UPSC Exam Preparation-Gist of Kurukshetra July 2019 Issue: Rural Non-Farm Sector

Gist of Kurukshetra for UPSC Exam Preparation. July 2019 Issue: Rural Non-Farm Sector

Gist of Kurukshetra: July 2019 Issue:-Download PDF Here

Rural Non-Farm Sector


1. Introduction
2. Non-Farm Sector in India
3. Employment in Non-Farm Sector
4. Rural Tourism 
5. NGOs and the Private Sector in Rural Non-Farm Sector
6. Handlooms and Handicrafts
7. Food Processing
8. Non-Farm Sector in North-Eastern India
9. Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)
1. Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission

Chapter 1. Introduction

The rural economy of India is heavily dependent on agriculture. It is quite difficult for rural households to sustain only on agriculture. There is an increasing need for rural areas to advance both economically and socially and to bring inclusive development where the benefits of progress reach the last person of the country.

Crisis in Farming Sector:

  • The people in farm sector are generally suffering from diminishing returns and damages to their produce due to urbanisation, the growing population and unpredictable natural phenomena.
  • There is a growing need to support the farm sector with other sources of income and employment.

Rural Non-Farm Sector as a Solution:

  • In this context, the role of Rural Non-Farm Sector becomes indispensable for sustaining the rural economy.
  • It will help rural households in diversification of their income sources and improved standards of living in their own surroundings, reducing migration.
  • It also helps in forming backward and forward linkages with the agriculture, since many of the activities in non-farm sector are related to agriculture.
  • Apart from equalizing the income divide within the rural community, it will also help in decreasing the rural-urban divide.

Promotion of Rural Non-Farm Sector:

  • The Government has introduced several schemes aimed at strengthening of rural economy through skill development and organising Self-Help Groups, especially with women members.
  • These schemes are helping them break the vicious circle of poverty through regular wages.
  • Hence, this sector is increasingly becoming popular among the rural masses as a means of livelihood and prosperity.
  • It is important to focus not only on enterprise, but also on bringing about a change in mind set and behaviour. Ex.: The Swachch Bharat Mission. This campaign aims at making every single Indian aware of the importance of hygiene at physical and mental levels.

Avenues for Rural Non-Farm Sector:

  • In India, the agricultural surplus alone provides several avenues for Rural Non-Farm Sector to thrive. Ex.: Food processing.
  • It augments the agricultural income by adding value to their primary product.
  • It also helps in modernizing the supply chain while the demand for healthy and nutritious food is increasing rapidly.
  • Indian handlooms and handicrafts also present a rich tradition in the form of beautifully woven cloth and intricate works. It has a huge potential for reaching out to the global community.
  • Rural Tourism is another such flourishing prospect for the growth of Rural Non-Farm Sector that brings in foreign exchange for the country.


It is time to bring the rural sector into a life of progress and sustainability through the incorporation of non-farm sector; a thriving rural economy that can contribute significantly to the nation’s growth towards a New India.

Chapter 2. Non-Farm Sector in India

In India, almost 70 % of the population lives in the rural areas. Rural economy constitutes 46 % of national income. A NITI Aayog paper published in the year 2017 states that, contrary to the common perception about predominance of agriculture in rural economy, about two-thirds of rural income is now generated from non-agricultural activities.

Rural Non-Farm Sector (RNFS):

RNFS includes all non-agricultural activities like mining, manufacturing, processing, repair, construction, trade, commerce, transport and other services in villages and rural towns undertaken by enterprises varying in size from household own-account enterprises to factories.

