Tenant Farmer Share Cropper & Oral Lessee

Tenant Farmer, Share Cropper & Oral Lessee

Tenant farmer

Tenant farmer is a person who farms land owned by another and pays rent in cash or in a share of the crops or combination of both.

Tenant farming is an agricultural system in which landowners contribute their land, operating capital and management while tenants contribute their labour with various amounts of capital and management. Depending on the contract, returns to the owner may be in the form of a share in the product, or in cash, or in a combination of both.


It is a form of tenant farming in which the landowner furnished all the capital and most other inputs and the tenants contributed their labour. In the case of sharecropping, tenant receives his portion as a share. He has to give a share to the landowner, which is pre decided.

In share cropping both, the tenant and the landowner, take the risk of harvest, while the tenant farming gives the total risk to the tenant, as the landowner receives a fixed amount of crop or a tax for his land.

Key Differences

  • Tenants may be tenant farmer or share croppers or say tenants may be engaged in both share cropping and tenant farming.
  • In tenant farming, generally tenants live on the same land and do agricultural operations for a given period and get returns as money or fixed amount of produce or combination of both.
    In sharecropping, tenants have to give a pre-decided share to the landowner. He also receives portion as a share.
  • Generally, In Tenant farming, total risk is with tenants as landowner receives fixed amount of share or tax for his land. In share cropping, both tenants and landowner take the risk.

Who is Oral Lessee?

An oral lessee is a tenant farmer who cultivates crops on land that they do not own. These farmers are not the actual land holders, but they cultivate crops on the lands of those who have migrated. 

Problems with Tenant farmers & Oral Lessee

  • Oral lessees often face difficulties to get credit facilities from banks because they do not have the required papers of the land. Hence are also unable to get the benefits of subsidies and agricultural insurance due to lack of land papers.
  • Tenant farmers are mostly marginal farmers and landless laborers. They often face difficulties in case of natural disasters like floods and droughts that affects the production.

Read also…
Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium


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