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Distress in the Fields

Indian Agriculture after Economic Liberalization

Edited by R. Ramakumar

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Distress in the Fields

In 2021, India completed three decades of implementation of economic liberalization policies. This volume is a composite and critical account of Indian agriculture during these decades. Agriculture was one of the most contentious arenas of policymaking in this period, with occasional spurts of growth coexisting with acute agrarian distress. The volume discusses and analyses a range of themes in Indian agriculture including land ownership, tenancy, public investment and expenditure, prices, international trade, crop incomes and profitability, input subsidies, credit, insurance, marketing and food distribution. A key feature of the volume is its focus on both the broader macroeconomic outlook and evidence collected through intensive village surveys. It demonstrates that the impact of policies of liberalization on agriculture was uneven and adverse. Even as the growth of large-scale agrarian capital from below was stymied by policy, agrarian transformation continued to be characterized by inequality and differentiation. 

R. Ramakumar

Ramakumar is a development economist and professor at the School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He has extensive research experience in agrarian studies, agricultural economics and rural banking. He is the author of Note-Bandi: Demonetisation and India’s Elusive Chase for Black Money (2018).