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

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Agrarian Structure of Punjab in the Post-green Revolution Era

Household Strategies for Distress Coping

While Punjab is endowed with population bonus from a macro perspective, the dividend viewed at a household level has placed Punjab farmers in two major difficulties: the shrinkage of farm size and the underutilisation of the dividend. Due to a dearth of decent non-farm job opportunities, Punjab farmers have struggled to pursue distress-coping strategies. This paper focuses on three primary strategies for survival: land leases, overseas migration, and obtaining informal domestic jobs outside the agricultural sector, based on our unique data of 956 landholders and 254 landless households across Punjab.


This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 16H01896.

Agriculture in Punjab has recorded significant growth since the advent of the green revolution in the mid-1960s, earning it the title of “India’s Breadbasket.” In the second half of the 1970s, the green revolution in Punjab extricated India from food shortages. The state’s per capita income surged to the forefront of the major Indian states in the 1980s and 1990s.

The ironic truth is that food self-sufficiency ushered in a new era of the anti-agricultural regime in that the food problem has turned into the agricultural adjustment problem.1 In the phase of the economic liberalisation initiated in 1991, Punjab’s per capita income fell from the first to the seventh position in 2012, and further to the ninth position in 2017 (Indian Economic Survey 2018–19). Being inexorably entwined with the challenges of the anti-agricultural regime, Punjab farmers have struggled to pursue distress-coping strategies.

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Updated On : 4th Oct, 2021
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