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Farmworker populations outnumber farmers in more than half of India’s districts: Report | India News


NEW DELHI: Farmer protests in India have seen a nearly five-fold increase since 2017, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said in its new report that also took into account ongoing protests against all three. central agricultural laws around the borders of Delhi. The report also shows that the population of agricultural workers has exceeded that of farmers in 52% of the country’s districts.
The number of major agricultural protests increased from 34 in 15 states in 2017 to 165 protests in 22 states and Union territories in 2021, shows the CSE Compendium of Statistics on Key Development Issues.
Figures from the farmers’ protests, compiled mainly from different media reports through May, show that the majority of the protests in 2020 and 2021 were directly or indirectly related to the ongoing turmoil demanding the repeal of all three. central agricultural laws and press for a legal guarantee for purchases at a minimum subsistence price (MSP).
Issues over farm laws and the MSP had led to 12 protests across India and multiple smaller independent protests in different states since farmers in Punjab and Haryana launched their current agitation in June last year. The other protests by farmers in different states were related to agricultural infrastructure, crop insurance, loan waivers, fertilizers, land acquisition, and irrigation (water-sharing disputes).
Besides Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, the other states that saw farmer protests during 2020-21 (through May) include Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Kerala, and others. . .
The CSE electronic report ‘The State of India’s Environment in Figures 2021’, released on World Environment Day last week, also collected other key data on farmers that can help policy makers to guide their intervention in the agricultural sector.
From publicly available reporting data, the compendium shows that India has more agricultural workers than land-owning farmers, noting that the population of agricultural workers has exceeded that of farmers in 52% of the country’s districts.
Two states – Bihar and Kerala – and Puducherry UT have, in fact, more agricultural workers than agricultural farmers in all their districts. The report shows that the agricultural worker population was quite high compared to that of farmers in percentage terms in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Odisha.
The CSE also analyzed data from land records and said that Odisha, Maharashtra and 12 other states have seen a deterioration in the quality of their land records in 2020-21.
“The performance of another 10 states / UT has remained unchanged from 2019-20,” he said, referring to the performance of the states in terms of digitization, maps, surveys, registration process and land use records, among others. .

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