Livelihood Sources and Constraints of Rural Households in Bundelkhand Region

M.K. Singh, A.K. Dixit and R.R. Singh


The study has assessed the social status, sources of income and constraints of rural households in livelihood under
SRLS programme of NAIP. Data on 404 households was collected from 16 villages from two disadvantageous
districts namely Hamirpur and Mahoba of Bundelkhand region. The average land holding size, total income per
household per year and average family size was 1.42±0.07 ha, Rs. 44332 and 5.80±0.15, respectively in Hamirpur
and 1.71±0.08 ha, Rs. 46671 and 5.97±0.12, respectively in Mahoba district. People of backward castes (>67%)
predominate in rural social composition. Marginal and small farmers constitute more than 58 per cent rural
population in both the districts. Major sources of income were agriculture, wages and livestock which accounted
for 52.4, 32.0 and 15.0 per cent, respectively in Hamirpur and 36.1, 40.3 and 23.6 per cent respectively, in Mahoba
district. Wheat is also important crop and production of pulse and oilseed crops in rain-fed fields was low ranged
from 3-7 and 2-5 qt. per hectare. Less than 13 per cent area of total cropped area was sown twice in a year in both
the districts. Forced migration of people was ranged from 5 to 80 per cent over the villages with an average of 42
per cent. Goat, cow and buffaloes were major livestock species and kept by more than 89 per cent people irrespective
of landholding size and caste. Average herd/ flock size of cattle, goat and buffalo were 2.27, 3.05 and 1.84,
respectively in Hamirpur and 2.42, 4.06 and 1.84, respectively in Mahoba district. Overall livestock productivity is
low and primarily attributed to inadequate feed and fodder. Major livelihood constraints were poor management
of rain water, lack of irrigation sources and non-functional irrigation network, top soil erosion, huge gap in
production and potential yield of crops and livestock, scarcity of feed-fodder, lack of institutional credit and
knowledge gap. Comprehensive programmes are required to uptake and strengthening of rain water harvesting,
integrated farming and institutional credit.

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