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NSSO Report 70th Round – Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in India

I have listed down the highlights of NSSO Report. It is a useful data-set – status of agricultural households, their diversifying income sources, access to financial products etc. You need not remember the figures. You need to get an idea, what the situation is.

Household type – Rural India has an estimated 90.2 million agricultural households— about 57.8% of the total estimated rural households in the country. An agricultural household was defined in the survey as a household receiving value of produce of more than Rs.3,000 from agriculture with at least one member self-employed in farming. What does this mean ? Around 58% of rural households are involved in agricultural activities. 40% make a living out of non-farming economic activities.Under the Census, any area not urban is deemed to be rural. What does this indicate? Farm sector’s share to GDP might keep falling even though rural area will have less of agriculture.

Marginal Landholding The percentage of landless households in rural India declined. Marginal landholdings rose. This is likely because of MGNREGS which probably dissuaded farming households from selling their land. This highlights the importance of MGNREGS.

For marginal land owning families wage and salary employment was their principal source of income and not agriculture. Income from rearing livestock also is a significant component of total income.

Income – Average monthly income per agricultural households around Rs. 6500. Farmers are earning less than even the person employed in the lowest rung of organized sector.

Debt Level – Debt levels are very high. Nearly 52% of agricultural households in India are indebted , with levels of debt as high as 90% in AP.

Access to Loans and Insurance – There is high dependence on non- institutional channels for credit. Loans are sourced from informal sources or moneylenders. The penetration of institutional sources like banks and cooperatives is rather low – only about 15%. Marginal landholdings households face maximum problem to access credit. Farm households are oblivious of crop insurance schemes that can help them hedge their production and income risks.

Information about Government’s operations – Households are poorly informed of government procurement operations & MSP . Sale of crops is maximum to private procurement agencies. Farmers are unacquainted with new technologies . They do not receive adequate guidance from state run research institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and agricultural universities. There is considerable dependence on other progressive farmers, radio, private commercial agents.

By seeing the findings of the report, it is clear that the agriculture sector which sustains half the country is still out of the radar of government policy. It is, therefore, imperative that government policies should aim at boosting farm income, not farm production alone.

Some Gyaan about NSSO.

  • National Sample Survey Organisation, established in 1950
  • Functions under the aegis of  Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • Main task to conduct socio economic surveys.
  • Note, that Census is conducted by Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner under Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

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