The Role of Access Mechanisms in Effective Rehabilitation of Displaced Farmers Due to Development Projects

@ATREE auditorium at 3.45 pm on 11th July 2016

This presentation provides an access based explanation of why institutional arrangements of compensation provision for land acquisition often fail to effectively rehabilitate displaced farmers in a developing country context like India. Farmers have a right to claim compensation in case of land takings, which specifies two methods of claim: consent method and arbitration method. Literature indicates that farmers’ choice between the two methods has a significant impact on the compensation they receive. Using a binary response model on a primary dataset of 199 displaced farmers from Upper Krishna Irrigation Project, India, we analyse the determinants of this choice. We validate ‘access based’ hypotheses in choice of compensation and test whether in addition to allocated property rights, benefits actually depend on the ‘access mechanisms’ farmers have. Results suggest that the choice is governed by access to social identity and information. Therefore, farmers lacking these fail to get resettled despite the presence of a policy framework aimed at their rehabilitation.

About the speaker
Vikram Patil is a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Environment and Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore, India. Vikram is currently working in the research project, ‘Adapting to Climate Change in Urbanizing Watersheds’ (ACCUWa). He is part of the team that works on the household responses component in the project focusing on the Arkavathy sub-basin, mainly in understanding the drivers of farmers' crop choices.

Vikram works on agricultural economics, development studies, and natural resource economics. His main interests are in applications of mixed methods approach and New Institutional Economics. He earned his PhD at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany in 2015. The prime focus of his PhD research was on land governance and associated farmer rehabilitation and resettlement. He analyzed how irrigation development projects in India affect land and water property rights of affected farmers. His thesis further explored how effective this institutional change was in the rehabilitation of farmers. This presentation is based a part of his PhD thesis, which has been recently published in Journal of Development Studies.