Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty
Publication Date : 18/07/2016
Abstract The idea of social protection was emphasized by the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization (2004) which noted that “a certain minimum level of social protection needs to be accepted and undisputed as part of the socio-economic floor of the global economy”. It considers 7 dimensions of social protection viz. Education, Health and Nutrition, Employment, Social Pensions, Food Security, Housing, Justice and Dignity. Poverty is a major impediment to the human growth and development. It is posing a major challenge before the government and the society. It creates a vicious cycle, which entraps an individual into poor condition. Thus, poverty is the situation where the individuals or communities lack the resources, ability and environment to meet the basic needs of life. Most of our population depends on agriculture as their profession. Our agriculture is characterized by low level of income and investment and is a gamble of nature. There is a sharp rise in input cost while Minimum Support price has failed to keep pace with it. It results into bank debt, suicide or private borrowing and opens the gate for exploitation and poverty trap. Institutional credit delivery is abysmally low. There is disenchantment among farmers and 44% of them are ready to quit agriculture, if they are given a chance. Though there is no doubt that manufacturing sector, service sector, and high end research is necessary to keep pace with the world, but it should not be at the cost of agriculture. Our government has initiated a large number of schemes for agriculture because it is not only necessary for food security but also for national security. Key words: Indian agriculture, poverty, vicious cycle, social protection.
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