Agriculture Census 2010-2011 : Introduction
Since 1970-71, Agricultural Censuses have been conducted in India regularly at five yearly intervals to meet demands of data for planning of agricultural sector and also to meet the requirements of World Census of Agriculture organized decennially by Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Prior to 1970-71, National Sample Survey Organization, Ministry of Planning in 1950-51 and 1960-61, conducted sample surveys. Though, the information collected through these surveys were broadly the same as that in the present Agricultural Census, these surveys were not able to provide estimates at lower administrative levels such as districts or tehsils due to inadequate sampling proportions. Keeping in view the importance of data on structural aspects of agriculture and the periodicity of Five Year Plans, National Commission on Agriculture recommended conducting of Agricultural Censuses at five yearly intervals.
The architects of Agricultural Census thought it prudent to build the design of Agricultural Census by taking advantage of existing system of land records in the country. These land records relate to record of ownership of land and season-wise area enumeration for crops. Such detailed land records are maintained in about 87% of the operated area of the country. In the remaining 13% area of the country falling in the States like north-eastern States, West Bengal, Kerala, Orissa, an approach of household inquiry is followed.