Livelihood Problems Faced by Farm Families in Sample Households of Haryana
Anusha Punia * and Sushma Kaushik
Department of Extension Education and Communication Management, IC College of Home Science, India
Submission: November 08, 2019;Published: November 27, 2019
*Corresponding author: Anusha Punia, Department of Extension Education and Communication Management, IC College of Home Science, CCS HAU, Haryana, India OAJ
How to cite this article: Anusha Punia, Sushma Kaushik. Livelihood Problems Faced by Farm Families in Sample Households of Haryana. OAJ Gerontol 002 & Geriatric Med. 2019; 5(2): 555661. DO 10.19080/OAJGGM.2019.05.555661
The study was conducted in two districts of Rohtak division namely Sonipat and Karnal by random selection and by selecting one block from each selected district and two villages from each of the selected block at random. From the selected four villages a sample of 300 respondents i.e. 75 small and marginal farm families from each village was drawn at random. Results of the study regarding livelihood problems revealed that half (51.3%) of the families faced small size of land, majority (65.3%) of families faced high labor cost as their main livelihood problem.
Keywords: Livelihood Problems Farm families Fragmentation Marketing Rohtak division
Agriculture as the most important sector of the Indian economy. The Indian agriculture is characterized by millions of marginal and small farmers having share of 83 percent and 63 per cent of land holding in the country Chand et al, . In India, small and marginal farmers are facing many problems to operate the high-risk farming. These risks are related to weather uncertainties, uneven access to technologies and natural resources, unreliable input supplies, stressed infrastructure or irrigation, uncertain marketing arrangements, inefficient water management, lack of access to inputs, lack of timely support, lack of knowledge, lack of ability to diversify, lacking connectivity, lack of access to credit, lack of value addition at farm level etc. Due to these limiting factors, the small and marginal farmers suffer from the low productivity, instability in yield, low employment, less income and poor standard of living which are responsible for less bargaining power in input and output marketing of Indian farmers in present economic scenario. The increase in population, subdivision and fragmentation of land holdings due to breakdown of joint family system is further resulted in un-economic land holdings on which application of new agricultural practices become more difficult. So, the study was conducted with the objective to identify livelihood problems perceived by farm families.
For determining livelihood problems as perceived by small and marginal farm families two districts namely- Sonipat and Karnal were selected randomly from Rohtak division of Haryana state. One block from each selected district was selected randomly. Two villages from each block were selected randomlyFrom the selected four villages seventy-five small and marginal farm families were drawn randomly, thus making a total sample of 300 respondents. Problems related to livelihood were divided into different categories. It included problems related to agriculture, related to household, related to government, related to market and related to climate. The collected data were quantified and interpreted by using suitable statistical tools such as frequency, percentage, weighted mean score.
Results and Discussion
A list of various problems that are faced by small and marginal farmers was prepared based on literature. Responses were obtained on a three-point continuum i.e. mostly, sometimes and never. Frequency weighted mean scores and rank were computed. Data presented in Table 1 shows that as regards problems related to agriculture, high labor cost and high production cost were the main problems faced by about less than half of the respondents (48.0% each). Low productivity of livestock was the problem sometimes faced by majority of respondents (80.0%) while small size of land was faced by about half of the respondents (51.3%). Other problems faced sometimes by most of respondents were post-harvest losses (45.3%), pest infestation (44.6%), lack of farm implements and poor quality of inputs (35.3% each).
Considering problems related to household, majority (86.0%) of farm families in Sonipat district always faced lack of capital. Chikopela  reported some constraints that impede agricultural production, and which hence have a negative impact on livelihood of small and marginal farmers. These were - lack of finances, high cost of inputs, lack of human labor, unstableweather patterns, insufficient land, poor price from buyers, poor soil, pests and disease, poor storage. Majority (90.6%) of farm families sometimes faced occurrence of illness as a problem followed by poor access to resources (50.7%), low education (49.3%) and lack of skills (44.7%). However, large family size was not expressed as a problem by 60.7 per cent of farm families. (Table 1) further reveals that regarding problem of farm families related to Government, poor access to extension workers (WMS, 2.58), was the most serious problem followed by low support price (WMS, 2.34) lack of cold storage facilities (WMS, 2.18), no timely procurement (WMS, 1.99) and broadcasting time of agricultural program not suitable (WMS, 1.92). Results regarding the problems faced by farm families related to market indicate that farm families mostly faced problem of non-availability of certified seeds and fertilizers (Rank I) followed by poor access to market (Rank II) and price fluctuation of outputs (Rank III)Data regarding problems related to climate reveals that crop damage by late heavy rain was reported mostly by more than half (59.3%) of farm families as a major problem. 52.0 per cent farm families reported that sometimes they faced problem of declining soil fertility while unavailability of natural water bodies and low rainfall were never faced as the problem by majority (69.3% and 100.0%) of farm families. Rosset  demonstrated that in the present day small and marginal farms in many developing countries were facing many constraints like- poor land accesses, poor credit accesses, poor accesses to inputs such as water, seed, fertilizer, pesticides, manure, high production risk and low insurance coverage, limited market accesses.
Livelihood problems faced by farm families in Karnal district have been presented in (Table 2). It can be seen from the table that as regards problems related to agriculture, farm families mostly faced problem of high labor cost (65.3%), followed by poor quality of inputs (51.3%), pest infestation and high production cost (50.0% each). Mruthyunjaya  reported major problems of small and marginal farmers in India included spurious input supply, inadequate and costly institutional credit, lack of irrigation water and costly access to it, lack of extension services for commercial crops, exploitation in marketing of their produce, high health expenditures and lack of alternative (non-farm) sources of income. For example, in wheat, marginal holders had the highest yield per hectare compared with all other categories in India but, they realized the lowest prices per quintal.
Problems viz. low productivity of livestock (94.0%), small size of land (61.3%) and lack of farm implements (60.6%) were sometimes faced by majority of respondents. Considering problems related to household, majority (94.0%) of farm families in Karnal district mostly faced occurrence of illness and lack of skills (65.3%) as a problem. Large family size (55.3%), low education (48.7%), lack of capital (44.0%) and poor access to resources (42.0%) were other problems expressed by most of farm families (Table 2). further reveals that regarding problem related to Government, most serious problem was no timely procurement (WMS, 2.35) followed by broadcasting time of agricultural program not suitable (WMS, 2.29), low support price (WMS, 2.13), lack of cold storage facilities (WMS, 2.05) and poor access to extension workers (WMS, 1.89). As regards problems faced by farm families related to market, results indicated that farm families mostly faced problem of non-availability of certified seeds and fertilizers (60.6%) and price fluctuation of outputs (42.0%) while poor access to market (43.3%) was sometimes faced by most of farm families.
Data regarding problems related to climate revealed that 75.3 per cent farm families reported that they always faced problem of declining soil fertility. Unavailability of natural water bodies was reported by more than half (65.3%) of farm families as a major problem. Crop damage by late heavy rain and low rainfall as the problem were never faced by (43.3% and 100.0%) farm families. Gouda et al, . stated that several problems were being faced by the marginal farmers and landless laborersin undertaking various livelihood activities- erratic monsoon, lack of remunerative price for the farm produce, high price fluctuation, lack of infrastructure facilities to involve in various livelihood activities, lack of awareness about government schemes, non-availability of work throughout the year, lack of training for skilled activities in different livelihood systems.
The study concludes that problems of livelihood faced by majority of farm families were lack of capital, non-availability of improved seeds and fertilizers, crop damage by late heavy rain, no timely procurement, lack of skills and declining soil fertility in both the districts
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