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Problems in Rural Livelihoods - Polity NCERT Notes for UPSC

Jan 25, 2023

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A livelihood is a means of making a living. It encompasses people’s capabilities, assets, income and activities required to secure the necessities of life. The livelihoods of people are dependent on a different farm and non-farm activities.

This article will help you understand Rural Livelihoods in detail and other crucial points pertaining to it. Read further to give an extra edge to your UPSC CSE preparation

Problems in Rural livelihoods

  • Crop failure: It can be due to bad quality seeds, pests attack, and lack of rain in monsoon etc.
  • Debt Trap: Very often farmers need to borrow money to purchase basic things like seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. They borrow this money from moneylenders and falls in debt trap. 
  • Failure in loan repayment: When crop fails, farmers sometimes are unable to pay back their loans and for survival may even have to borrow more money. 
  • Farmer suicides: In recent years, failure of loan repayment has become a major cause of distress among farmers and resulted in many farmers committing suicide.
  • Seasonal occupation: Farming depend on nature for the growth of different crops. Hence, life revolves around certain seasons. People are busy during sowing and harvesting and less so at other times.

Agricultural Labourers and Farmers in India

  • In India, nearly two out of every five rural families are agricultural labourer families. 
  • All of them depend on the work they do on other people's fields to earn a living. 
  • Many of them are landless and others may own very small plots of land. 
  • In the case of small farmers, their land is barely enough to meet their needs. In India, 80 per cent of farmers belong to this group

Also Read: Panchayati Raj System in India - Polity NCERT Notes for UPSC

Rural livelihoods

  • Farm Activities: The main occupation is farming. Working on farms involves operations such as preparing the land, sowing, weeding and harvesting of crops.
  • Non-Farm Activities: 
    • Many people in rural areas depend upon collection from the forest, animal husbandry, dairy produce, fishing etc. For example, in some villages in central India, both farming and collection from the forest are important sources of livelihood.
    • Collecting mahua, tendu leaves, honey is an important source of additional income. 
    • In the coastal areas, we find fishing villages. 

Interesting Points

  • Nearly two-fifth of all rural families are agricultural labourers in our country.
  • Terrace Farming in Nagaland: In a village called Chizami in Phek district in Nagaland, people belonging to the Chakhesang community do 'terrace' cultivation. 
  • Terrace Cultivation: Land on a hill slope is made into flat plots and carved out in steps. The sides of each plot are raised in order to retain water. This allows water to stand in the field. This allows water to stand in the field, which is best for rice cultivation.

Also Read: Constitution of India

What are the problems faced by the people in the villages in rural livelihood in India?

Here are majorly problems :

Crop failure

Debt trap

Failure in loan repayment

Farmer suicide

Seasonal occupation

What are the problems in rural India?

Many people are landless and own small plots of land. 80 percent of farmers in rural areas belong to this group. 

What are rural livelihoods?

A livelihood is a means of making a living and rural livelihood is a means of making a living in rural areas. 

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