Skip to main content

Gujarat: Dilemma of low income from agriculture

By Rajiv Shah
There have been loud claims, which continue to be made till date, that agricultural growth in Gujarat has been a “success story”, which other states must emulate. It is also suggested that Gujarat’s agricultural growth rose from 3.3 per cent per annum in the 1990s to nearly 9 per cent over the last one decade – notwithstanding claims by some experts who say the problem is with the choice of a wrong base year. The argument runs of following lines: Gujarat has written the success story despite facing challenges like depletion of water tables, deterioration of soil and water conditions due to salinity ingress along the sea coast, irregularity of rainfall, and recurrent drought. However, few have sought to see what impact has it made on the actual income of the agriculturists of Gujarat, and how much they have gained vis-à-vis other states. Now, new figures released this month by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in its report, “Key Indicators of Situation of Agricultural Households in India”, suggest that net incomes from agricultural cultivation remain less than the national average.
Based on the survey carried out between January 2013 and December 2013, the NSSO report has found that, in the agricultural season starting in July 2012 and ending in June 2013, average monthly net receipt from cultivation per agricultural household was Rs 2,933, which was less than the national average, Rs 3,081. Ranking No 12 in a list of 21 major Indian states, this is less than 11 other states. The highest monthly income from cultivation per household was registered by Punjab (Rs 10,862), which is thrice that of Gujarat, followed by Haryana (Rs 7,867), Karnataka (Rs 4,930), and Telangana (Rs 4,227). What should be of particular concern to Gujarat policy makers is, households in poorer states registered a higher net income from cultivation than Gujarat – Rs 4,211 in Assam, Rs 4,016 in Madhya Pradesh, Rs 3,347 in Chhattisgarh, and Rs 3,138 in Rajasthan.
Interestingly, the data suggest that those farmers involved in animal husbandry – an activity in which Gujarat has been traditionally strong because of the powerful Amul cooperative movement launched several decades ago – are able to get much better net receipts compared to almost all major Indian states. The NSSO in its report has identified this category as “farming of animals.” Thus, as against the national average of just about Rs 763 per month per household under this head, Gujarat’s farmers’ net income was a whopping Rs 1,930 from rearing livestock. This is better compared to all other states, except Haryana, whose rural households earned Rs 2,645 per month per household from livestock activity. Even Punjab’s average households earned less than that of Gujarat – Rs 1,658.
Based on NSSO’s 70th round, the report has further revealed that there are a total of 39,30,500 agricultural households in Gujarat, out of which 58.4 per cent are involved in cultivation, which is considerably less than the national average (63.5 per cent). However, what is more interesting is that, Gujarat’s nine per cent agricultural households – next only to Haryana (9.1 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (10.2 per cent) – are involved in livestock activities (thanks again to the white revolution), as against the all-India average of just 3.7 per cent. At the same time, the survey seems to suggest that there has been considerable marginalization of the farming community in Gujarat compared to most Indian states, with a large number of per cent of families dependent on wage labour for survival.
Thus, as against the national average of 22 per cent agricultural households involved in wage earning as their primary means for eking a livelihood, in Gujarat it was 26.7 per cent, which is higher than most states but six – Rajasthan (33.4 per cent), Punjab (31.9 per cent), Kerala (29.9 per cent), Tamil Nadu (29.3 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (28 per cent), and West Bengal (26.8 per cent). Average wages in agriculture per household per month were Rs 2,683 in Gujarat, as against the national average of Rs 2,071. There aren’t many states where agricultural households earn more than Gujarat’s, either – these are Jammu & Kashmir (Rs 7,336), Kerala (Rs 5,254), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 4,030), Haryana (Rs 3,491), and Tamil Nadu (Rs 2,902).
Also of interest is the fact that very few agricultural households in Gujarat – just about 3.7 per cent of the total – are involved in non-agricultural rural enterprises. This is against the national average of 4.7 per cent. Here, Kerala leading with 13.4 per cent of households.
While there is no explanation available anywhere, including in the NSSO report, as to why Gujarat’s income from cultivation is lower than as many as 11 other states, from available indications, this could be because Gujarat’s farmers may be making much higher consumption expenditure in agriculture compared to other states. As against the all-India average of Rs 6,223 per household per month, the average Gujarat household made a consumption expenditure of Rs 7,672, which is higher than most states, except four – Punjab (Rs 13,311), Kerala (Rs 11,008), Haryana (Rs 10,637), and Jammu & Kashmir (Rs 9,017).
---
This article was first published HERE 

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.