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Causes behind Tenancy Contract among the Marginal Farmers of West Bengal, India and Its’ Impact on their Livelihood

Kundu, Amit and Goswami, Pubali (2020): Causes behind Tenancy Contract among the Marginal Farmers of West Bengal, India and Its’ Impact on their Livelihood. Published in: Artha Vijnana , Vol. LXIV,, No. No.1, March, 2022 pp. 1-19 (5 April 2022): pp. 1-19.

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Abstract

The basic objective of this paper is to identify the possible factors which influence the marginal farmer households of West Bengal to go for tenancy contracts. In our study area, the target group is marginal farmer households where the only fixed-rent contract is observed, and all the contracts are verbal. Comparatively big landowners among the marginal farmer households where lack of motivation is observed among the younger generations to pursue agricultural activities for their livelihood and have higher earnings from different non-farm activities influence them to lease out the land. On the contrary, landless or the marginal farmer households owned very small size of land are more eager to take land in a lease for cultivation. The availability of family labour force among these types of households and earnings from alternative sources play an important role during the time of taking such a decision. After applying Heckman’s two-step treatment effect models, it is observed that marginal farmer households who lease out land are economically better off than the marginal farmer households who are not interested in any such tenancy contract. Besides that, it is also observed that farm households even after taking land in the lease are economically worse-off than the farm households who are not interested in any tenancy contract. But most of the marginal farmer households whichever type are living below the poverty line.

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