New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) The operated farm area in the country — both cultivated and partly cultivated — has declined by 1.53 per cent to 157.14 million hectares (ha) in five years since 2010-11, shows the Agriculture Census for 2015-16 that was released on Monday.
Underlining increased female participation in the management and operation of agricultural lands, the census showed the percentage share of female operational holders has increased from 12.79 per cent in 2010-11 to 13.87 per cent in 2015-16 with the corresponding figures of 10.36 per cent and 11.57 per cent in the operated area.
It further said the total number of operational holdings– land wholly or party used for agricultural production and operated as one technical unit– in the country has increased from 138 million in 2010- 11 to 146 million in 2015-16 – an increase of 5.33 per cent.
Some of the major highlights of the census show that the average size of operational holding has declined to 1.08 ha in 2015-16 from 1.15 hectares in 2010-11 besides an increase in small and marginal holdings (below 2 ha) to 86.21 per cent of total holdings from 84.97 per cent in 2010-11.
“Semi- medium and Medium operational holdings (2.00-10.00 ha) in 2015-16 were 13.22 per cent… The large holdings (10.00 ha and above) were merely 0.57 per cent of total number of holdings,” reads the census.
“The average size of operational holding has declined to 1.08 ha in 2015-16 as compared to 1.15 ha in 2010-11. The average size of operational holding is highest in Nagaland (5.06 ha) and lowest in Kerala (0.18 ha).”
The highest number of operational holders belonged to Uttar Pradesh (23.82 million) followed by Bihar (16.41 million), Maharashtra (14.71 million), Madhya Pradesh (10 million), Karnataka (8.68 million), Andhra Pradesh (8.52 million), Tamil Nadu (7.94 million), Rajasthan (7.65million), West Bengal (7.24 million).
Some states showed decline in number of operational holdings — highest 28.17 per cent in Goa and lowest 0.09 per cent in Manipur (0.09 per cent).
Meanwhile, in case of operated area, out of a total of 157.14 million ha, the highest operated area was contributed by Rajasthan (20.87 million ha), followed by Maharashtra (19.88 million ha), Uttar Pradesh (17.45 million ha), Madhya Pradesh (15.67 million ha), Karnataka (11.72 million ha).