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Land Holdings in Bundelkhand

Size of operational (cultivated) land holdings is a basic factor affecting agricultural production, especially in absence of advanced cultivation technologies. In India as a whole, marginal holdings of less than 1 hectare (ha) accounted for 60% of all holdings but only 20% of total cultivated area in 2001-02 (see Table 2 below).  On the other hand, holdings above 2 hectares accounted for only around 20% of all holdings but 60% of cultivated area, with holdings above 10 hectares accounting for just 1% of holdings, but 12% of area.

Distribution of operational holdings in Bundelkhand in 2001-02 followed this pattern, with some significant differences. In all Bundelkhand districts except Jalaun, Banda and Chitrakoot, the percentage of marginal holdings was lower than the India average (Table 1 below). In MP Bundelkhand as a whole, marginal holdings accounted for 40% of all holdings (Table 2).

The percentage of small and semi medium holdings of 1-2 hectares and 2-4 hectares respectively was correspondingly higher than the India average, particularly in Lalitpur, Mahoba and Hamirpur districts and all of MP Bundelkhand. The percentage of medium holdings of 4 to 10 hectares was around double the India average in Datia and Sagar.

Table 1: UP Bundelkhand distribution of operational holding categories (2001-02)

  Marginal
(<1 ha)
Small
(1-2 ha)
Semi medium
(2-4 ha)
Medium
(4-10 ha)
Large
(>10 ha)
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
area
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
area
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
area
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
area
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
area
Jhansi 54 19 23 22 15 27 7 27 Neg 4
Lalitpur 42 13 34 29 17 27 7 22 1 8
Jalaun 59 18 19 19 13 27 8 31 1 5
Hamirpur 48 14 27 23 15 24 9 30 1 8
Mahoba 50 15 24 20 16 25 9 32 1 8
Banda 59 18 20 20 13 26 7 28 1 7
Chitrakoot 62 20 20 21 11 22 6 24 1 12
UP Bundelkhand 54 17 24 22 14 26 7 28 1 7
UP 77 36 14 24 6 22 2 14 Neg 3

Table 2: MP Bundelkhand distribution of operational holding categories (2001-02)

  Marginal
(<1 ha)
Small
(1-2 ha)
Semi medium
(2-4 ha)
Medium
(4-10 ha)
Large
(>10 ha)
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
area
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
holdings
% of
total
holdings
Datia 40 11 25 17 21 28 12 33 2 10
Chhatarpur 35 10 32 23 21 27 10 29 2 11
Tikamgarh 45 15 28 25 19 32 7 24 1 4
Panna 42 11 28 22 19 28 10 30 1 8
Damoh 47 13 24 18 17 24 10 31 2 14
Sagar 39 10 28 19 19 24 11 31 2 16
MP Bundelkhand 40 11 28 21 19 27 10 30 2 11
MP 39 9 26 17 20 25 12 33 2 15

India

60

18

20

20

12

24

6

25

1

12

Source: Agriculture Census Input Survey 2001-02, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Percentages derived from absolute figures and rounded off to nearest integer. Neg= < 1%

Data from the Agriculture Census Input Survey 2001-02 (Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India) shows that while average size of holdings of all size categories in India was 1.39 hectares, it was higher in all districts of Bundelkhand, at 1.48 hectares in Chitrakoot to 1.71 hectares in Lalitpur, in UP Bundelkhand, and 1.6 hectares in Tikamgarh to 2.13 hectares in Sagar, in MP Bundelkhand.

In comparison, the average size of holdings of all categories in UP as a whole was much lower, at 0.8 hectares; in MP Bundelkhand districts the average was lower than  the MP state average of 2.19 hectares.

Data in the two tables shows that medium and large holdings account for 30% to 45% of area of all holdings across Bundelkhand districts. Theoretically, a larger holding should enable greater capital formation and greater investment in production-enhancing use of fertilisers, improved seeds and modern agriculture equipment. However, due to inherently unfavourable conditions for agriculture in much of the region, this is not seen in Bundelkhand.

As in the rest of India, size of land holdings is closely related to caste in Bundelkhand.

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