By Pallavii Pitale
The state of Maharashtra has lost more than 10 lakh acres out of it’s of 44 lakh acres of fertile land under agricultural use to non-agricultural use in the last decade. The fertile agriculture land has been converted into the real estate developments. More and more farmers are shifting to other vocations that would offer them regular and better remuneration than agriculture.
The conversion of land from agricultural to non-agricultural use requires approval from land record officials with the final authority resting with the district collector. The change in the use of land is allowed even by paying a compounding fee.
Land owners do make use of their land for non-agricultural purposes without approval and later get away by paying a penalty which is easier and cheaper than the hassles involved in official conversion. Land acquisition for industrial use has also led to increased migration of people from rural to urban centres. A recent survey has revealed that , given a chance, 40% of farming households in the country would shift to other vocations.
A similar trend prevails at an all India level. In the country with it’s economy based mainly on agriculture, almost about a crore of families have either quit the profession or have committed suicide or have opted for the other vocations as most of the farmers doing agriculture are at a situation worse than the lowest paid government employee.
The boom in the real estate in the country is based on the doom of the Agricultural profession.