(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Rural livelihood and role of employment [MARCH-2020]

(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Rural livelihood and role of employment


Rural livelihood and role of employment


  • Recently published Economic Survey 2019-20 reflected on the various challenges faced by rural farm and non-farm sectors, particularly rural and agriculture finance, adequate insurance coverage, irrigation facility, market access of products, etc.
  • It underscored the importance of agriculture and rural development in achieving the objective of inclusive growth as agriculture and allied sectors contributed 16.5 per cent to the Gross Value Added of the country at current prices in 2019-20. In this backdrop, this article attempts to explain the inbuilt policy direction and socio-economic intent of Gol by discussing a few agriculture and rural livelihood and employment related focus areas as prioritised in the Budget 2020-21.

Budget Allocation to Priority Areas:

  • The Budget emphasized its goal to achieve the objective of doubling farmers' income by 2022 and rolled out, inter alia, a 16-point agenda to ensure a quick agriculture-led rural economic growth, allocating resources to important livelihood and rural infrastructure initiatives. An amount of Rs. 1.6 lakh crore was earmarked for agriculture, irrigation and allied activities and Rs. 1.23 lakh crore for rural development and Panchayati Raj. Such resource allocations aim at stimulating economic growth along with job creation, income and wealth generation as well as enhancement of overall consumption demand in rural India.
  • Incremental, planned, participatory and schematic investments in rural areas, improved buyers demand and equitable job creation in rural areas can be the growth engines of rural economy.
  • The Budget has vowed to facilitate implementation of model laws such as
  • Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act (LLA), 2016;
  • Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act (APLMA) 2017; and
  • Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services Act (APLCFSA) 2018 in consultation with State Governments to give a big push to the agriculture sector.

Measures taken:

  • A number of measures have been suggested to increase production, productivity, farm profits and farmers' income. Prominent among these are directed towards;
  • To reducing water stress by comprehensive water planning;
  • To promoting balanced use of fertilisers;
  • To strengthening operation green initiatives though promotion and nurturing of FPOs in agriculture and fisheries;
  • To establishing and enhancing agri-logistic facilities like agri-warehousing, cold storage, reefer vans,
  • To mapping and geo-tagging existing agri-logistics and ensuring viability funding for setting up sew infrastructure at taluka level through public-private partnerships;
  • To enhancing holding capacity and reducing logistic costs of farmers through construction and operation of community-led village storages;
  • To connecting unconnected areas, building and sustaining a national cold supply chain through Kisan Rail and Krishi Udaan, To promoting organic farming;
  • To integrating e-negotiable warehousing receipts with e-NAM;
  • To developing fodder farms through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA);
  • To developing, promoting and making profitable fisheries sector through collectivised effort;
  • To double milk processing capacity by 2025; and To enhance farm credit target to Rs. 15 lakh crore.

Livelihoods and Employment through Rural Development:

  • The wage and self-employment generation Programmes are always perceived to be effective in a rural set-up which is otherwise riddled with high incidence of poverty, low work participation and increased casualisation of labour.
  • Raising a professional cadre of quality experts at the community level would ensure outcome-based public works planning and monitoring under MGNREGA so as to ensure the objectives of
  • To ensuring livelihood security through creation of permanent and durable community assets; and
  • To expand irrigation potential through MGNREGA works.

National Rural Livelihood Mission:

  • NRLM has two important self-employment schematic interventions viz. DeenDayalUpadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY)and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – NationalRural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM).
  • The village entrepreneurship development approach ofDAY-NRLM is aimed at creating a catalytic local entrepreneurial ecosystem and encouraging the rural unemployed youth to take up local enterprises on their own. Focus on mobilization of more SHGs, taking their support services for creation and operation of rural warehouses and other agri-logistics would help improve rural livelihoods and income by converging rural development efforts with agri-infrastructure.

The New and innovative rural enterprises scheduled to be established under NRLM during 20-21 will

  • To ensure financial inclusion of SHGs & farmers;
  • To increase household income;
  • To assure training,
  • placements to the millions of rural youths; and
  • To facilitate farm logistics at community level.


  • The 16-point agenda of the Budget is the need of the hour. This, inter alia, includes minimizing risks in agriculture through coverage of insurance; timely, adequate, equitable financing spread in agriculture and rural sector; building agri-logistic infrastructure; ensuring agri-supply chain; expanding irrigation facilities and promoting sustainable agronomic practices; use of solar power; collectivisation of farming through farmer collectives (FPOs andSHGs); and emphasising convergence of efforts of Ministries/Departments for improved rural livelihoods and employment.
  • While MGNREGA implementation requires professionalisation of community-based and outcome-oriented works planning and their transparent implementation  nevertheless appropriate diversification of economic activities and their convergence with training, skill development and placement-oriented programmes of government departments right upto the village level are the need of the hour to makeNRLM a successful and sustainable entrepreneurial intervention in the rural areas.


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Courtesy: Kurukshetra