The number of small and marginal farmers in Gujarat has increased by close to 4 lakh, according to the last Agri Census conducted in the state.
This was revealed by Agriculture Minister R C Faldu in a written reply to a question raised by Congress MLA from Thasra, Kantibhai Parmar, in the Assembly on Thursday.
Small farmers are those who own 1-2 hectares land, while marginal farmers own less than 1 hectare land.
Parmar had sought details as to when did the last Agri Census took place in Gujarat and what were the numbers of different registered farmers in the state. In the reply, the minister said that the last Agri Census was conducted in 2015-16 in Gujarat. And as per the Census, the total number of registered farmers in Gujarat is around 53.19 lakh; of them 20.17 were marginal farmers, 16.15 lakh small farmers, 11.50 lakh semi-medium farmers, 4.95 lakh medium farmers and 39,893 big farmers.
Comparing the 2015-16 Census figures with the figures of 2010-11 Census, the minister said that the number of marginal farmers increased by 2.02 lakh from around 18.15 lakhs in 2010-11 to 20.17 lakhs in 2015-16.
Similarly, the number of small farmers increased by 1.86 lakh from around 14.29 lakh in 2010-11 to around 16.15 lakhs in 2015-16. The number of semi-medium farmers, who own land between 2-4 hectares, has also increased by 70,781 from 10.79 lakhs in 2010-11 to 11.50 lakhs in 2015-16.
The minister stated that the number of medium (4-10 hectares) and large farmers, who own more than 10 hectares of land, has, however, decreased in the state between 2010-11 and 2015-16.
In 2010-11, there were 5.12 lakh medium farmers, which came down to 4.95 lakh in 2015-16; a fall of 16,759. Similarly, in 2010-11, there were 48,771 big farmers and it has come down to 39,893 in 2015-16; a fall of 8,878. In 2010-11, there were a total of around 48.85 lakh farmers in Gujarat. The total number has increased to around 53.19 lakh in 2015-16, a rise of 4.34 lakh farmers.