Need for diversification of jobs

  • Recent survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey) shows that the average monthly income of rural households is Rs. 8,059, with agricultural households deriving only 43% of their income from agriculture. Most of it is from providing daily wage labour and government jobs.
  • Reducing the dependence of rural masses on agriculture will help improve the overall income of the rural population
  • The government has sought to double farmer income by raising minimum support prices, but such initiatives would apply directly only to 48% of rural India, with non-agricultural households being left behind
  • Diversification, away from marginal farming, helps to overcome land constraint to income growth, while allowing farmers to cope with exogenous shocks through additional income.
  • It even allows them to reinvest in productivity enhancing agricultural technologies.
  • Conversation on raising farmer income needs to embrace non-farm diversification, an important pathway for empowering landless labourers and marginal farmers.
  • It helps overcome the disguised unemployment which has raised the labour cost in other sectors due to poor supply of labour.
  • According to the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labour force survey (PLFS) report showed a collapse in agricultural jobs as a key reason behind rising unemployment, particularly in the rural parts of the country.
  • The proportion of people, in the working age group, employed in agriculture fell by 8 percentage points for rural men and 9.3 percentage points for rural women, an analysis of the NSSO’s PLFS report for 2017-18.
  • The share of agriculture in rural output is 39%, whereas the rest is contributed by the manufacturing, construction and services sectors.