 in five years

Rising land holdings for SC/ST farmers. Reuters

Interestingly, SC farmers had more land holdings under irrigation than STs in the said period.

According to the Agriculture Census 2010-11 (phase-II) released by the government today, the number of land holdings of SC farmers rose 6.4 percent to 17.10 million in 2010-11, from 16.07 million in 2005-06.

Similarly, the total number of scheduled tribe holdings in the country increased by over 16 pecent to 12 million in 2010-11 as against 10.34 million in 2005-06, the report said.

A large share of farm holdings of SC farmers was in Uttar Pradesh (23.5 percent), followed by Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

SC women in Andhra Pradesh had the highest proportion, followed by Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the report said.

As per the report, farm holdings held by ST farmers were largely concentrated in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, accounting for more than one-fourth of total number of ST holdings (26.8 percent) in the country.

The other states with a sizeable proportion of ST holdings were Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Out of a total 1.4 million female operational holdings belonging to STs, Andhra Pradesh had the highest with 18 percent, followed by MP, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, the report added.

The census report also found that total number of operational holdings in the country rose to 138.35 million in 2010-11, from 129.22 million (excluding Jharkhand) in 2005-06, an increase of 7.06 percent.

However, the average size of holdings is estimated to have declined to 1.15 hectare in 2010-11, as against 1.23 hectare in 2005-06. The small and marginal holdings (below 2 hectare) constituted 85.01 per cent in 2010-11.

The operated area rose to 159.59 million hectares, from 158.3 million hectares in 2005-06 primarily because Jharkhand, which came into being in 2000, participated for the first time in agriculture census operation in 2010-11, it added.

The nine states -- Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and West Bengal -- together account for about 78 percent of the gross cropped area in the country.

Agriculture census in India is conducted at a five-yearly gap for collecting information about structural aspects of agricultural holdings in the country. Agriculture census data are collected in three phases. So far, two phases have been done.

PTI

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