The Unrecognised Urban Farmers of Delhi Are Caught in Conflict Over Land
The pressure of urbanisation in Delhi is visible on agriculture. The net area sown is coming down, confirms the Economic Survey of Delhi (2021-22).
“The agricultural activity is continuously declining in Delhi to rapid urbanisation and growth in other economic activities of trade and industry. The number of rural villages is also reducing, and the number came down from 214 in 1981 to 112 in the 2011 Census,” the Economic Survey states.
Paras Tyagi, associated with the Centre for Youth Culture, Law and Environment (CYCLE), a non-profit based in Delhi, echoes the same. “Farmers in Delhi villages have been exploited, and land ownership has decreased over the years,” says Tyagi adding that more than 97% of farmers own less than 0.5 hectares of land.
There are no financial incentives or subsidy support provided to farmers in Delhi, the kind of which you see in Punjab, Haryana etc. The leader of the opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri has made a similar claim recently.
Amit Yadav, a farmer in Jhiljhuli village in Delhi, also mentioned that there are no agricultural subsidies like subsidies on agriculture machinery, compensation for crop damage etc., provided by the government.
Paras Tyagi further claims that schemes on crop insurance, irrigation, dairy farming, horticulture, and other agriculture-related activities are unavailable to Delhi farmers.