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Road to rural recovery: A four-point agenda centered around land reforms

14th July 2020
Road to rural recovery: A four-point agenda centered around land reforms
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Photo credit: CNBC TV 18

By Shreya Deb

As India gradually emerges from the coronavirus-induced lockdown, all eyes remain focused on state governments’ plans to revive the flailing economy. Various measures have already been proposed, ranging from direct benefit transfers to increased lending, but there is very little discourse on land reforms. Economics 101 recognises land as a “factor of production”, along with labor and capital, and yet it remains largely underexplored in the policy discourse today.

Land is a critical enabler for livelihood in rural areas, providing food for the sustenance of the family, while the surplus is sold for profit. Families who don’t own any agricultural land, or own parcels too small to support all members, often migrated to cities. However, with the pandemic, this no longer remains a viable option and there is uncertainty on how soon jobs in cities will revive. The overall effect is that for migrant workers who have returned back to their villages, there may not be sufficient access to land to support the extra mouths to be fed.

Land is a finite asset; it can neither be created not destroyed. It is important to maximise the utilisation of this finite asset. We propose a four-point agenda to help guide states on unlocking the potential from existing land resources.

To know more, read the full op-ed here.