Jan 12 2011

From Sharecroppers to Landowners: Paving the Way for West Bengal’s Bargadars

In the Indian state of West Bengal, many sharecroppers—known as bargadars—are seeking ways to gain ownership of the land they farm. On their own initiative, bargadars and landowners have negotiated a variety of agreements to transfer ownership. However, these transfers are costly and administratively cumbersome, deterring many potential transactions. This report provides a brief history of the bargadars in West Bengal, and reviews the nature and extent of transactions in barga land and the legislative constraints on such transactions. The report concludes with an examination of various alternative methods the State could adopt to support the aspirations of bargadars while also maintaining the protective achievements of land reform. | download PDF

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