10th Edition of Agriculture Census UPSC


10th Edition of Agriculture Census Data for 2015-16 Released By Ministry of Agriculture.The Agriculture Census in India is conducted at 5 yearly intervals to collect data on structural aspects of operational holdings in the country. The Agriculture Census programme is carried out in 3 phases at five-yearly intervals with the cooperation of States/Union Territories. The first Agriculture Census in the country was conducted with from 1970-71. The current Agriculture Census was conducted in 2015-16 is 10th in the series.

10th Edition of Agriculture Census Data


  • It provides statistical data on land utilization, operational holdings, irrigation, the irrigated and unirrigated area under different crops, use of agricultural machinery and implements, agricultural credit, use of fertilizers, seeds etc.
  • To provide data for formulating new agricultural development programmes and for evaluating their progress.
  • To provide a basic structure of operational holdings of agriculture land for carrying out future agricultural surveys and for developing an integrated programme for current agricultural statistics.


Operational Holding:

  • All land which is used by person partly or wholly for agricultural production and is operated as one technical unit by one person alone or with others without regard to the title, legal form, size or location.

Technical Unit:

  • An area of land which is under the same management and has the same means of production such as machinery, labour force and animals.

Operated area:

  • The operated area includes both uncultivated areas, cultivated and provided part of it is put to agricultural production during that period. Consider an operational holding of agriculture land consists of six survey numbers out of which one survey number is put to non-agricultural uses, the total area of the operational holding will be equal to the total geographical area of all the six survey numbers.

Operational holder:

  • A person who perform agriculture activity and has the responsibility for the operation of the agricultural holding and who exercises the technical expertise and is responsible for its operation. The operational holder may be Individual/Joint/ Institutional.

Individual Operational holder: If the holding is being operated either by one person or by a group of persons who are the members of the same household, such holding will be considered as an individual holding.

Joint Operational holder: If two or more persons belonging to different households share jointly as partners in the technical and economic responsibility for the practice of an agricultural holding, such holding will be considered as joint holding.

Institutional Operational holder: Holdings such as government farms, farms of sugarcane factories, cooperative farms, lands managed by trusts would be treated as institutional holdings.

Size classes and Size groups of Holdings:




Classes (in Ha.)





Below 0.5 ha

0.5<1.0 ha




1.0<2.0 ha





2.0<3.0 ha

3.0<4.0 ha






4.0<5.0 ha

6.0<7.5 ha

7.5<10.0 ha





10.0<20.0 ha

and above


  • The highest number of operational holders belonged to Uttar Pradesh followed by Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and in a total of 146.45 million operational holdings in the country, 
  • Compared to the 1.15-hectare average size of operational holding in 2010-11 has declined to 1.08-hectare in 2015-16.
  • The share of female operational holders has increased from 12.79% in 2010-11 to 13.96% in 2015-16
  • The small and marginal holdings taken together (0.00-2.00 hectare) constituted 86.08% of the total holdings in 2015-16.
  • As per the latest data, women participation in the farming sector with an overall increase of small and medium land holding farmers and tillers.
  • Agricultural Census showed a decline of 1.53% of the total operated area to 157.14 million hectares as compared to 159.59 million ha in 2010-11 data & in terms of operated area participation of women increased from previous 10.36% to 11.57%
  • By the number of people tilling the land, Uttar Pradesh topped the chart followed by Bihar and Maharashtra.
  • According to Agricultural Census in terms of total operated area: Rajasthan comes first followed by Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • The total operational holdings aggregate to over 146 million hectares an increase of 5.33 per cent from 138 million in 2010-11.
  • Goa has witnessed the sharpest fall and Manipur had the lowest in a number of operational holdings.
  • In terms of the operated area, 14 states hold for 88.08% of operational holdings. They are West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and Kerala. 
  • Comparing this to the farmers holding 10 hectares and more account for just 0.57% and had a share of 9.04 per cent in the operated area.
  • Semi-medium and medium operational holdings (2-10 ha) in 2015-16 were 13.22 per cent, with 43.61 per cent of the operated area.
  • The individual, joint and institutional operational holder have shown growth of 5.04%, 7.07% and 10.88%, respectively.
  • The average size of farm holding was the lowest in Kerala at (0.18 hectare) and the highest in Nagaland at (5.06 hectares). 

Other Important UPSC Notes