Author:Sarthak Gaurav and Srijit Mishra
Title:Size-class and Returns to Cultivation in India: A Cold Case Reopened
This paper investigates the relationship between returns to cultivation per hectare and size-class of land cultivated in India, using unit level data from the 59th round National Sample Survey, 2003. The analysis is done separately for ‘kharif’ and ‘rabi’ - for total value of cultivation from all crops at the all India level. The empirical evidence rejects the null hypothesis of no relationship and points to the existence of an inverse association. We argue that the efficiency of the small-holders has to be taken with a pinch of salt because their low absolute returns brings into focus the question of their livelihood sustainability which is further aggravated on account of higher unit costs. Being the first exercise in a series of proposed explorations into disaggregated analyses across states, and for specific crops, it opens up the classic debate on farm size and productivity in the 21st century.