Need for Rural Non-Farm Sector:

  • Over the years, the economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is steadily declining with the country’s broad-based economic growth.
  • While 64 % of rural employment is in the agriculture sector, the share of agriculture in rural output is 39 % only.
  • The average size of agriculture landholding declined to 1.08 hectare in 2015-16 from 1.15 hectare in 2010-11 (Tenth Agricultural Census).
  • The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18, by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) indicate that there is a drop in the figures:
Year Rural male workers in agriculture (%) Rural female workers in agriculture (%)
1977-78 80.6 88.1
2004-05 66.5 83.3
2011-12 59.4 74.9
2017-18 55 73.2


Different Rural Non-Farm Sectors:

  • The top four sectors contributing to the non-farm jobs are Trade and Hospitality (15.6 %), Construction (14.3 %), Transport (5.7 %) and Education & Health (1.6 %).
  • The Rural Non-Farm Sector (RNFS) encompasses all non-agricultural activities undertaken by enterprises varying in size from household units to factories. (Rural workers data from PLFS in percentage)
  1. Mining and Quarrying: 0.5% of rural males and 0.2% of rural females are employed in this activity.
  2. Household and Non-Household Manufacturing: About 52.2 % of rural households had major source of income from self-employment. The share of rural households with major source of income from casual labour was 25 % and that of regular wage/salary earning was 12.7 %.
  3. Construction: 14.5 % and 5.3 % of male and female workers respectively.
  • In rural India, there has been an increase in workers engaged in ‘construction’, from 1.7 % (1977-78) to 14.5 % (2017-18) for males and from 0.6 % (1977-78) to 5.3 % (2017-18) for females.
  1. Manufacturing: 7.7 % and 8.1 % of male and female workers respectively.
  2. Trade, Hotel and Restaurant: 9.2 % and 4.0 % of male and female workers respectively.
  3. Transport, Storage and Communications: 5.2 % and 0.3 % of male and female workers respectively.


Government Schemes:

  1. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA): Started in 2005, it was intended to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  2. Deendayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana: The Ministry of Rural Development implements DDU-GKY to drive the national agenda to transform its demographic surplus into a demographic dividend, for inclusive growth, by developing skills and productive capacity of the rural youth from poor families.
  • The scheme funds training projects benchmarked to global standards, with an emphasis on placement, retention, career progression and foreign placement.
  • In 2018-19, 2,26,850 candidates were trained as against a target of 2,00,000 in 433 different trades conducted in 1,196 centres.
  1. Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) seeks to reach out to 8-9 Cr. rural poor households and organize one-woman member from each household into affinity-based women SHGs and federations at village level and at higher levels.
  2. Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY): It is a new sub-scheme under the DAY-NRLM.
  • The Self-Help Groups under DAY-NRLM will operate road transport service in backward areas.
  • Around 624 routes are currently served by AGEY across the country as on January, 2019.



  1. Infrastructure: There is a lack of quantity, quality and reliability in infrastructure.
  2. Regulatory restrictions on small sectors: In the initial stages, capital investment restrictions were imposed to protect the small-scale sector from predation by large industry.
  • With trade liberalisation, reservations for small-scale industries were replaced with Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Act. It is to promote MSME enterprises but it is reported to have urban biases.
  • Reservation of products for the sector was initiated to create a domestic market and quantitative restrictions imposed to protect them from competition from imports.
  • However, these very policies have become detrimental to the dynamism of the small-scale sector, especially in the rural areas.
  • Capital investment limits have discouraged economies of scale, and concessions offered to small industry have created adverse incentives.
  • The decision of the government to put all the reserved items in the open general license category from April 2005 meant free import of such items at the prevailing tariff rate.
  • With the latter slated to come down over time to around 20 % as per the WTO norms, this will effectively signal the end of protection for the small-scale industry.
  1. Education and Awareness: High levels of illiteracy in rural India have hampered the growth of the rural non-farm sector.
  2. Migration of skilled labourers: migration from rural to urban regions also leads to a decline of workforce in the rural small-scale industries.


Way Forward:

  • Providing more financial/credit facilities, research and development and increasing women’s participation are some of the ways of making non-farm activities self-sustainable in the days to come.
  • Development of roads, increase in road connectivity, improvement of power supply will lead to more flourished non-farm sector.
  • Huge investments are needed for inclusive, sustainable and diversified rural development along with the right governance system.



  • Between 2011 and 2015, the number of agricultural jobs fell by 26 million while non-farm ones rose by 33 million, according to different international studies on India’s labour market.
  • Agriculture needs to be incentivized in its own way along with the development of non-farm activities to improve the economic situation of rural India.

