Agriculture and related occupations make up the majority of the available livelihood possibilities in rural areas. Labor intensiveness, seasonality, issues with choosing the proper mix of agricultural and related occupations, cultural and traditional issues, gender issues, problems with the informal, irregular, and unorganized agricultural sector, issues with social security, and sustainability are the main characteristics and problems of rural livelihoods.
Rural livelihood issues
Government schemes related to rural livelihood
There are a number of issues with rural livelihood. To address these issues, the government and civil society have programs and initiatives. Agriculture and related occupations make up the majority of the available livelihood possibilities in rural areas. The rural population's way of life is distinct from non-agricultural and urban jobs. There are a number of new professions in the rural sector, including rural infrastructure, rural communication, rural health, and rural education. These industries and occupations are distinct from traditional rural livelihood activities since they are urban and semiurban vocations. It is a reality that a sizeable section of the rural population works in or aspires to work in these fields. We must distinguish these livelihood possibilities from normal rural livelihood options in order to effectively address the issues surrounding rural livelihood. The main sources of livelihood for rural residents are food and cash crops, fish farming, cattle and dairy farming, food processing, wood industries, and organized plantation activities including those for rubber, tea, cashew, coffee, cardamom, and pepper, among others. Compared to urban areas, rural livelihoods are frequently more labor-intensive, irregular, seasonal, unstructured, informal, and economically less productive. Another problem with commercial agriculture production is sustainability. For the rural populace, especially the rural poor, to obtain, protect, and promote sustainable rural livelihood options, we must address each of these issues.
Issues with rural livelihood
The main traits and issues of rural livelihoods are labor intensiveness, seasonality, issues with the proper mix of agricultural and related occupations, cultural and traditional issues, gender issues, issues with the informal, irregular, and unorganized agricultural sector, issues with social security, and lastly issues with sustainability.
Agriculture and related fields require a lot of labor. The main farming tasks that the majority of farmers perform manually include plow, seed, water, weed, and harvest. The related industries that also require a lot of labor are dairying, fish farming, and cattle breeding. These tasks require little or no talent. These activities do not cognitively inspire the educated and competent people, who instead seek for non-agricultural jobs in the metropolis. After acquiring the necessary migration skills, educated and trained young migrate from the villages to the big cities. The only remaining laborers who can still work the soil are the old, unskilled, ignorant, and illiterate. One of the main issues with rural livelihood is this. Cattle and machinery are used by large-scale farmers to streamline several agricultural processes. Still, compared to non-agricultural urban livelihood possibilities, those mechanized farming operations need greater labor.
Governments must put policies in place to elevate rural livelihoods. Schools must teach lessons on organic and scientific farming. The importance of labor for bread must be taught to the children. Gandhiji's vision was what it was. It is necessary to start teaching at the elementary level the superiority of primary sector employment over secondary and tertiary sector occupations. Lessons on scientific, mechanized, and organic farming should be included in secondary education that is vocationalized. In the classroom, students should learn about the value of natural farming, crop rotation, mixed farming, and related activities that can be coupled with farming. The kids must be given appealing career opportunities in farming operations. The benefits of labor-intensive enterprises for health must be taught. The misconception that agricultural operations require a lot of manual labor and unskilled labor must be actively dispelled by the extension education departments of agricultural colleges and universities. They must go to schools and universities to promote happy farming.
Agriculture requires a great level of skill. It is a profession that, with the right attention, can be quite lucrative. Across the nation, there are success tales of organic agriculture, horticulture, and floriculture. In a number of states, there are farms that focus on exports. The highly educated youth must focus on organized, scientific farming practices. The success stories of the young people must serve as an example for them. Model farm excursions ought to be a standard part of all instructional trips at educational institutions. The civil authorities must support agriculture by easing the licensing process for organic farming activities that are geared toward export, providing tax breaks, and organizing the marketing of agricultural products. The government might also promote women's organizations to work in cooperative agriculture and food processing in rural areas.
