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Centre widens ambit, farmers’ definition to include workers on farmland now

The tag of farmers is no longer limited to those with a piece of agricultural land, but has been extended to include even those who are engaged in agricultural activities on leased land. 

According to the latest National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report released on Friday, a household receiving more than Rs 3,000 for agricultural produce and having at least one member self-employed in agriculture either in the principal status or in subsidiary status would now be considered as a farmer.

Elaborating the after-effects of this survey, an agriculture official said, “After this survey report, the farmers working on fields owned by others will also be eligible for benefits of the schemes meant for actual farmers such as Kisan Credit Card, subsidies, etc.”

The recent survey report has overshadowed the earlier findings of National Sample Survey’s (NSS) 59th round of assessment, which has defined a ‘farmer’ as a person who possesses some land and is engaged in some agricultural activities on that land during last 365 days preceding the date of survey. Thus the definition followed in NSS 59th round had kept all agricultural activities of persons outside the scope of the survey which did not possess and operate any land.

The results of the survey are based on the Central Sample canvassed by NSSO, consisting of 4,529 villages spread over rural areas of all states and Union Territories. A total number of 35,200 households were surveyed in first visit and 34,907 of them could be re-surveyed in second visit.

The ‘Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in its 70th round (January – December, 2013), says that during the agricultural year July 2012- June 2013, rural India had an estimated total of 90.2 million agricultural households, which constituted about 57.8 per cent of the total estimated rural households of the country during the same period.

Also the report stated that Rajasthan had highest percentage of agricultural households (78.4 per cent) among its rural households and Kerala had the least percentage share of agricultural households (27.3 per cent) in its rural households. While, out of the total estimated agricultural households in the country, about 45 per cent belonged to OBCs and about 16 per cent agricultural households were from SCs and 13 per cent from STs.

New orders
As per NSSO report, a household receiving more than Rs 3,000 for agricultural produce and having at least one member self-employed in agriculture either in the principal status or in subsidiary status would now be considered as a farmer

The results of the survey are based on the Central Sample canvassed by NSSO, consisting of 4,529 villages spread over rural areas of all states and Union Territories
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