Chapter 3. Employment in Non-Farm Sector

Income from agriculture (cultivation and livestock) is not enough for rural livelihood. In fact, more than one-third of rural poor are farmers. They require adequate off-farm income opportunities in their vicinity, for this to happen, growth of productive employment in rural non-farm sector is important.

History of Rural Non-Farm Employment:

  • In the 1950s, the Planning Commission used the concept of village and cottage industries for implementation of Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP).
  • In the 1970s, the Ministry of Rural Development used the concept of industry, business and services (IBS).
  • In the 1980s, NABARD started to use the term Rural Non-Farm Sector (RNFS).

Status of Rural Employment:

  • The rural labour force continues to swell.
  • After the 1990s, there is a steep fall in the share of agriculture in rural workforce.
  • It shows the increase in importance of non-agriculture sectors even in rural areas.
  • Traditionally, manufacturing has been the most important of non-agriculture sectors.
  • However its share has declined in recent period in both rural and urban sector.
  • Construction is now the largest employing industry of rural workers.
  • Favourable policy environment for cement and tax incentive in house loans has encouraged construction activity after the mid-1980s.
  • Employment in construction is influenced by many factors, such as the policy of extending basic infrastructure like roads, growth of population and specific economic policies.
  • Service sectors are emerging in rural areas too, though it has largely been confined to the urban areas.
  • Services actually consists community-social-personal services (CSPS), which are largely under public domain.
  • Government emphasis on social welfare may increase employment in CSPS.
  • Finance-insurance-real estate-business services (FIREBS) are mostly private initiatives.
  • Other service sectors include the real estate business, Transport-storage-communication (TSC), trade-hotels-restaurant (THR), retail trade etc.

Factors for the Development of RNFS:

  • Development-related factors: Productivity-led growth in agriculture influences the penetration of RNFS.
  • Development-induced growth of RNFS results in increase of wages of workers and this must be targeted for betterment of rural workers.
  • In dearth of development-induced growth of RNFS, a significant proportion of rural non-farm labour remains poor. They are widely referred to as ‘working poor’.
  • Residual sector hypothesis: In a situation where labour absorptive capacity of agriculture becomes limited and urban industrial sector is not able to accommodate ever-growing labour force, the RNFS tends to act as a sponge for surplus labour. This has an effect on wages of workers in RNFS.


  • Employment is low in mining and utilities.
  • There is significantly high level (one-third) of disguised unemployment among female workers in rural sector.
  • The growth of urban centres is a stimulant for growth of RNFS. However this needs to be integrated with rural sector with adequate infrastructure.

Way Forward:

  • There should be sufficient incentives to encourage manufacturing in rural vicinity.
  • These incentives can be in the form of creating suitable infrastructure like common facility centres (CFCs) and incentives like cheap electricity.
  • Rural industrialization must adopt a cluster-based approach wherein large and medium size enterprises based on local resources are linked with the micro-small enterprises.
  • A robust growth of rural manufacturing requires massive investments in skill formation and entrepreneurship development.
  • There should be a single window integrated service centre to promote rural non-farm sectors.



Growth of productivity in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism are important to trigger growth of productive employment in other sectors of the rural economy. Though there have been numerous public institutions to encourage rural manufacturing, the gap between productivity of manufacturing in the rural and urban sector continues to widen.

Chapter 4. Rural Tourism

As per Ministry of Tourism (MoT), any form of tourism that showcases the rural life, art, culture and heritage at rural locations, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially as well as enabling interaction between tourists and locals for a more enriching tourism experience can be termed as rural tourism. Rural Tourism has the capability to make tourism more inclusive by invoking entrepreneurial pursuits and focusing on human resource empowerment.

Government Initiatives:

  • India’s National Tourism Policy, 2002 identified Rural Tourism as one of its focus areas.
  • In 2003, a collaborative effort, termed as Endogenous Tourism Project-Rural Tourism Scheme, between MoT and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was initiated.
  • Rural Circuit Development has been included among the thirteen thematic circuits identified under ‘Swadesh Darshan’.
  • Vision statement of national tourism policy (draft) 2015 aims to develop and position India as a ‘must experience’ and ‘must revisit’ destination.


