40% farmers would prefer other career: study

New Delhi, Aug 1 | Updated: Aug 2 2005, 05:30am hrs
More than a third of Indian farmers are into farming due to compulsion rather than choice. According to a survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), about 40% of Indian farming households have reported that given a choice they would take up some other career.

The reasons stated for the farmers dislike for their profession included non-profitability, risk and lack of social status, the NSSO situation assessment survey conducted as a part of the 59th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) revealed. The survey was conducted in 2003.

The highest proportion of farmers satisfied with their occupation was in Andhra Pradesh where 76% of farmers surveyed said they liked farming. This was followed by Tamil Nadu where the proportion of satisfied farmers was 69% and Kerala and Gujarat where the proportion was 67%. Relatively poor states like Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have the lowest percentage of satisfied farmers at 49%, 53%, 53% and 54%, respectively.

Of the 40% farming households that disliked their profession, 27% did not find farming profitable and 8% thought it was too risky, 2% disliked farming as they thought it lacked social status and the remaining 3% disliked their profession due to other reasons.

Bihar and West Bengal both had the highest proportion (36%) of farming households that disliked farming due to its non-profitability. Amongst farmers who thought farming was too risky, the greatest proportion (17%) were concentrated in Chhattisgarh, followed by those in Assam (13%). In Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka, the proportion of risk averse farmers was 11%.

Rajasthan had the highest proportion (9%) of farming households that considered farming as less respectable. On the other hand just 2% of the farming households in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat felt that farming lacked social status, said the report.

At an all-India level 60% of the farming households surveyed, expressed their satisfaction in agriculture as a profession. On a state-wise basis, AP had 76% of its farming households happy with their profession.