Agriculture in India

Land is an important source of identity, symbol of social status and foundation for rural power in India, often carrying significant emotional attachment. With a long history, diverse geography and pluralistic culture, land governance has evolved in India through communal, imperial, feudal, colonial and modern systems, gradually moving towards individualization and conclusive titling. Contemporary land tenure is dotted with mosaics of customary tenure and community ownership in tribal and hilly areas and dwindling rural common lands amidst expanding of privatized spaces in urban and industrial areas getting converted from once predominant forest and agriculture landscapes. Indian land governance is at a transition between nation’s economic growth aspirations incumbent upon making land available for investments, while the socialist state is committed to an agenda on land and forest reforms that allocate to and recognize the rights of landless and tribal respectively on government and forestlands. Environmental concerns restrict diversion of forestlands and promote expansion of protected areas. Land conflicts are on the rise as a result of competition, continued lack of tenure clarity around common lands and increasing demands for higher compensation for private lands, which bottlenecks investments.

Land governance in India in the post-independent period has evolved as a state-subject, with the land-revenue department as the main custodian, while the actual responsibility is shared by number of departments and agencies at the state and local level, making land governance complex with overlapping jurisdictions. There are high transaction costs to access and transfer land.  Land-related disputes constitute more than half of disputes in civil and a significant number in criminal courts cases, which are often dragged for long duration  and drain private and public resources.

Federal and state governments have brought in many institutional innovations, adopted new technologies to improve land records management, promoted women land rights, facilitated alternate dispute resolution and are now contemplating tenancy reforms. The last seventy years of land governance can be broadly divided into four phases of reforms:

  • 1) land reform aiming land to cultivators during 1960s-80s;
  • 2) attempts at involving local self governance institutions through decentralization of land governance,
  • 3) digitization of land records aiming at conclusive titling in the early 21st century; and
  • 4) forest, land acquisition, and tenancy reforms occuring mostly in the current decade. 
Source: 

Selected indicators

Total spending for agricultural reserch measured measured as a share of the value added from agriculture, forestry and fishing activities

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

Distribution of agricultural holders by sex (female - Share %) according to the FAO Land and Gender Database.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

Measurement unit: 
PPP$ 2011

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Total funding for programmes still ongoing in January 2016 (US $).

Measurement unit: 
US$ (Current)

Total number of programmes still ongoing in January 2016

Measurement unit: 
Number

Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number

Rural population refers to the share (%) of people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the ratio between Urban Population and Total Population.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number
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Arable land (1'000 Ha) is the land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

It measures the area (1'000 Ha) covered by forest.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Permanent crops (1'000 Ha) - land cultivated with long-term crops which do not have to be replanted for several years (such as cocoa and coffee); land under trees and shrubs producing flowers, such

Measurement unit: 
1000 Ha

Permanent meadows and pastures - land used permanently (five years or more) to grow herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild (wild prairie or grazing land).

Measurement unit: 
1000 Ha

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