By Sucharita Sen
The author is Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. firstname.lastname@example.org
Agricultural land converted to non-agricultural uses is often understood as ‘development’. While high growth, rich states have managed to hold on, the low growth poorer states have lost significant amounts of land under plough causing distress to their agricultural communities.
The relevance of land for agriculture can be understood thus; firstly, agriculture is a land intensive activity, which means that it requires more land compared to non-agricultural activities in relation to the respective output. Secondly, quality of land has a critical bearing on agricultural output per unit area, while it is of marginal consequence to the productivities of the non-agricultural activities. Thirdly, ownership of land in rural areas, particularly in the less developed part of the world, has a lot...