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Allocating Homestead Plots as Land Reform: Analysis from West Bengal

Publisher: RDI

Poverty and rural landlessness are closely related in India and both stubbornly persist. Land reform at one time appeared to be the answer. Yet land reform efforts in most Indian states have almost completely bypassed the poorest households—those who are completely landless—and traditional land reform methods no longer seem economically and politically feasible. One under-recognized component of land reforms in several states—the allocation of homestead plots to landless laborers—may deserve more attention and consideration. This Study of similar programs from a variety of international settings indicate that very small homestead or garden plots can confer multiple important benefits, in terms of food, income, status, and economic security. Findings of this study from West Bengal document the benefits of homestead plot allocation to the landless and indicate the potential such programs may have for improving the well-being of the rural poor.

Author(s): S.B Lokesh, Tim Hanstad | Views(251)

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