(Article) Many Farmers have now turned labourers in Bundelkhand
That Bundelkhand is one of the most underdeveloped regions of Uttar Pradesh is not lost on state government's planning department. According to its assessment of the region, Bundelkhand performs poorly on several parameters, both in comparison to the state and India. It has the highest number of persons engaged in agriculture in comparison to total main workers (2001) at 70.08%. In the past decade, many from the farming community have now turned labourers in this region.
On the face of it, Bundelkhand has larger than average land holdings. That should translate to better prospects for the farmer. But food grain productivity of Bundelkhand (2006-07) was the lowest (at 11.40 qt/ha) among all regions of the state. In comparison, west UP recorded productivity levels of 25.60 qt /ha. For the same year, the value of agricultural output per hectare of cropped area was also the lowest in Bundelkhand at Rs 19,786. Also, officials confess, the rocky terrain with low ability to retain moisture, makes this region unsuitable for intensive cultivation.
The situation has not improved in recent years. Banda's Atarra Mandi, home to what was allegedly the largest grain market in UP (locals claim it was also the 2nd in size, in Asia) has been recording reduced rates of market arrivals.