Skip to main content

NSSO suggests Gujarat cultivators’ income is worse than national average

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 follow. 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. The argument goes on: 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 in December 2014 by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in its report, “Key Indicators of Situation of Agricultural Households in India”, suggest that, notwithstanding claims of “big” agricultural growth (something which is being disputed by some experts on the ground of choice of abnormal year as base for calculating growth), 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 was less than 11 other states. The highest monthly net receipt from cultivation per household was registered by Punjab (Rs 10,862), which was 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 policy makers is that, households in poorer states registered a higher net receipt from cultivation than Gujarat – it was 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 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 earned 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 this activity. Even Punjab’s average households earned less than that of Gujarat – Rs 1,658.
Based on NSSO’s 70th round, the report has found 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 milk cooperative movement), 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 percentage 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 per household per month come to 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). It is also interesting 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 are making a much higher consumption expenditure in agriculture compared to several 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).

Comments

TRENDING

There is need to distinguish between RT-PCR positives and clinical cases of Covid-19

Insisting on the need to distinguish between RT-PCR positives and clinical cases of Covid-19, an open letter by 20 doctors and medical professionals: *** Firstly the virus has gone through the Indian population enough and is now well established as an endemic infection which shall keep causing flu like illness in only few people as most will not even develop severe symptoms. The ICMR had already called for the suspension of testing anyone not having any symptoms (Jan 2022). Children have been shown to tackle the virus much easier than adults. Children also do not pass Covid infection to others that easily as adults do to children. Schools have opened and no single outbreak or incidences of severe disease have been documented. Therefore healthy children must not be tested for Covid anymore unless the treating doctor in hospitalised cases requires it. Calling people (children or adults) with RT-PCR positive report as “cases” is faulty. A “case” is a person who has disease and presents wi

Musician and follower of Dr Ambedkar? A top voilinist has this rare combination!

Some time back, a human rights defender, Vidya Bhushan Rawat, who frequently writes for Counterview, forwarded to me a video interview with Guru Prabhakar Dhakade, calling him one of India's well known violinists.  Dhakade is based in Nagpur and has devoted his life for the Hindustani classical music. A number of his disciples have now been part of Hindi cinema world in Mumbai, says Rawat. He has performed live in various parts of the country as well as abroad. What however attracted me was Dhakade's assertions in video about Dr BR Ambedkar, India's undisputed Dalit icon. Recorded several years back at his residence and music school in Nagpur, Dhakade not only speaks candidly about issues he faced, but that he is a believer in Dr Ambedkar's philosophy. It is in this context that Dhakade narrates his problems, even as stating that he is determined to achieve his goal. A violinist and a follower of Ambedkar? This was new to me. Rarely do musicians are found to take a

Define Dalit not by caste but action, belief; include all who oppose inequality

By Ajaz Ashraf* Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan’s endeavour has been to redefine the term Dalit and delink it from caste, best exemplified by the headline to this interview. An academician of repute, he financed his studies by working as wage labour. During his college days, he joined a group of non-Dalit intellectuals, comprising a professor each from the Christian, Parsi, Muslim and upper caste Hindu communities, to work with Dalits. Their work invited a backlash. On 25 January 1986, the reactionary landlords of the Darbar community in Golana village, Anand district, gunned down four of his colleagues, wounded another 18 and set houses on fire. This prompted Macwan to establish the Navsarjan Trust, which aims to skill Dalits and expand their consciousness regarding the systemic oppression of which they are principal victims. On 25 January 2002, on the anniversary of the Golana massacre , he led a march through rural Gujarat. His experience of the march had him write a book wherein