ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Factors Contributing to Income Inequalities among Agricultural Households in India

Inequality in agricultural households in 20 major states is estimated and its factors analysed. In most states, farming and livestock contribute over half the total income. Income inequalities, irrespective of farm size, are large, though these have not widened much over time; major sources are non-farm income, land, and farm assets. The relationship between growth in household income and land size is positive; it does not augur well for the government’s professed objective of promoting inclusive development. To bridge income gaps, mechanisms need to be developed to ensure the viability of increasingly small and fragmented landholdings.

Farmers’ Choice of Milk-marketing Channels in India

Using nationally representative household-level data, the structure of milk markets is examined and the factors that determine the Indian dairy farmers’ choice of milk-marketing outlets are identified. The analysis of participation in various milk-marketing channels indicates that dairy farmers, irrespective of their asset-status, sales volume, and socio-economic status, prefer to sell their output through cooperatives and government agencies, even if these offer lower prices compared to the local traders. Concomitantly, of the various direct-to-consumer outlets, cooperatives are more inclusive and largely transcend the boundaries of caste and land size. Of the various economic factors that influence farmers’ choice, the access to institutional credit is critical in driving sales through the formal milk-marketing channels.

Export Performance of Indian Fisheries

Fisheries exports have registered a tremendous growth during the period 1987-2000, and the export basket of fisheries products has become reasonably diversified. Export of frozen fish recorded the highest annual growth but shrimps and prawns constituted the major category of exports, capturing an impressive 5 per cent of the world export market. Trade reforms of the 1990s seem to have further facilitated the export of fish and fish products from India and the feared import surge after the opening up of the economy is still not visible. Measures of relative competitive advantage reveal that India has become reasonably competitive in recent years but it must vigorously take up various sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, consistent with WTO guidelines, in order to give exports a further boost. However, there is a concern that these measures are being increasingly promulgated with the deliberate purpose of shielding domestic producers from international competition.
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