(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Accelerating Economic Growth in Villages

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Accelerating Economic Growth in Villages


Accelerating Economic Growth in Villages


Self Sufficiency in Indian villages first propounded in India by Sir Charies Metcalfe in 1830. Mahatma Gandhi conceptualised ‘Gram Swaraj’ in a realistic manner and envisioned the concept of an ideal village a complete republic independent of its neighbours for its vital needs.

Key highlights: 

  • Analysis by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, and international Food Policy Research Institute indicate that developing countries with rapid agricultural growth had the largest reduction in poverty rates and incidence of undernourishment. 
  • There is a need for more investment in terms of money and technology in agriculture as one per cent per annum increase in agricultural growth, on an average, feeds to a 2.7 percent increase in the income of people in the lowest three income deciles in the developing countries, investment in agriculture is 2.5 to
  • Financial Support in the Rural Areas Development in the rural areas should take into consideration the budgetary allocations to ‘Rural Economy’ by the Union and State Governments which include expenditure under agriculture and allied activities, rural development, fertiliser subsidy, irrigation, health, education and cooperation. 
  • A study on prioritization of investment opportunities also suggested that investment in education and health in rural areas significantly contribute in reducing poverty and increasing agricultural growth.

Skill Building in Rural Areas

  • Villages require revitalisation with the infusion of skills and technologies to generate meaningful employment so as to make rural areas a better place to live and work. 
  • Rural economy can receive a boost by ensuring suitable livelihood opportunities during the lean period to the agricultural workers and farmers. Employability has become heavily dependent on upskilling to cater to the demands of the evolving, knowledge-intensive economy.
  • Currently, the Central Government is implementing three schemes for employment generation- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojara (DDU-GKY) and Skill development through Rural Self Employment and Training Institutes (RSETIs).

Need for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Industries for Non-Farm Sector Jobs

  • Growth in rural areas should be driven by agriculture-based industrialisation, which may gradually shift to the non-farm sector. 
  • It will require investment in post-harvest rural activities, such as agro-processing, packaging, cold storage, cold chains and transport.
  • A strong linkage between farm and non-farm sectors needs to be developed for augmenting income and creating jobs in rural areas. 
  • Such a linkage will help the farm sector to produce market-driven commodities, reduce transportation costs, receive remunerative prices at farm gate, and minimise farm waste. 
  • The role of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will be very critical in developing rural industrialisation to strengthen the village economy. 

Special Focus Needed on Forest Fringe Villages

  • Forest Survey of India (2019) estimated that roughly 26 per cent of the total 6,50,000 villages can be classified as forest fringe villages, where forests fulfil significant socio-cultural and livelihood needs. 
  • As per the report, these villages were home to around 22 per cent of the country’s total population and almost 60-70 per cent income of the forest dwellers depends on, the collection and sale of minor forest produce (MFP) which is part of their subsistence-level income.
  • It is estimated that about 300 million tribal and other local people depend on forests for their subsistence and livelihood, India has an estimated diversity of 3,000 plant species, from which MFP is derived by the tribal people and other forest dwellers.

Way forward: 

  • Providers of farming supplies such as agro chemicals, fertilisers, and seeds are also using such smart technologies to strengthen farming economy. There are over 1,000 such agritech startups that are assisting farmers in improving farming techniques. 
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has developed the YONO Krishi app to meet farmers’ finance, inputs, and advisory needs. Another important multinational with major stake in agriculture Indian Tobacco Company is using its e-Choupal network to expand direct-from-farm procurement over the past 20 years. 
  • It has now launched a super app- ITC MAARS (Meta Market for Advanced Agricultural Rural Services) to boost farmers’ income and efficient procurement of Agri products by providing agricultural and related services to farmers on a digital platform.


  • To bring prosperity to our rural landscape, we need to adopt the concept of Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) given by former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, it calls for urban infrastructure and services to be developed in rural hubs to create economic opportunities outside of urban areas. These include better road network, education, health, drinking water, power, sanitation and social safety net.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra