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Women, Land Ownership and Agriculture : Problematising the Definition of a Farmer

Pranav Joshi


  1. 1B-4/150, Chitrakoot, Jaipur, Rajasthan, INDIA


Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy and its society. But what do we picture when we hear the word “agriculture”; a farmer, a field, and agricultural tools? The farmer, which is the most crucial component of the occupation, has been “defined” in constitutional terms for the benefit of viable legislation. This is where the problem begins, as the very definition of the term “farmer” is exclusionary, leading to skewed benefits of agricultural schemes to a certain section of society. Farmers have been defined in India with reference to the ownership of land; the one who owns the land is the only one who cultivates. As a matter of fact, most of the agricultural land owned in India belongs to men, as the society is patrilineal at best and patriarchal at its worst. In this essay, my objective is to problematize the definition of the term “farmer” used in agrarian schemes within the country, with respect to the lack of land ownership that women face. The scheme used to explain the issue is from the state of Telangana, namely the “Rythu Bandhu Scheme.”

Agriculture, Farmer, Land ownership, Rythu Bandhu Scheme, Telangana.