Skip to main content

Punjab's farmers, except big ones, earning less than what they are forced to spend: Study

By Rajiv Shah
Rural Punjab may be richer compared to the rest of India's rural areas, but a recent study has raised the alarm that, except for big farmers, all other categories – marginal, small, semi-medium and medium in accordance with their farmsize – are forced to spend more than what they actually earn. Titled “Levels of Living of Farmers and Agricultural Labourers in Rural Punjab”, the study insists, the result is, “Large sections of the farm households have been facing a great deal of distress and increased debt burden.”
Carried out by mainly by Punjabi University scholars Gian Singh, Anupama, Rupinder Kaur and Gurinder Kaur, and Sukhveer Kaur of the Dashmesh Khalsa College, Zirakpur, and published in the “Journal of Rural Development”, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad, the study states that “average propensity to consume comes to 1.15 for an average farm household”, suggesting that their income less than their spending.
According to the study, the propensity to consume is the highest (1.35) among the marginal farm-size category, and decreases as farm-size increases. Thus, it says, “An average household incurs an annual deficit of Rs 43,940.95. The highest deficit of Rs 64,459.08 is incurred by the small farmsize category, followed by the marginal, semi-medium and medium farm-size categories.” It underlines, only “the large farm-size category has a surplus of Rs 66,533.35.”
Income of various category of farmers vs expenditure
As for the farm workers,the average propensity to consume per household comes to 1.12, with an average agricultural labour household incurring an annual deficit of Rs 9,427.17. “This”, states the study, “Implies that agricultural labour households try to maintain a minimum level of consumption and whether they can afford it or not.” The result is, an average amount of debt per agricultural labour household comes to Rs 54,709.30.
Based on a primary survey in three Punjab districts, Mansa, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur with a sample size of 1,007 farm households and 301 agricultural labour households in 27 villages, the study shows that the annual income earned is Rs 1,39,365.27, Rs 2,22,992.32, Rs 3,69,432.68, Rs 5,66,407.60 and Rs 12,02,780.38 for each household with marginal, small, semi-medium, medium and large farm-size categories, and Rs 81,452.17 for an agricultural labour household.
However, when it comes to consumption expenditure, the households belonging to the large farm-size category record it at Rs 11,36,247.03, which is less than the income. On the other hand, it says, “The annual consumption expenditure for the marginal, small, semi-medium and medium farm-size categories has been recorded at Rs 1,88,523.14, Rs 2,87,451.40, Rs 4,05,573.08 and Rs 5,97,275.52, respectively”. As for an average agricultural labour household, it is Rs 90,897.37.
Pointing out that “the consumption expenditure of the large farm-size category is found to be 6.03 times the consumption expenditure of the marginal farm-size category and 12.5 times the consumption expenditure of the agricultural labour households”, the study says, while the “an average sampled farm household spends 40.29 per cent on the nondurable items”, the marginal farm-size category “spends the maximum, i.e., 50.38 per cent of total consumption expenditure on such items.”
With an annual consumption expenditure of Rs 90,897.37, an average agricultural labour household, on the other hand, spends 56.63 per cent on the non-durable items, of which foodgrains comes to 14.06 per cent, followed by milk and milk products and clothing 11.56 per cent and 5.58 per cent, respectively, and 18.62 per cent on services, especially healthcare (8.72 per cent) and education (4.39 per cent).
As for the expenditure on conveyance, entertainment and communication, which include socio-religious ceremonies if the agricultural labour household spends 16.43 per cent. On the other hand, if the expenditure on socioreligious ceremonies alone account for 18.22 per cent for an average farm household, its proportion is a high 32.09 per cent among the large farm-size category.
While four-fifths of all agricultural households are under debt, and the average amount of debt per sampled farm household is Rs 4,74,215.99, with the amount of indebtedness going up with each farmsize, the amount of debt per acre owned tells the real story: It is the highest among the marginal farmers (Rs 1.41 lakh), followed by small farmers (Rs 1.21 lakh), semi-medium farmers (Rs 82,000), medium farmers (Rs 63,000), and large farmers (Rs 58,000).

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.