New Delhi: Almost half of the rural agricultural households are indebted across India with an average outstanding loan amount per agricultural household being way more than the below poverty line income for rural India, as per the latest dataset of the National Statistical Survey (NSS) released on Friday.
The percentage of indebted agricultural households stood at 50.2 per cent while the average amount (Rs) of outstanding loan per agricultural household stood at Rs 74,121, the 77th round of the survey conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 showed.
The survey theme was “Land and Livestock Holdings of Households and Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households” in the rural areas of India with an integrated schedule of enquiry.
Prior to the 77th round, Land and Livestock Holding Surveys (LHS) and Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) of Agricultural Households used to be conducted as separate surveys in separate sets of households.
For calculating indebtedness of agricultural households, the information on the amount of outstanding loan as on date of survey (i.e., the day on which data was collected from the household) was collected from each of the surveyed agricultural households.
The NSS also found out the average monthly income per agricultural household for which it collected information on the receipts and expenditures relating to crop production, farming of animals and non-farm business, separately for the two halves of the agricultural year July 2018 – June 2019.
Income from wage/salary employment and income from leasing out of land were also recorded for the same period.
Based on this information, the average monthly income per agricultural household was worked out for the agricultural year July 2018-June 2019 by adding up the income from wages/salary, income from leasing out of land, net receipt from crop production, farming of animals and non-farm business.
“Net receipt is worked out by deducting total expenses from total receipts for each source of income,” the survey findings said.
The average monthly income for income from wages was Rs 4,063 for paid out expenses approach and remained the same for the paid out expenses and imputed expenses together. Similarly, the average same for income from leasing out of land was Rs 134 for both types of calculations.
However, for net receipt from crop production, the paid out expenses approach yielded Rs 3,798 that went down to Rs 3,058 if imputed expenses were also considered.
The gap went down further for net receipt from farming of animals where the average monthly income in case of paid out expenses approach was Rs 1,582 and only Rs 441 when additionally imputed expenses were considered.
Net receipts from non-farm business stood at Rs 641 for both paid out expenses approach and when clubbed with imputed expenses, the survey findings said.
The information was collected in two visits from the same set of sample households in rural areas with a view to collect relevant information separately for the two halves of the agricultural year July 2018-June 2019.
An agricultural household for the NSS 77th round of survey was defined as a household receiving more than Rs 4,000 as value of produce from agricultural activities, and having at least one member self-employed in agriculture either in the principal status or in subsidiary status during the last 365 days.
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