Major agricultural operations are by their very nature seasonal. There are primarily two seasons for cultivation: summer and winter. During the beginning and end of each agricultural season, while sowing and harvesting are taking place, farmers and their homes are still busy. They are relatively inactive during other months of the year. They can work in related fields including fish farming, cattle raising, dairying, and food processing during the lean season. Dairying and raising cattle are not seasonal activity, though. They are engaged full-time. During the difficult times for agricultural operations, the government and civil society organizations might plan numerous economically and socially beneficial initiatives. During the lean seasons, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act planned and carried out a number of rural rebuilding programs that helped build community assets and improve rural areas' infrastructure. The seasonality of agricultural work should not be seen as a drawback for rural livelihood. Seasonality can be turned into a blessing with smart planning. During the lean seasons, meaningful and practical engagements can be arranged ahead of time and completed. During these hard times, local celebrations, pilgrimages, weddings, building projects, vacations, and excursions are held.
Choosing the best rural livelihood solutions is a problem.
The alternatives for a rural livelihood are more varied than those in cities. While those in the urban sector work the same type of job operations all year long, those in the rural sector work a diversity of jobs all year long. The key to success is figuring out the best mix of rural livelihood possibilities. Every farmer must find additional activities during the lean season because agricultural activities are seasonal. These complementary activities are determined by a person's individual interests, abilities, prior experiences, degree of education, and expertise.
Traditional and cultural issues
Traditional and cultural issues are significant considerations for rural livelihood. Rural livelihood is frequently characterized by culture. The majority of the workforce in rural areas works in hereditary and traditional occupations. Positively, this kind of traditionalism offers possibilities for the younger generation to learn some practical skills that are useful for the economy. Traditionalism negatively affects people's interests, aptitudes, abilities, educational attainment, skills, and attitudes. We should support the hereditary transmission of traditional knowledge and skills, particularly specific farming knowledge, medical knowledge, rural craft skills, etc., while maintaining the greatest flexibility possible with regard to individual choices and freedom. Every youngster should be urged to learn any farming or related skills, regardless of tradition or genetic makeup. It's crucial for the rural population to become proficient in at least one rural livelihood skill. Many young individuals in rural regions now lack the necessary life skills for rural living. They are drawn to metropolitan lifestyles and avoid anything that seems to be inherited or conventional. There is ultimately a crisis of values. Rural livelihood and rural employment are not only devalued but also completely disregarded.
Issues of gender
When choosing a rural livelihood, gender is a crucial factor. In the rural sector, there are gender-specific behavioral patterns. In the rural sector, there are specific jobs that are reserved for women, such as housework, child and elder care, cooking, and cleaning. In some locations, women are typically employed in farming and cattle rearing, while males are typically employed in outdoor activities like marketing dairy and agricultural products and buying household items. The rhythm of a family's existence is disrupted whenever there is an insufficient number of men or women in the home. Additionally, it occurs when men go to the cities or when some women in a household are married off. In the rural sector, men and women are reluctant to replace one another, which makes life in the home unhappy. The urban sector exhibits less gender stereotyping than the rural sector. Men and women in metropolitan areas tend to split home tasks like caring for children, cleaning the house, and cooking more or less evenly. Gender-related issues must be discussed in the early years of education. To ensure that future generations will not be hesitant to replace one another in any rural livelihood option, equity and the value of each employment must be conveyed to the younger generations.
Issues with the informal, unorganized, and unauthorized agriculture industry
Rural livelihood possibilities are unorganized and unimpressive, in contrast to the official, regular, and organized structure of urban livelihood. Almost no organization exists to defend the interests of the farmers. To protect the interests of the farmers, a number of farmers' cooperatives have recently been formed. However, irregularity is the fundamental feature of rural livelihood. Every aspect of farming is seasonal. Farmers engage in a variety of related and agricultural pursuits to keep themselves occupied. Every farmer designs his life and means of livelihood differently. Their biggest battlegrounds are with the environment, soil, and climate. They hardly ever have a problem with other farmers or the government. Incentives and concessions must be offered by the government and civil society organizations for the farmers to become more capable of surviving their daily hardships.
