Do farmers really like farming? Indian farmers in transition
Bina Agarwal and
Oxford Development Studies, 2017, vol. 45, issue 4, 460-478
Few studies of agrarian transition examine what farmers themselves feel about farming. Are they cultivating out of choice or a lack of options? What distinguishes farmers who like farming from those who do not: their personal/household characteristics and endowments? The local ecology and regional economy? Or a mix of these and other factors? Understanding farmer satisfaction is important not only for assessing citizen wellbeing but also for agricultural productivity, since occupational satisfaction can affect a farmer’s incentive to invest and reveal production constraints. Using a unique all-India data-set which asked farmers, ‘Do you like farming?’ this paper provides answers and policy pointers, contributing a little-studied dimension to debates on the smallholder’s future and subjective wellbeing.
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