Rural Resources for Tourism:

Villages in India have a facet that makes them unique. Each of the 52 commissioned rural sites of MoT has a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that has been divided into three categories:

  1. Resources by virtue of geographical and climatic characteristics of the region.
  2. Aspects of the rural culture like village folklore, handicrafts, textile products, social bonds etc.
  3. Farm produce and practices like sowing, harvesting etc.


Case Studies:

  1. Homestays in Kalap Village (Uttarakhand): The significance of the non-farm sector is even more pronounced in the agriculturally backward hill areas. Tourism here is entirely executed by locals, organic food is served, and there is interaction with host communities.
  2. Fireflies Festival, Purushwadi Village (Maharashtra): The tribal village has been adopted by an NGO dedicated towards promoting eco-friendly tourism in villages and providing livelihood to the villagers.
  3. Stone Craft and Pattachitra in Raghurajpur Village (Odisha): This is an example of cultural tourism. It has a long lineage of artists specialising in ‘patachitra’ painting. The villagers specialize in palm leaf paintings, stone carvings, masks and wood carvings.
  4. Tribal Cultural Trails in Bishnoi Village (Rajasthan):  Bishnoi tribe follows a set of principles related to the protection of animals and conservation of trees.
  • It is to be noted that social and psychological consequences of tribal tourism are often more detrimental than beneficial for the tribals therefore proper management is needed.
  1. Textile Village Tour in Sarai Mohana Village (Varanasi, UP: Sarai Mohana is a village in Varanasi District of Uttar Pradesh. The Banarasi sarees made by these weavers are among the finest in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and embroidery.
  2. Textile Village in Pochampalli, Telangana is another example famous for textile village tour.
  3. Mango orchards in Malihabad (UP): Malihabad is known for Mango Tourism. In 2008, Kaleem Ullah Khan was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution to horticulture, earning him fame as the ‘mango man’ of Malihabad.
  • He has planted a mango tree on which he has managed to grow 300 different varieties of mangoes. The region is popular for Dussehri variety of mango.
  1. Ratnagiri district in south-western part of Maharashtra is famous for Alphonso mango as it got GI (geographical identification) tag by Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.
  2. Almonds, Saffron, Walnut, Apple etc in Kashmir (J&K): J&K is probably the only state in the country where almonds and saffron grow. It has an almost monopoly in walnut, apple, apricot, peach, cherry, olive crops, kiwi, etc.
  • In 2017 to promote farm tourism, Department of Tourism, Kashmir organized a familiarization (FAM) trip of the valley’s tour operators and houseboat owners.
  1. Vineyards in Nasik (Maharashtra) and Nandi Hills (Karnataka) are famous for Wine tourism. Spice estates in Kumily Village, idukki (Kerala): Tourisms get to visit spice farms in Kerala. Vasco da Gama came to Kozhikode and returned to Portugal with a shipment of Indian spices.  Kerala Tourism is making an effort to revive 2000 years old ‘Spice Route’ from Kerala to the Western countries.

Enabling Environment for Rural Tourism:

  • Scheme of e-tourist visa that allows visa approval on the email through e-application within 72 hours of the application has eased foreign tourist entry in India.
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims towards image building of India as a clean and hygienic destination.
  • The introduction of JAM Trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) has increased the share of total disbursement of money in the non-farm sectors.
  • Involvement of artisans in Dilli Haat, mega craft melas in different cities across the country has also been facilitated by MoT.

Way Forward:

  • Rural tourism can provide employment in hospitality, handicraft and other allied services.
  • The rural community should be able to connect with the tourists before and after the visits and also with the various service providers in the supply chain.
  • Schemes like National Rural Livelihood Mission, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana, etc. can offer significant help in conducting training programs in hospitality, housekeeping, catering, basic accounting etc.
  • Hunar Se Rozgar Scheme and regional level tourist guides training programme executed by MoT can also assist in capacity building.
  • Necessary infrastructural facilities such as transport to access the rural destinations, facilities to stay, healthcare facilities, ATMs, telecommunication facilities, internet connectivity are equally essential.
  • There is a need to make Panchayat functionaries aware about the concept and benefits of the rural tourism.



