IIT Madras research identifies barriers to rural community adopting non-farming jobs

Lack of education, skill, credit constraint and poor access to social capital prevents rural communities from adopting non-farming careers: IITM research

IIT Madras research identifies barriers to rural community adopting non-farming jobs IIT Madras (Image: IITM)
Abhiraj P | Jun 16, 2022 - 3:24 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have identified that lack of education and skill, credit constraint and poor access to social capital is preventing Indian rural communities from adopting a non-farming occupation even when agriculture is not providing them with a sustainable livelihood.

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The farm income and land assets negatively affect diversification, and the household size helps the members of the rural community to get into non-farming activities, the IIT Madras research revealed. The researchers recommended the implementation of educational policies such as the Samagra Shiksha and training programs such as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana for helping the rural communities to take up non-farming jobs.

The research suggests that micro-financing and composite finance services will help in removing the financial barriers to rural job diversification. It called for Regional Rural Banks to undertake such initiatives. The study further says that awareness through mobile phones will promote non-farming occupations among the rural community, resulting in increased participation.

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The research was undertaken by Sabuj Kumar Mandal, associate professor of economics at IIT Madras humanities and social sciences department, and his student Anviksha Drall, who is a PhD research scholar. The research has been published in the journal World Development. “The flow of income into agricultural families has been dwindling due to imperfect credit and insurance markets, prevalent in rural India. It has long been recognized that the diversification of rural livelihood into non-farm activities is a key strategy to ensure that rural families maintain a minimum level of income. Trade and hospitality, construction, transport, and education and health are the top four sectors that contribute to the non-agricultural rural jobs in the country," said Mandal.

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