What is the Definition of a Small and Marginal Farmer in India?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Small and Marginal Farmers in India can be defined as those with less than two hectares of agricultural land. A marginal farmer is one who has up to 1 hectare of agricultural land where he carries on agricultural activities as a proprietor, sharecropper, or tenant. He does not have to work as a laborer on agricultural land more often.

Definition of Small and Marginal Farmer in India

A small farmer has land of more than one hectare and up to two hectares, where he does agricultural activities and farming as a proprietor, tenant, or sharecropper.

In India, 70% of rural households rely on farming and agriculture as their main source of income. And 86.2% of farmers come under the category of small and marginal farmers.

Types of Farmers in India

For the purpose of conducting a proper census, the government divides land holdings into five categories. On the basis of these categories, we can further divide farmers into five categories:

  • Marginal: This category refers to the farmers that possess farmland below 1 hectare.
  • Small: This category refers to the farmers who possess land between 1 to 2 hectares.
  • Semi-Medium: The farmers who possess land between 2 to 4 hectares come under this category.
  • Medium: This category refers to those farmers who have farmland between 4 to 10 hectares.
  • Large: Farmers possessing above 10 hectares of land for cultivation come under this category.

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