There is an urgent need to improve the economic scenario in rural India to have a sustainable growth model for the country as a whole. Rural tourism resources could be instrumental in bringing out the much needed turnaround of rural communities and at the same time provide visitors a wholesome tourism experience.

Chapter 5. NGOs and the Private Sector in Rural Non-Farm Sector

There exist some gaps between Government programmes on RNFS and the target group. There is a need to rope in other organizations committed to give something back to the society.

Importance of Non-Farm Sector:

  • Growth in employment in the formal sector has been lagging behind the general growth and employment in the country. There has been gradual loss of farmland to make room for roads, real estate and factories.
  • In this context, rural non-farm sector, which is sustainable and less capital intensive, appears more appealing to people.
  • The non-farm activities can help reduce income inequality and enhance the quality of life in rural areas by providing supplementary and non-seasonal employment to small and marginal farmers.
  • It has a scope to employ a large number of people, especially from lower socio economic strata of rural sector.
  • An enhanced focus on rural non-farm sector will lead to cross-sector income and diversification of income sources.

Integration of Farm and Non-Farm Sectors:

  • One big way in which farmer incomes can get a boost is by improving farm productivity (ratio of agriculture output to agriculture inputs). These activities can provide forward and backward linkages to agricultural activities.
  • Non-farm activities serve as an alternate source of income for those who were hitherto unemployed in agricultural farms.
  • Further, non-farm activities do not get affected by crisis of crop failure, bad harvest and drought, which happen in the case of farming.
  • A proper, integration of farm and non-farm activities in rural areas would also enhance the quality of life in rural areas.
  • It will also reduce the migration from rural areas to urban areas and hence reduce the immense pressure of planning, development and provisioning of services in the urban areas.
  • This would further uplift rural poor above the poverty Iine and enhance their quality of life.
  • It would also reduce the rural-urban income gap by providing continuity in incomes for the rural workers.

Government Programme and Policies:

  • The Government of India has launched programmes like Skill India, National Skill Development Mission, the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme and Community Colleges.
  • Young Professionals (YPs) scheme was developed under the NRLM with an objective to provide a well-structured exposure to Young Professionals in different thematic operations of NRLM.
  • Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is introduced to provide loans up to Rs 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.
  • These loans are given by the Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, MFIs and NBFCs.
  • Under the guidance of PMMY, three products have been created; `Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’, to signify the stage of growth and funding needs of the beneficiary.
  • However, Government organisations are not very flexible in their programmes.

Non-Governmental Organisations:

  • An NGO is a non-profit, voluntary group which is organized on a local, national or international level.
  • It performs a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizen’s concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation by providing information.
  • India possibly has the largest number of active NGOs in the world.


NGOs and RNFS:

At present, the role of NGO is to complement the services of the Government. They attract professionals from different fields to take up the role of planners and implementers of developmental plans in rural non-farm sector. There exists a gap between the requirement of trained human resources and the available human resources. The NGOs and private sectors can provide demand driven skill training.

  • NGOs can help create a direct link with the Government for marketing of goods produced by rural youth.
  • They can also help in establishing cooperative societies, procurement of raw materials, finance, marketing, etc.
  • Community Based NGOs build relations of cooperation and trust with the local people.
  • Advocacy NGOs scan and mobilize successful campaigns and raise public awareness regarding issues in RNFS.
  • Self Help Group (SHG) movement was initiated in the 1980s and consequently it was adopted by the Government.
  • There are more than 5.6 Cr. women attached to 49.7 lakhs SHGs in the country.
  • Many of these SHGs are also in the RNFS.
  • SHGs also provide for participatory communication, gender sensitization training, enhanced educational and employment opportunities, training etc.
  • Social workers can help identify barriers which exist in the entry of rural poor into the non-farm sector.
  • NGOs can provide training in soft skills with the help of digital tools to help the rural people in accessing quality inputs and advisory for many of the non-farm activities.
  • They can also provide demand driven skill training and skill up gradation to encourage non-farm activities in villages. It has to fulfil the demand of the employer or industry.
  • It would also motivate the rural youth to select the skill course or institute of their choice.
  • Social workers can help identify barriers which exist in the entry of rural poor into the non-farm sector.
  • NGOs can also help in establishing cooperative societies so that the economic activities which require larger resources can be pooled together.
  • The cooperative societies would also be helpful in managing forward and backward linkages with the banks, financial institutions and the consumer markets.


CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility):

  • Business cannot succeed when the society fails. Private organizations have to give back to the people their social and economic dividends.
  • Profit making businesses have been mandated to spend 2% of their net profit through CSR.
  • Their primary emphasis is on the health and education welfare schemes, rural projects, gender equality, hunger and environment-related causes. Such initiatives can also promote RNFS.
  • As the CSR funds are flexible, the needs can be analysed and evaluated before such funds are passed on to the local entrepreneurs.


Private Sector:

  • Trained social workers in private sector companies can assess the problems of the rural people and quickly plan suitable interventions:
  • Mentor and motivate rural people to participate in their development programmes.
  • Organize community development programmes.
  • Empower the community members by providing educational and employment opportunities.
  • The private sector can also develop innovative strategies for infrastructure development.
  • They have set up Kaushal Vikas Kendras to provide vocational training to semi-literate youth in a variety of trades.


Way Forward:

  • An institutional set up for the development of non-farm sector needs to be identified so that more employment opportunities are created in the rural areas.
  • It is necessary to improve rural road transport as it would help in marketing the goods and articles manufactured by RNFS, facilitate procurement of raw materials, improve market access.
  • Private sector needs to help identify viable non-farm activities and linkages of these non-farm activities with the farm activities already being undertaken in the rural areas.
  • NGOs and private organizations are expected to join hands to help Government in its mission.
  • NGOs can also help in establishing cooperative societies so that the economic activities which require larger resources can be pooled together.
  • The cooperative societies would also be helpful in managing forward and backward linkages with the banks, financial institutions and the consumer markets.
  • Social workers can help identify barriers which exist in the entry of rural poor into the non-farm sector.



Governmental Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Policy makers, Private Sector, CSR representatives, Academician, Researchers and the Rural Residents themselves need to come together and develop an integrated farm and non-farm sector development plan with a common goal of enhancing the rural household income.

Chapter 6. Handlooms and Handicrafts

Handlooms and handicrafts are important sectors among the occupations of non-farm sector of rural areas. These activities have become an alternative livelihood for the farmers and rural people in off-seasons.


  • Handloom emerged as a symbol of patriotism during the Indian national movement.
  • Handloom provides employment to more than 43 lakh weavers and other associated people directly and indirectly (Annual Report of the Ministry of Textiles, 2017-18).
  • Approximately 77 % are women.
  • Handloom sector has made its presence felt in the fashion industry as well.
  • It has helped in increasing their demands in domestic and overseas markets.
  • Given below are some of the popular handloom varieties in India:
  • Phanek of Manipur
  • Kullu Shawls of Himachal Pradesh
  • Naga shawls of Nagaland
  • Kalamkari of Andhra Pradesh
  • Mysore silk of Karnataka
  • Bhagalpuri silk of Bihar
  • Chanderi of Madhya Pradesh
  • Eri Silk of Meghalaya
  • Kasavu of Kerala


  • There are 68.86 lakh artisans engaged in handicrafts sector; out of which 38.61 lakhs are female artisans (Annual Report of the Ministry of Textiles, 2017-18).
  • In India, handicrafts have innumerable forms and widespread presence:
  • Bamboo crafts of Assam
  • Zari and Chikankari works and Gulabi Meenakari of Uttar Pradesh
  • Mirror work and Puppets of Rajasthan
  • Phulkari embroidery of Punjab
  • Bandhej of Gujarat
  • Coconut shell craft of Kerala
  • Rosewood inlay of Karnataka
  • Thanjavur paintings of Tamil Nadu
  • Madhubani painting and Sujni art of Bihar etc.


