Mangaluru, Dec 20, 2016: Agriculture in Dakshina Kannada district faces many a hard reality; hundreds of acres paddy land remains uncultivated for decades.
Prof G V Joshi from Justice KS Hegde Institute of Management Nitte, said that one of the solutions lies in permitting lease of farm land. The original Karnataka Land Reforms Act of 1961 was drastically amended in 1974 for transferring the ownership of leased lands to the erstwhile tenants and also to ban tenancy except in a very few cases. But time has come to recognise the inevitability of tenancy as an arrangement to boost agricultural production, he says.
The economist in his paper "Struggles and Challenges in Development: Governance and Management Issues In A Regional Context,’’ Prof Joshi, noted that even in Japan, which has the credit of brining in revolutionary land reforms programme in 1946, certain amount of tenancy was found necessary to enable small landowners without resources to lease out lands. It was also found necessary because it would permit adjustment of the size of the farm to the capital of the farmer and his labour force.
Joshi, whose areas of interest include advanced economic theory, agricultural economics and banking, said the Niti Aayog, having considering all these realities, has prepared a bill for regularising leasing of agricultural land. This bill has been sent to all the states for passing a enacting a similar law or amending existing laws with a purpose of promoting equity and productivity oriented agricultural land leasing arrangements, he observed.
He pointed out the conditions prevailing in rural DK call for a suitable legislative measures for legalising tenancy arrangements to utilise land resources. He admitted that undivided DK experienced peasant uprisings against tenancy and its oppressive character, but added that now the circumstances are entirely different as there is an acute shortage of labour severely affecting agricultural activities.
Joshi suggested that the landowners having no resources and interest in agriculture, may be permitted by law to lease out lands to parties having necessary resources and interest. "There can be leasing arrangements with equitable terms and conditions provided there are appropriate legal supports which only the State Government can provide. More than 80 households agreed for leasing arrangements with realistic terms and conditions in the villages of Belthangady taluk in 2012- 2013 for undertaking paddy cultivation with the guidance and encouragement of SKDRP. These arrangements without legal backing were found acceptable as there was no any exploitative edge,’’ he notes.