To farm or not to farm? Indian farmers in transition
Bina Agarwal and
Global Development Institute Working Paper Series from GDI, The University of Manchester
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 and 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 well-being 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 well-being.
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