26 Aug 2014

Employment & Regional Disparities in Agriculture : An Analysis !

Agriculture-growth-GDP-India
Agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy, contributing 13.7% to national GDP and providing employment to more than half of the population. Indian economy witnessed a colossal change in the last three decades. External reform measures were adopted during mid-80’s followed by the comprehensive economic liberalisation in 1991. 

We observed declining dependence on the traditional agricultural sector along with a structural change. After liberalisation, the employment growth in India has increased from one percent per annum to nearly 3 percent. These remarkable changes may have impact on economically and socially disadvantaged groups, especially, farmers. Agriculture in India defines familial tradition, social relations and gender roles. Farmer in the agricultural sector, whether through traditional means or industrial, for subsistence or as an agricultural laborer, represents a momentous demographic group. Agriculture is directly tied to issues such as economic independence, decision-making abilities, agency and access to education and health services and this manner has created externalities such as poverty and marginalization, and compounded issues of wage inequality.

This study mainly focuses on two issues
1. Employment in Agriculture.
2. Regional disparities in Agricultural Wages.
Employment in Agriculture:

Agriculture-growth-GDP-India
        Data from various NSSO rounds was taken and it was found that employment in agriculture is decreasing for both male and female over the years. But decrease in male is more than female. Migration rate to non-farm employment is high for men than women. This may be due to the fact that male members more liberty in society and have high opportunity to migrate to other occupations. This indicate high rate of migration to non-farm employment for male laborers.

Table 3: Employment in Agriculture

NSSO Round
Male (percent)
Female  (percent)
32nd (1977-78)
80.6
88.1
38th (1983-84)
77.5
87.5
43rd (1987-88)
74.5
84.7
50th (1993-94)
74.1
86.2
55th (1999-00)
71.4
85.4
61st (2004-05)
66.5
83.3
66th (2009-10)
62.8
79.4
68th (2011-12)
59.4
74.9

Workers-sex-ratio-in-Indian-states

Regional Disparities in Agricultural Wage:

Regional disparities in agricultural wages are one the major problem of Indian agriculture. The major factors responsible for wage discrimination across regions are economic status of area and government policies. States like Kerala and Punjab are above in pace of development whereas states like Bihar and Orissa are far below them. So developed states are showing high level of real wages and developing states low level. These disparities can be overcome by same developing each state, which can be done by effective and efficient government policies. Data from Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Agricultural Wages in India (different issues) Ministry of Agriculture, was taken from 2005-06 to 2009-10. This nominal wage data was converted into real wage data using Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour (CPIAL). 2005-06 was taken as base year.

Data for 14 major states was taken for male agricultural labour (field labour/ploughman). Growth rate and coefficient of variation was calculated for different states.

Main findings of the analysis are:

  Punjab, Haryana & Kerala showed a high average level of real money wages.
 Odisha, Madhya Pradesh & Bihar showed low level of real money wages.
  Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh & Maharashtra showed negative growth rate.
  Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu showed high growth rate.
  West Bengal, Karnataka, Haryana showed low growth rate.

Women-Participation-in-world-india-countries

Table 7: Real wages for male agricultural labour (field labour/ploughman)
                                                                                        (Base year: 2005-06)
States
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
Growth rate
Andhra Pradesh
61.7
63.79
73.53
82.42
86.22
39.7
Bihar
63.06
69.34
62.12
73.07
69.4
10.1
Gujarat
98.15
89.14
81.06
87.66
80.03
-18.5
Haryana
116.44
107.18
110.68
127.30
127.74
9.7
Karnataka
67.89
67.11
65.82
84.83
73.35
8.0
Kerala
218.4
234.09
247.70
236.80
244.21
11.8
Madhya Pradesh
55.24
53.71
55.06
62.36
64.61
17.0
Maharashtra
51.19
46
56.22
51.13
-
-0.1
Odisha
50.09
62.44
46.00
49.21
56.00
11.8
Punjab
95.52
88.50
86.69
100.01
124.67
30.5
Rajasthan
67.43
98.98
101.49
97.17
96.68
43.4
Tamil Nadu
76.71
65.82
73.68
74.92
100.10
30.5
Uttar Pradesh
79.09
56.29
70.90
73.36
72.40
-8.5
West Bengal
78.69
81.59
84.30
85.50
82.30
4.6
C.V.
51.1
55.0
57.1
50.4
49.7


GDP-growth-chart-India

Conclusion:

The overall conclusions of the study are:

Labour participation in agriculture has decreased over the years. Female labour participation was high in agriculture as compare to male because male has comparatively higher opportunities in non-farm jobs so has high migration rate. States like Punjab, Haryana & Kerala showed a high average level of real money wages. Odisha, Madhya Pradesh & Bihar showed low level of real money wags. Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu showed high growth rate. West Bengal, Karnataka, Haryana showed low growth rate.
References:
Ghatak, S. (2012), Regional and Gender Disparities in Agricultural Wages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
National Sample Survey Office (various issues), Employment and Unemployment Situations in India, MoSPI, Government of India.
DES (various issues), Agricultural Wages in India, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
How much important is agriculture growth in India’s GDP?

How India can overcome such regional disparities in efficient way?

What can be done to make Indian Agriculture system more advanced?
What are the real problems of Indian Agriculture system and how those could be resolved?
(Written by Bhoopesh Punera, currently Research Fellow at IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute), New Delhi)







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