Secondly, the predominance of smallholder farmers is a deterrent to investing in high-cost technologies, as small-scale farmers are unable to generate any significant surplus for such investment. In Kerala, the experiment of democratic decentralization is now nearly two decades old. The total area under food crops in the State in the s was around two million hectares, and at present it is around 1. Thus, the continuous engagement of capital is obstructed in agriculture. Soon after, the policy encouraged the adoption of labour-saving mechanisation. In the context of growing mechanisation in the early s, there were differences among economists and planners about the technology suitable to agriculture. Workers receive up to Rs 20, per month, as well as reimbursement of expenses for travelling beyond a certain distance for work, medical insurance, and group life insurance.

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In aggregate, only 50 per cent of all farmers surveyed used machines for harvesting, and a slightly higher proportion used machines for threshing and winnowing. The reduction of drudgery through the use of machines was another incentive eswarzn work. The eviction of tenants was curbed during the regime of the Communist government of — This article analyses the progress of mechanisation in agriculture in the State of Kerala.

Agrarian Question and Democratic Decentralization in Kerala

If constant capital frequently lies idle during excess production time, depreciation during this period will add to the cost of the product. Government of India ; ; In short, rich farmers were the major users of the new technology owing to the high cost involved in investing in agricultural machinery in the initial stages ibid. The KKS is administered by an member esqaran committee, of which nine are farmers, one is an agricultural officer, and one member an agricultural expert.

There have been some attempts to overcome the problem of small holdings and low investment through collective organisation of farming. In Punjab, the deceleration of agricultural growth, declining agricultural profitability, and increasing cost of capital replacement kk become financial burdens on farmers Singh For example, in the inundated paddy fields of Kuttanad and Kole, tillage is carried out by means of tractors with cage wheels, whereas in the dry fields of Palakkad, tractors and cultivators are kj and cage wheels are not required.


Such concerns notwithstanding, mechanisation in agriculture has steadily progressed over the years.

Ownership or possession is not necessary if machinery is available on hire, and, in fact, machines are brought from the neighbouring State of Tamil Nadu on hire service to some of the major paddy-growing areas of Kerala; however, we do not have corroborating data on this. Further, the possibility of idle capacity will be a burden on the farmer or capitalist, and hence influence the eswagan of investment.

This arrangement continued up to the late s, when the shortage of manual labour for ploughing and the high cost of maintenance of draught animals became evident.

Visit by YBhg Dato’ K.K Eswaran, 2012

The overall share of machine labour in the total cost of paddy cultivation was 15 per cent in the surveyed villages. The opposition resulted in an arrangement whereby only one-half of all tilling operations could be carried out by tractors, and the other half was eawaran for manual and animal labour.

Table 2 Cost A1 of production of paddy per quintal, Kerala and selected States, — to —13 in Rupees Year Kerala Tamil Nadu Karnataka Andhra Pradesh Haryana Punjab Assam — —01 —02 —03 —04 —05 —06 —08 —10 —11 —13 Note: Thus, the use of a combine harvester can save nearly Rs 5, to Rs 6, per acre. Is your work missing from RePEc?

EconPapers: Agrarian Question and Democratic Decentralization in Kerala

In the context of Kerala, the conversion of land into a speculative asset has assumed alarming proportions and has become a hindrance to industrial investment Harilal ; Harilal The use of pump sets steam engines at first and kerosene engines later grew slowly in the early years of the twentieth century.


A major activity of the KKS is the supply of labour to farmers engaged in garden land cultivation of coconut and vegetables. At present, tilling operations in the State are almost entirely carried out by tractors or tillers, and draught animals are rarely used. Collectivisation of agriculture, appropriate organisational structures for ezwaran, and State support are possible remedies for these problems.

Bythat is, over a period of 15 years, this number increased to 54, Given the shortage of labour, especially for labour-intensive operations, such as transplanting and harvesting, the labour bank embarked on a kkk of mechanisation. Our primary survey data showed that a little over 88 per cent of all holdings were less than one acre in size.

Further, agricultural wages in Kerala are significantly higher than in other States of India. Overall, only 50 per cent of all farmers in the surveyed villages employed mechanised harvesting, and a slightly higher proportion of farmers used machinery for threshing and winnowing operations. Many heard and unheard stories about this gentleman, nothing to be proud about.

This crisis has affected almost every crop in the non-plantation sector. Correspondingly, the share of the tertiary sector went up from about 51 per cent to nearly 71 per cent.

It has been argued that in recent times, peasant or small-scale agriculture is expanding at an increasing rate even in the advanced capitalist countries of Europe and the US, in the context of an ongoing financial crisis and economic depression van der Ploeg Further, 92 per cent of operational holdings in the State were less than one ha in size. The period from the s to the s witnessed a rapid growth of trade unions among agricultural workers Jose The mechanisation of agriculture in the country has been uneven.