Structure and dynamics of lease land farming in Kerala

Judy Thomas, P. Indira Devi

Abstract


Lease land farming is legally prohibited in most parts of India, including Kerala. Even then the system is widely practiced, in an informal way. This study analyses the present structure and dynamics of lease land farming, focussing on the lease farming in pineapple. The study was conducted in the Muvattupuzha Block Panchayath of Ernakulam district, a major centre for pineapple farming, where pineapple is cultivated as an intercrop in rubber plantations. The average leasing period is 3.5 years and about 90 per cent of the lessors insist on written agreement, without any formal registration. The common practice is to pay the full rent as cash in advance, in the beginning of the crop year. Nearly 35 per cent make an agreement to plant and manage the main crop (rubber) along with a cash payment. Hardly 15 per cent of the respondents, pay the cash rent and also manage the rubber which is already planted. On an average, the lease rents for different situations ranged from Rs.67,031 to Rs.88,888 per hectare per year which adds to the income of land owners, while providing a living to the lessees. This differential lease rent observed in the region could be accorded to various geographical and ecological factors such as topography of land, market availability, irrigation facility and soil productivity. Legalising lease farming system can supplement the income of lessors and lessees, while adding to the agricultural production.


Keywords


Lease rent, Lease market, Intercrop pineapple in rubber, Lease agreement

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A KAU publication [CODEN: JTAGEI; ISSN 0971-636X; eISSN 0973-5399]