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

By Shivank Goel|Updated : September 6th, 2022

Small and marginal farmers in India are the ones who possess less than two hectares of farmland. They amount to 86.2% of the total farmers in India.

A marginal farmer is one who has upto 1 hectare of farmland where he carries out the agricultural activities either as an owner, sharecropper or tenant. He doesn't have to work as a labourer more often on agricultural land.

A small farmer, on the other hand, possesses more than one hectare and upto two hectares of land where he carries out the agricultural activities and cultivation as an owner, tenant or sharecropper.

Types of Farmers and Landholdings in India

For the purpose of conducting a proper census, the government divides the landholdings into five categories, and on the basis of these categories, we can divide the farmers into further 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 - 2 hectares.
  • Semi-Medium - the farmers who possess land between 2- 4 hectares come under this category.
  • Medium - this category refers to those farmers who have farmland between 4- 10 hectares.
  • Large - farmers possessing above 10 hectares of land for cultivation come under this category.

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FAQs

  • Small and marginal farmers amount to 86.2% of the total farmers in India.

  • A small farmer cultivates a land of upto 1-2 hectares whereas a marginal farmer possesses land below 1 hectare.

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