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Technological and Institutional Reforms

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Technological and Institutional Reforms - Lesson Summary

The main problems faced by farmers in India are:
  • Fragmentation of land holdings by successive inheritance
  • Primitive methods of farming
  • Dependence on monsoon and natural fertility of soil
  • Exploitation by local money lenders and middlemen
  • Lack of insurance against natural calamities

The technological and institutional changes initiated in India to improve the condition of farmers include:

The land reforms initiated in the first five-year plan aimed to:
  • abolish zamindari and
  • consolidate land holdings. The consolidation of land holdings involved combining adjacent small fields into single large farms and encouraging individual land owners to do cooperative farming.

Agricultural reforms in the 1960s and 1970s known as the green revolution in India:
  • Providing high yielding varieties of seeds and fertilisers to farmers, and
  • Developing large-scale irrigation facilities to allow them to grow two crops in a year.
  • Continued expansion of farming areas.

White revolution:
  • Doctor Verghese Kurien is credited with architecting Operation Flood -- the largest dairy development programme in the world.

The government launched a comprehensive land development programme in the 1980s and 1990s:
  • Insurance cover to farmers against damage to crops and
  • Setting up of rural banks and cooperative societies to provide them loans on easy rates of interest.

The government also started broadcasting radio and television programmes to educate farmers about new techniques of agriculture and give them prior warning about weather conditions. To stop the exploitation of farmers by middlemen, the government announced the procurement, remunerative and minimum support prices of all the major crops in India.

The government also launched personal benefit schemes for farmers, like the Kisan Credit Card and the Personal Accident Insurance Scheme. Under the Land Ceiling Act by government no individual or family could own more than a certain quantum of land.

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