Issues with social security
Lack of social security, such as insurance and pensions, is a significant challenge for rural livelihood. Even though certain crop insurance and farmer pension programs have been established by state governments, they pale in comparison to the social security benefits offered by urban livelihood options. The majority of those employed in the unorganized sector are covered by a number of general, life, and health insurance programs for the rural population; nevertheless, the amount of help provided by these programs falls short of the actual demand. One of the causes of the migration of skilled labor to the urban sector is the lack of suitable social security benefits in the rural sector.
Issues with sustainability
Regarding all possible means of livelihood in any industry, both rural and urban, sustainability is a recurring problem. Social and environmental livelihood should be a priority for rural livelihoods. It ought to give people enough resources to last till death. Social sustainability is this. Any means of livelihood should not affect the ecosystem. Environmental sustainability is what this is. In terms of deforestation, excessive groundwater resource exploitation, soil, air, and water pollution, farming and related activities can occasionally have a negative impact on nature (due to the use of harmful fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides). Farmers should be instructed in natural and organic farming techniques, including crop rotation, shifting cultivation, developing the ideal arrangement of agricultural and related operations, and the natural, organic, and physical methods of controlling pests and insects. Such actions will be environmentally and socially sustainable.
Government schemes related to rural livelihood
Over the past seven decades, the Indian government has put in place a number of policies to secure, safeguard, and advance sustainable rural livelihoods. Through appropriate rural livelihood programs that directly assist the rural poor households, the Ministry of Rural Development is required to work toward reducing rural poverty. The Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) and subsequent initiatives like the Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), Supply of Improved Toolkits to Rural Artisans (SITRA), Ganga Kalyan Yojana (GKY), and the Million Wells Scheme were the Ministry's main programs that directly targeted poor families for the creation of assets, skill development, and self employment (MWS). According to the Planning Commission's recommendations, the TRYSEM, SITRA, GKY, DWCRA, and MWS self-employment programs were combined into the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), which the States would begin implementing in April 1999. SGSY has been reorganized as the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), which has since been renamed "Aajeevika" in order to implement it across the nation in mission mode. On June 3rd, 2011, the program was formally introduced. NRLM focuses on three pillars: improving and upgrading the poor's current livelihood options; developing skills for the outside employment market; and fostering independent contractors and business owners.
In addition to Ajeevika, the government also established a nationwide employment guarantee program on September 5, 2005, which guarantees 100 days of employment or a stipend to the rural poor who wish to register for unskilled occupations in rural areas. During the lean season, this program has given rural residents a source of income while also helping to develop the assets of the rural community.
Agriculture and related occupations make up the majority of the available livelihood possibilities in rural areas. The main sources of income for rural residents are food and cash crops, fish farming, cattle and dairy farming, food processing, wood industries, and organized plantation activities including those for rubber, tea, cashew, coffee, cardamom, and pepper, among others. Labor intensiveness, seasonality, issues with choosing the proper mix of agricultural and related occupations, cultural and traditional issues, gender issues, problems with the informal, irregular, and unorganized agricultural sector, issues with social security, and sustainability are the main characteristics and problems of rural livelihoods. The most significant concern is sustainability. Farmers should be taught natural and organic farming, natural and organic methods of soil fertilization, natural, organic, and physical methods of pest and insect control, crop rotation, shifting of cultivation, and designing the proper combination of agricultural and related operations in order to address sustainability issues. Such actions will be environmentally and socially sustainable.
Over the past seven decades, the Indian government has put in place a number of policies to secure, safeguard, and advance sustainable rural livelihoods. The Ministry of Rural Development has been working on programs to improve rural livelihoods. The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) of 1980, which also included several other programs like the Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), Supply of Improved Toolkits to Rural Artisans (SITRA), Ganga Kalyan Yojana (GKY), and the Million Wells Scheme, was one of this Ministry's main initiatives (MWS). All of these programs were combined into one self-employment program called the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) in 1999. In 2011, the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), also known as "Aajeevika," was reformed. The three pillars on which NRLM's work is based are: improving and increasing the poor's current possibilities for a living; developing their abilities for the outside job market; and supporting independent contractors and business owners.