Centre for Sustainable Agriculture ( CSA)

Project Theme

Small Holder Agriculture & Climate Change

Target Group


Project Period

01 Jul 2014 - 30 Jun 2015

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Small and marginal farmers with operational holdings below 4.0 hectares (ha) constitute 93.6% of the operational holdings covering 62.96% of the operational area in India as per the 2001 Census. These smallholders have their own identifiable disadvantages and vulnerabilities in terms of their socio-economic background in the Indian context as well as access to agricultural support systems and services from the State. The dominant policy discourse terms small holder agriculture as unviable, inefficient and unproductive. The investments by the government in the form of subsidies, institutions built to support, credit, marketing and technology support systems have not helped the Smallholder farmers. The 2011 census data shows that the number of people depending on agriculture is coming down and the numbers of agricultural workers are increasing. Between 2001 and 2011 the number of farm families who moved out of the farming are about 150 lakhs. One of the reasons behind the struggle facing by the small farmers is the lack of proper infrastructure support; it is observed that proportional investments on agriculture are coming down. The total share of agriculture in the union budget was about 18% in 1980s and today it has come down to about 2% where as the number of people depending on agriculture have only reduced marginally. Even in the investments made in agriculture, they are highly skewed towards large farms, irrigated agriculture. The rainfed farming and small holder agriculture are completely neglected. The support to small farm machinery has come down and large chunks of subsidies are diverted to heavy farm machinery like harvesters, laser guided levellers etc. Hence, it is a need to take stock of these changes and analyse their impacts on small holder agriculture and campaign on how the public investments can be redesigned to support small holder agriculture particularly in the rainfed areas.

Impact by partner
  • Tracking of agriculture investment done through RKVY scheme in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to analyze whether the benefit of PPP ( Public- Private – Partnership) promoted by this agriculture scheme is reaching to small farmers or not.
  • A documentation of Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture Practice promoted in Andhra Pradesh by non government organization and expanded by Andhra Pradesh Government to understand sustainability and replicability of these practices