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 Policy: Land Ownership as a Social Determinant of Health and Well-being in Rural India
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Policy: Land Ownership as a Social Determinant of Health and Well-being in Rural India

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  • 1. Rhonda Breitkreuz, Nurmaiya Brady, Carley-Jane Stanton, John Pattison, & Brent Swallow University of Alberta Presented at The International Food Security Dialogue: Enhancing Food Production, Gender Equity, and Nutritional Security in Changing World University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada May 2, 2014 The Lay of the Land: Land Ownership as a Social Determinant of Health and Well-being in Rural India
  • 2. To explore the importance of land ownership for rural citizens in India in regard to income and food security and To explore the relationship between land owning status and access to policies intended to reduce marginalization in rural communities PURPOSE Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 3. • WHO 2008 report on the social determinant of health • Material and psycho-social explanations of health disparities • Land and food security • Land and social status THEORETICAL LENS: LAND AS A SOCIAL DETERMINANT OF HEALTH Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 4. • Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition and Agrobiodiversity Hotspots (APM) • Post-positivist normative and empirical policy analysis 1). Policy review • Review of key social schemes in India 2). Fieldwork • Three rural sites in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Orissa • 19 qualitative focus groups, 219 participants • Compared experiences in local sites with policy claims • Quantitative analysis of 1501 rural households with regard to land ownership and policy use METHODS Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 5. • Approximately two-thirds of India’s population is rural • World Bank, 2011 • Of these, over 40% are landless CONTEXT Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 6. DETERMINING LANDLESSNESS IN INDIA • Shortage of reliable statistics • Key Surveys -Land and Livestock Holdings (2003-2004) -Survey of Employment and Unemployment Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 7. LAND OWNERSHIP IN INDIA • The proportion of households that did not cultivate any land increased from 35% in 1987-1988 to 49% in 2011-2012. • There has been a DECREASE of land cultivated among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes • The top decile of households nationwide cultivated over half the land Rawal (2013) Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 8. DEFINING LANDLESSNESS IN INDIA • Landlessness is usually defined as ownership less than 0.1 hectares, or 25 cents of land -This is equivalent to ¼ of an acre, or 10,000 square feet of land • New policy recommendations in India suggest that all rural households should be granted 10 cents of land (approx. 4000 square feet). • In our study, landless participants were those with less than 25 cents of land. Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 9. Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots LANDHOLDINGS OF APM HOUSEHOLDS
  • 10. APM Field sites: • Kerala: Wayanad • Tamil Nadu: Kolli Hills • Orissa: Jeypore CONTEXT Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 11. • Land Ceilings Act • National Land Reforms Policy (2013) • National Right to Homestead Bill (2013) POLICY CONTEXT: LAND REFORMS IN INDIA Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 12. Kolli Hills: Landless tribal women focus group
  • 13. Generally, those with land were less marginalized. Access to: • Agricultural subsidies • Seeds, fertilizers & equipment for farming • Farm ponds (via NREG) • Loans FINDINGS: LAND OWNERSHIP AND MARGINALIZATION Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 14. • Land ownership as demarcation of status in community hierarchy • Land associated with wealth, political participation • Reinforce social hierarchies • Increased dowry fees related to higher education (Kolli Hills) • Land as opportunity to leverage children out of farming • Selling or leasing land to pay for children's tuition (Kolli Hills) • Some participants would move out of state to get land (migration ) • Homestead Bill • Social bonds (Wayanad) FINDINGS: Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 15. Among all of the landless, some landless categories experienced more marginalization than other categories • Public Distribution System (PDS) • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREG) • Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) LAND OWNERSHIP & POLICY ACCESS Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots
  • 16. Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots MAHATMA GANDHI NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME (NREG) • 100 days of guaranteed employment for rural peoples • High participation rates among the landless, with lower rates in landholding groups • Ability to hire NREG workers on land impacted participation and private wages in Wayanad
  • 17. INDIRA AWAAS YOJANA (IAY) • Funding to construct a 300 square foot house • Provision for land for those who own 0 cents • Those with 0-3 cents being missed
  • 18. • Land ownership enabled enhanced food security and potential income through sustenance farming and income through produce sales • Land ownership also enabled benefit from NREG through the development of farm ponds on private lands • Among the landless, there was some differential access to some of the schemes such as IAY. • Proposed land reform policies could facilitate well- being for landless persons DISCUSSION Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots