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58% of the Rural Households are Agricultural Households: NSSO report on agricultural households – Part 1

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This is part 1 of the series on the 70th round NSSO report on agricultural households. This article looks at the estimated number of agricultural households and their social groups including the size of the land holding. In Part 2, we look at the principle sources of income of the Agricultural households & the outstanding loans.

As the debate over the Land Acquisition Ordinance by the NDA government rages inside & outside the parliament, the statistics about agriculture & people dependent on it would help us understand the issue in greater detail. The 70th round of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report was released in December 2014 and this report spoke about the Key Indicators of Situation of Agricultural Households in India.

According to this survey, an agricultural household is one with at least one member self-employed in agriculture either in principal status or subsidiary status and having total value of produce during last 365 days more than Rs. 3000. The survey was conducted in a total of 4529 villages across the country in the year 2013. The survey results reveal some important details about the agricultural households in the country.

Estimated Number of Agricultural Households

An estimated 57.8% rural households are agricultural households in the country. In other words, more than 9 crore households are agricultural households in the country. Rajasthan tops the chart with 78.4% rural households dependent on agriculture while Uttar Pradesh comes second with 3/4th of the rural households dependent on agriculture. The top 10 states with the highest percentage of agricultural households are given in the chart below.

Agriculture households percentage of Rural Indian households

Agricultural Households by Social Group

About 45 percent out of the total agricultural households in the country belonged to Other Backward Classes (OBC). About 16 percent of agricultural households were from Scheduled Castes (SC) and 13 percent were from Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Distribution of Agricultural Households over Social Groups - Rural Indian households-1

Land Holding of Agricultural Households

An estimated 35% of the agricultural households hold less than 1 acre of land and another 35% hold between 1 and 2.5 acres. 70% of the agricultural households in the country hold less than 2.5 acres. About 30% hold more than 2.5 acres of which about 4% hold more than 10 acres.

Land holding of Agricultural Households in hectares - Rural Indian households

A deeper analysis reveals more trends. 45% of all ST agricultural households hold less than 2.5 acre land while this percentage goes up to 70% for SC agricultural households. 43% of the OBC agricultural households fall into this category.

Percentage of Social Groups with less than 2.5 acre Land Holding - Rural Indian households

71% of the other agricultural households hold more than 2.5 acres while this percentage is only 55 in ST, 29.5 in SC.

Percentage of Social Groups with more than 2.5 acre Land Holding - Rural Indian households

This is a 2 Part series. In Part 2, we look at the principle sources of income of the Agricultural households & the outstanding loans.

Source: Key Indicators of Situation of Agricultural Households in India, NSS 70th round.

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