What do we think about rural India? It’s all about agriculture and all the income for livelihood comes from agriculture. Isn’t it? But a report from NABARD will keep you in shock.
AGRICULTURE GENERATES not even a quarter of rural household incomes in India. Even for so-called agricultural households, just over 43 per cent of their average income comes from cultivation of crops and rearing of animals, according to the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development’s (NABARD) All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17. The NABARD survey estimates the total number of rural households in India for 2016-17 at 21.17 crore. The definition of “rural” is a broad one, covering revenue villages and semi-urban centres with a population of less than 50,000. Out of the 21.17 crore rural households, 10.07 crore, or under 48 per cent, are “agricultural” — those with at least one member self-employed in farming and reporting annual value of produce at more than Rs 5,000. The remaining 11.10 crore households or 52 per cent are “non-agricultural”.
The National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) survey reckoned the average monthly net income of agricultural households in India for 2012-13 at Rs 6,426. That figure in the NABARD survey for 2015-16 is Rs 8,931, an increase of 39 per cent over three years. A doubling of incomes would require this to go up to Rs 17,862 by 2021-22, the target date set by the Narendra Modi – led National Democratic Alliance government. It is significant to note that the doubling is with reference to agricultural household incomes, which could be from both farm and non-farm sources.