70 years of independence but... India’s Dalit farmers still landless

20 February 2018 01:10 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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While a majority of Indian farmers cultivate their own land, Dalit farmers in much of the country continue to work for wages, data released last week by the Census of India confirms.


The census separates farmers into two categories — cultivators, who have an ownership stake in the land, and agricultural labourers, who work for wages on land they do not own.


Dalit farmers are more likely than other farmers to work for wages. Yet the situation is hardly the same everywhere, accoring to census data from 2011.


In states with histories of feudalism, Dalits are much more likely to work as agricultural labourers. In Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, nearly all Dalit farmers are agricultural labourers. In most districts, the figure is above 90%.


Economists say concessions to farmers, such as the new minimum support prices announced in the union budget, are more likely to benefit farmers who own their land than those who work for wages.

 

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