ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In Search of the Capitalist Farmer

Ashok Rudra The first two instalments of this report on a sample survey of large farms in Punjab appeared in the Reviews of Agriculture of September 27 and December 27, 1969. Certain average characteristics of large scale farming in Punjab were presented in these two articles. However, the purpose of the survey was to study not just large-scaleif such a category could be scientifically defined and identified empirically. pick out farmers having certain characteristics and to study the possible them. [The statistical work involved inFarm Management Centre of Visva IN our preceding two reports on the survey (carried out by the Agro-Economic Research Centre of the University of Delhi) among the large farmers of Punjab, defined as farmers cultivating more than 20 acres of land, we presented certain average characteristics of large-scale farming. However, as we mentioned in the first of the two above-mentioned articles, we had set out to study not just large-scale farming but capitalist fanning, if such a category could be defined scientifically and identified empirically. The reason why we took a sample of large farms rather than capitalist farms is that to draw a sample we have to have a definition of the population and we did not have at our disposal any operational definition of a capitalist farmer with the help of which we could identify capitalist farmers and draw up a list of such fanners in each village drawn in the first stage sampling. The reason why we have drawn a sample of large farmers as a surrogate for capitalist farmers is that we have assumed the intersection of the set of capitalist farms and the set of large farms to contain most of the elements of the set of capitalist farms. Which, of course, does not mean that most large-scale farms are capitalist farms; though it docs mean that most capitalist farms are (assumed to be, in Punjab) large.

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