(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.
- A number of measures have been suggested to increase production,
productivity, farm profits and farmers' income. Prominent among these are
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.