JAISS took up a study of assessment of collective farming programme under Kudumbashree Mission in Kerala in July 2012. The study will be finished by January, 2014. This study is in connection with the earlier study on marginal farmers and agrarian crisis. We concluded in our earlier study that more than 80 per cent of landed agricultural households have only marginal or small holding. With this small land holding, agriculture does not present a viable livelihood to them. This is leading to the de-peasantisation and corporatization of agriculture in which no thought is given to the peasants’ destiny. In this situation, JAISS study insisted, that collective production base is the only way forward for not only small and marginal farmers but for the landless agricultural labourers also.
In Kerala, under a poverty eradication programme called Kudumbashree Mission, the component of collective farming was included and it was linked with rural women groups in a very innovative manner. The result was fantastic. These resource poor rural women brought back more than 2 lakh acres of fallow land into the agriculture, of course with the government support.
JAISS decided to assess this experience with the objectives of finding out the lacunae and limitations of the programme so that it can be made more effective and also the factors which can help in expanding this experiment to the other states.
Under this study, five districts were chosen to cover the geographical expansion of the state, as well as various agro-economic zones. A primary field survey was conducted in all the five districts ans training was given to investigators. Data analysis work has begun and by January 2014, JAISS will release its report in Delhi as well as in Kerela.