The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 914–933 | Cite as

Who Leaves Farmland Fallow and Why? An Empirical Investigation Using Nationally Representative Survey Data from India

  • Thiagu RanganathanEmail author
  • Ghanshyam Pandey
Original Article


This paper investigates the determinants of the probability and proportion of owned land left fallow by farmers in India using nationally representative survey data. Using a zero-inflated beta regression, we find that having more land increased the likelihood of land being left fallow. Those with tractors were less likely to leave land fallow and had a lesser proportion of land left fallow. Living in a village which practised tenancy (predominantly fixed-rent tenancy) reduced the proportion of land left fallow. The amount of subsidised food grains the household received from the public distribution system, distance from nearest town and nonfarm opportunities available to the household increased the proportion of land left fallow. In summary, our results emphasise the importance of urbanisation, mechanisation and tenancy reforms for fallowing decisions of farm households. It also underpins the non-separability of production decisions from consumption and labour decisions.


fallow land irrigation drought tenancy mechanisation urban proximity 

A l’aide des données d’un sondage représentatif au niveau national, cet article étudie les déterminants de la probabilité que les agriculteurs en Inde laissent leur terres en jachère, ainsi que la proportion que ce type de terres représente. Grâce à une régression bêta à taux zéro, nous constatons que le fait d’avoir plus de terres augmente la probabilité de laisser la terre en jachère. Ceux qui ont des tracteurs sont moins susceptibles de laisser les terres en jachère et ont une proportion de leur terres laissées en jachère moins importante. Vivre dans un village qui pratique la location (principalement location à loyers fixes) réduit la proportion de terres laissées en jachère. La quantité de céréales alimentaires subventionnées que le ménage reçoit du système de distribution publique, la distance par rapport à la ville la plus proche et l’existence d’opportunités non agricoles à disposition du ménage provoque une augmentation de la proportion de terres laissées en jachère. En résumé, nos résultats soulignent l’importance de l’urbanisation, de la mécanisation et des réformes locatives sur les décisions de mise en jachère des ménages agricoles. Cela sous-tend également que les décisions de production ne peuvent être séparées des décisions de consommation et de travail.

JEL Classification

Q15 Q18 O13 


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Management Nagpur (IIM Nagpur)NagpurIndia
  2. 2.National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy ResearchNew DelhiIndia

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