More than 70 per cent of agricultural households in rural India possess only one hectare (Ha) or less land while in case of non-agricultural household, more than 90 per cent had land of or less than 0.40 Ha, according to the latest dataset of National Statistical Survey (NSS) released on Friday.

As many as 35.6 per cent agricultural households possessed between 0.40 and 1 Ha land, 34.2 per cent had 0.01-0.40 Ha, and 0.6 per cent less than 0.01 Ha. On the other hand, 17.7 per cent possess between 1.01-2.0 hectares, 8.6 per cent 2.01-4, and 2.8 per cent 4.01-10 hectares.

Barely 0.4 per cent agricultural households possessed more than 10 hectares, the 77th round of a survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO) conducted during the period between January 1, 2019 till December 31, 2019 has shown.

For non-agricultural households, a whopping 69 per cent possessed land between 0.01-0.40 Ha, followed by 26.8 per cent having less than 0.01 Ha.

Non-agricultural households hardly had land over 0.40 Ha with 3.1 per cent having 0.40-1.0 Ha, 0.7 per cent 1.01-2 hectares, and 0.4 per cent possessing 2.01-4 hectares, the survey titled "Land and Livestock Holdings of Households and Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households" in the rural areas of India with an integrated schedule of enquiry, said.

The percentage distribution of agricultural households and non-agricultural households according to caste, showed that in case of scheduled tribes, agricultural households were 14.2 per cent while non-agricultural households were 10 per cent, for scheduled castes, there were 15.9 per cent agricultural households and 28.4 per cent non-agricultural households.

OBCs comprised the largest group with 45.8 per cent of agricultural households and 42.8 per cent non-agricultural households.

In case of household ownership holdings of land, the NSS data showed that average area owned per household was just 0.512 Ha while the percentage of landless households was 8.2 per cent. At the same time, the average area owned per household excluding landless households was 0.558 Ha.

Land, with permanent heritable possession, with or without right to transfer the title, was considered as owned land. The land held in owner-like possession under a long-term lease or assignment (eg village land possessed by a tribal household as per traditional tribal rights or community land customarily operated by a tenant for a long period) was also treated as land owned.

However, households with no land or with ownership holdings of area less than or equal to 0.002 Ha are considered as "landless" in the survey.

The survey defined household operational holding as land that was used wholly or partly for agricultural production and was operated (directed/managed) by one household member alone or with assistance of others, without regard to title, size, or location.

Within a household, multiple operational holdings were not distinguished. The land might be operated by members belonging to a single household or by members belonging to more than one operating jointly.

Holdings operated as cooperative farms were not considered as household operational holding in this survey.

A household growing vegetable in the kitchen garden or flowers in the courtyard or raising livestock and poultry or carrying out pisciculture was considered to operate a holding, even if no crop production was undertaken by it during the reference period, it said.

Prior to 77th round, the Land and Livestock Holding Surveys (LHS) and Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) of Agricultural Households used to be conducted as separate surveys in separate sets of households.

The information was collected in two visits from the same set of sample households in rural areas with a view to collect relevant information separately for the two halves of the agricultural year July 2018 - June 2019. The first visit was made during January-August 2019 and the second was during September-December 2019.

An agricultural household, for NSS 77th round survey, was defined as a household receiving more than Rs 4,000 as value of produce from agricultural activities (e.g., cultivation of field, horticultural, or fodder crops, plantation, animal husbandry, poultry, fishery, piggery, bee keeping, vermiculture, sericulture, etc) and having at least one member self-employed in agriculture either in the principal status or in subsidiary status during last 365 days.

During the period, 57-58,000 households and 45,000-odd agriculture households were surveyed.