Identify activities of income generation

Identify activities of income generation

Around 1.3 lakh hectares of agriculture land are being taken out of cultivation every year.

The World Economic Forum’s report “Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017”, ranks India 60th among 79 developing economics. The report shows Bangladesh and Nepal with better inclusive growth and development than India.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said the government will energise various sections of society especially the youth and the vulnerable so that they could realise their true potential. In fact, the poor and the vulnerable have wide range of skills to earn with self-respect.

A group of blind men in Bidar, Karnataka formed a Self Help Group to learn music. They perform in social functions and wedding ceremonies to earn a moderate income. Out of their group savings, they bought musical instruments and developed their skill. Those blind men did not have government subsidy but the support of the Bidar District Cooperative Bank to form a Self-Help Group of blind people.

Harish Chandra Sude of Latur who is partially blind, worked with philanthropic zeal to train blind men and women how to make carpets from old clothes. The blind learn how to give acupressure. Today, hundreds of blind men and women are able to earn their living with self-respect.

According to the Sixth Economic Census, there are 5.8 crore small businesses that employ about 12.8 crore people. The formal sector accounts for more than 90% of the workforce and contributes to about 50% of the country’s GDP. Diversity of culture creates demand for different kinds of eatables, fruit, flowers, dress material, ornaments, artefact etc for a variety of services.

The Koya tribe of Khamam district make delicious bamboo chicken. They stuff chicken pieces mixed with spices inside a piece of bamboo and bake it on fire. Once it is baked, chicken is served to tourists. The Koyas in around 300 habitats collect honey, gum, custard apple, medicinal plants and make bamboo craft.

Many of the Koyas live near Panashala, an exotic tourist spot on the bank of the Godavari river. Their origin dates back to the Ramayana age. Here, the government’s job is to provide safety to tourists and protect the Koyas from exploitation by the traders and middlemen.

Thousands of villagers in Madurai district collect herbs for agents who supply bulk quantity herbs to big companies. The villagers who collect herbs live in penury. An Exim Bank report says the global herbal industry is likely to reach $6 trillion by 2050. The government can ensure the villagers get the price they deserve and prevent over-exploitation of herbs.

The agriculture labour char­ge per day is Rs 800 in Kerala – one of the main reasons why local farmers quit farming. Thousands of coconut trees were abandoned and converted into rubber plantation in the past decade. Subsequently, the entry of synthetic rubber has made rubber plantation unviable.

Rationalisation of labour cost, marketing facility for coconut, banana products and inclusive employment opportunities in spices, tourism and horticulture sector will add to villagers’ income.

The Centre wants to double farmers’ income in the next five years and has increased budget allocation by 24% in 2017-18. It will happen if government prevents aggressive conversion of fertile agriculture land into non-agriculture purposes. Agriculture scientists representing various research institutions told a joint Parliamentary panel that 1.3 lakh hectares of land are being taken out of cultivation every year.

Gene corruption

Lack of understanding of crop diversity, gene corruption and poor research output has let many export quality crops disappear. Ten years ago, the tiny jeera-size Katrani rice of Jagdishpur block of Bhagalpur district cost Rs 300 per kg. Today, it is facing extinction. Water is the lifeline of the village.

Over the years, thousands of rivers across the country have lost their stream, disappeared in the maze of unplanned realty sector growth and aggressive deforestation. Millions of fishermen across the country lost their jobs and villages lost their productivity. According to the Ministry of Water Resources, a total of 85,807 water bodies in the country are not in use, out of which 8,152 have totally dried up. Give the farmers their water bodies and they will double their income within three years.

Baispur of Puri district was a vegetable belt where farmers  produced variety of vege­tables with organic fertiliser. Vegetable traders in order to ha­ve monopoly over the local producers, marketed vegetables from West Bengal, Ranchi and Chhattisgarh at a cheaper rate which had made vegetable farming in Baispur unsustainable.

When the villagers left vege­table farming, the traders incr­eased the price again. Here the role of the state government was to check the unscrupulous practices. Over 800 years, the Muslim artisans of Pipli have been making applique umbrellas, banners, fans and flags for Lord Jagannath temple of Puri. Thirty years ago, those artisans used to make more than 60 intricate stitching patterns on clothes.

Today, one can come across a few artisans who can create such artistry. This is the main reason why applique work loses its popularity in global craft bazaar. There is need for a proper environment to turn enthusiasm and skill into income generating activities.