As per Agriculture Census 2015-16, the average size of operational holding has declined to 1.08 hectare in 2015-16 as compared to 1.15 hectare in 2010-11. The small and marginal holdings (10 ha) are merely 0.57% of the total land holdings.
Challenges faced by farmers due to fragmentation of land:
- Low productivity: Small and fragmented landholdings are suitable for subsistence agriculture, where farmers are forced to use age-old labour-intensive techniques. This decreases the productivity of land and in turn lack of investment for increasing productivity
- Difficulties in modernisation: Use of improved agricultural practices e.g. use of tractors, micro-irrigation techniques, etc. becomes uneconomical in small landholdings.
- Wastage of land: There is wastage of land in boundaries and fencing.
- Indebtedness: As per Economic Survey-2016-17, there is an inverse relationship between indebtedness and the size of land holding. In Bihar and West Bengal, more than 80% of agricultural households with marginal landholdings are indebted.
- Disputes over boundaries: Small fragmented lands become one of the major cause of complaints related to boundary disputes.
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