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The popular view is that non-agricultural income is more stable than agricultural income. To keep income and consumption growth stable, we need to expand innovative linkages running both ways between urban and rural growth, says Rajesh Shukla While the age old political truism that India resides in its villages may still hold true, there is a growing divergence between how Indian villages have been conventionally perceived and viewed and the current ground reality.
The instant image the mind conjures up when rural India is mentioned is agriculture. However, the pervasive effects of rapid economic growth over the past two decades have been felt in the rural hinterland as well.
The share of farm income, which made up 74 per cent of rural incomes in the s, has dropped to 30 per cent in Non-farm growth has been substantial in rural India.
Over 42 per cent of rural households draw their income from non-farm sources, particularly traditional services 27 per cent. Those households engaged in modern services had the highest income increase per cent in comparison to agriculture. A significant proportion of salaried 39 per cent and non-agricultural self-employed households 46 per cent are located in rural areas.
While an overwhelming share of illiterate households are based in rural areas 89 per centthere are also 36 per cent households whose chief earners are graduates.
The rural share of popular consumer goods and durables ranges from 30 to 60 per cent and sales to rural India are steadily growing. A 1 per cent increase in refrigerator penetration over a five year period means that more than 1.
The number of new owners of colour television sets in the last three years is equivalent to the population of Sweden or half of Australia! So, yes, even at a very slow burn and low acceleration, rural India unleashes enormous consumption power. We will also see the top 20 per cent in both rural and urban India gaining 24, and 75, in their annual incomes.
On the other hand, people at the bottom of the pyramid will gain only about 2, irrespective of place of residence. But the question is: Rural India has seen a spurt in consumption periodically, usually because of a one-time burst of events that come together, causing an unsustainable one-time consumption boom.
The popular view is that non-agricultural income, which accounts for a hefty 50 per cent of rural income, is more stable and less volatile than agricultural income. Agricultural income, which accounts for half of rural income, has grown very slowly on a trend basis — agriculture is not profitable for majority of farmers in India, who are small and marginal cultivators.
Certainly, non-agricultural income is far more attractive, though that does not mean it is more stable. Non-agricultural income is widespread, and of different kinds.
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cent of Indian villages will be connected to the rest of India and the world.
The Internet in India started off in the late s, when the Education and Research Network The changing face of India. The changing face of India. bridging the digital divide. The Changing Demographics of America The United States population will expand by million over the next 40 years.
Is this a reason to worry? These female sarpanches are changing how Indian villages function.
READ LATER; These female sarpanches are changing how Indian villages function. Tina Das; April 28, ; UPDATED: April 28, IST Often hailed as the changing face of rural Rajasthan, Chhavi also addressed delegates at the UN's 11th Infopoverty World .
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