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Agrarian Transformation and Changing Labour Relations in Kalahandi, Odisha

Ramya Ranjan Patel and Deepak Mishra

Journal of South Asian Development, 2019, vol. 14, issue 3, 314-337

Abstract: Examining the changes in production relations in one of the poorest rainfed belts in India, this study, based on field surveys in eight villages in Kalahandi and Nuapada districts of Odisha, unravels the complexities of the transition in agriculture. The introduction of irrigation has resulted in, an increase in yield, wage rates and labour-use per hectare. Comparison between the irrigated and the non-irrigated villages also suggest a drastic reduction in poverty and distress seasonal out-migration. The average household income in the irrigated villages turns out to be more than three times that of the rainfed villages. Thus, irrigation has acted as a key driver of agrarian change, and its role in creating labour demand in agriculture continues to be significant. However, the reduced control of marginalised sections over land, the significance of sharecropping in the irrigated villages, the high share of family labour in total labour-use among the marginal and small cultivators in the irrigated region, and moreover, the continued presence of labour-tying suggest that, the transformation involves several complexities, particularly in terms of the newly emerging labour relations.

Keywords: Agrarian change; rainfed agriculture; irrigation; labour relations; Kalahandi (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:soudev:v:14:y:2019:i:3:p:314-337

DOI: 10.1177/0973174119889831

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