Geographical Indication:

  • Geographical Indication (GI) is a step towards increasing authenticity and credibility of the goods in the market.
  • Under Government’s initiatives to strengthen the handloom and handicrafts sector, 57 handloom products and 92 handicrafts have been registered under ‘The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999’.
  • Ex: Gujarat’s Kutch embroidery, Bihar’s Madhubani painting and Sikki grass products, Lucknow’s Chikankari craft, Santiniketan leather goods, Konark stone carving, Villianur Terracotta works of Puducherry, Jaipur’s blue pottery, Bastar iron croft, Tami Nadu’s Thanjavur paintings are some of the handicrafts registered under Geographical Indication Act.
  • Jammu-Kashmir’s Pashmina, Madhya Pradesh’s Chanderi, Gujarat’s Patan-Patola, Bihar’s Bhagalpuri Silk, Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu Shawls, Assam’s Muga Silk, Banaras brocade and sarees, Narayanpet Handloom Sarees of Telengana, etc. are some handloom articles registered under the Act.


Significance of Handicrafts and Handlooms:

  • Handicrafts and handlooms provide subsidiary employment in non-agricultural season and minimise the risk of food insecurity in rural areas.
  • It prevents migration of artisans, weavers and small-marginal farmers from rural to urban areas.
  • It also helps in getting social recognition to the producer communities.
  • Various sub segments like production of raw materials, supply and marketing of finished goods, etc. also provide indirect income.
  • It helps in bringing about women empowerment in rural areas.
  • These sectors also contribute significantly in the export sector.



  • Changing preferences of consumers.
  • Challenges from the international market.
  • Availability of low-cost alternatives.
  • Lack of interest in the younger generation to sustain the traditional craftsmanship.


Technological Intervention:

  • Handicrafts and handlooms originated as manual labor.
  • But later on they adopted light technology in order to cater to the needs of the market.
  • Now, these are known as an unorganised cottage industry, which includes carpet sector as well.

Government Initiatives:

  • Office of the Development Commissioner-Handloom and Office of the Development Commissioner-Handicrafts, Ministry of Textile are the nodal agencies of Government of India to implement the schemes.
  • National Handloom Development Programme is an umbrella scheme consisting of two major components:
  • Overall development of the handloom sector.
  • Welfare of the handloom weavers.
  • Weavers Mudra Scheme is a concessional credit scheme for the weavers as one of the major components of this umbrella scheme.
  • It provides loans at concessional rates, margin money assistance and credit guarantee.
  • The block level cluster projects aim at providing financial assistance of up to Rs. 2 Cr. to a cluster in a block for common facility centre.
  • A common facility centre is a package with various components for technical and professional assistance in handloom sector.
  • State Handloom Corporations provide marketing assistance directly to the weavers or through agencies.
  • 21 leading e-commerce companies also have been engaged for online marketing of handloom products.
  • Bunkar Mitra Helpline was introduced as a solution to professional queries of weavers.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya Hastkala Sankul, Varanasi is a notable initiative in the sector.
  • It is an art cum trade centre and crafts museum.
  • India Handloom Brand (IHB) is an initiative to create market for premium handloom products.
  • It was launched marking the first ‘Handloom Day’ on August 07, 2015.
  • It includes measures like widespread awareness and brand building activities, e-marketing and partnership with well-known retail stores.
  • Handloom Mark has also been launched to assure quality and genuineness of handloom products to the consumers.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and e-Dhaga mobile App incorporate technology in this traditional domain.
  • Sant Kabir Award, National Award and National Merit Certificates are motivational efforts taken up by the Government.
  • Professional courses in handloom technology have been introduced through six central ‘Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology’ (IIHTs) in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Salem (Tamil Nadu), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Guwahati (Assam), Bargarh (Odisha) and Fulia-Santipur (West Bengal), and four state sector IIHTs in Venkatagiri (Andhra Pradesh), Gadag (Karnataka), Champa (Chhattisgarh) and Kannur (Kerala).
  • Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY) and Health Insurance Scheme (HIS) are social welfare measures for the weavers.
  • The Ministry of Textiles provides 75 % of the fee for the children of SC, ST, BPL and women weaver families in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
  • National Handicraft Development Programme (NHDP) strives for integrated development of handicrafts sector.
  • Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (Mega Cluster scheme) has three-fold objectives; infrastructure development, technology upgradation and product diversification.
  • Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana under the NHDP has the major components including Design and Technology Upgradation, Human Resource Development, Direct Benefit, Infrastructure and Technology Support, Research and Development and Marketing Support and Services.
  • Gandhi Shilp Bazaar, Crafts Bazaar, Suraj Kund, Bharat Party etc. provide for marketing and promotion of the artefacts.
  • Nine mega clusters have been set-up on the basis of presence and diversity of handicrafts therein.
  • These mega clusters are: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, Moradabad, Mirzapur-Bhadohi, Lucknow, Bareilly, Jodhpur, Kucthch and Narsapur.
  • Major activities of the cluster include setting up common facility centre, skill-based training, direct assistance to artisans, design and product development and marketing.
  • Ten ‘Integrated Development and Promotion of Handicrafts Projects’ also have been sanctioned.
  • Handicraft Mark is a safeguarding and quality assurance measure including a trademark certification to assure authenticity of the product and to provide collective identity to the artefacts.
  • Pehchan (identity) aims at facilitating artisans with smooth access to their due benefits.
  • More than eleven lakh artisans received Pehchan I-cards.
  • Buyers-sellers meetings, Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair, Hastkala Sahyog Shivir act as measures to intensify marketing efforts.
  • Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY), support in Interest Subvention for the artisans.
  • Shilp Guru, National Award and National Merit Certificate are the motivational efforts in the handicrafts sector introduced by the government.



The efforts by the government are thus diverse, need-based and driven by its vision to convert this twin sector as a sustainable venture and as a potential employer. The sectors of handloom and handicrafts are gradually heading towards becoming self-reliant enterprises.

Chapter 7. Food Processing

Food processing is an activity that changes the raw food stuff into a suitable form that can be marketed. Food processing sector provides for the working together of industry and agriculture and contributes to economic and social growth. In the last decade, India has transformed from insufficiency to surplus in terms of food production which is expected to double in the next ten years.

Importance of Food Processing Industry:

  • The Government of India has devised a number of schemes for financial relief, incentives, commercialization and value addition in food processing sector.
  • India can become the leading supplier of food items in the future as it stands 2nd in terms of food production.
  • It will strengthen the use of modern processing and storage technologies in the food processing sector.
  • Food processing activities bring together farmers, processors and retailers.
  • It helps to reduce wastage in the supply chain and in attaining food security.
  • The sector also helps address issues food inflation and providing healthy food to the public.
  • The increase in the income levels and change in food habits has led to an increase in the demand for nutritious fruits and vegetables.
  • Processed food needs less space for storage and hence promotes exporting.
  • It will also help in crop diversification, commercialization of agriculture, reduction of wastage, enhancing shelf life, and ensuring better returns to the farmers.
  • The consumer also benefit from an increase in the supply of food products with a longer shelf life.

Current Scenario in India:

  • Grains, sugar, edible oils, beverages and dairy products are the Major industries in the food processing sector.
  • Value addition processes includes packaging, canning, making frozen food, dairy processing and thermo processing industries.
  • The sector accounts for almost one-third of the total food market in India.
  • With a valuation of $ 258 billion, it is the fifth largest domestic sector in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth in the country.
  • The sector contributes to around 14 % of manufacturing GDP, 13 % of total food exports and 6% of total industrial investment.
  • It contributes 8.80 % and 8.39 % of Gross Value Added (GVA) in manufacturing and agriculture, respectively.
  • The food market in India is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20 %.
  • The sector employs around 1.77 million people.
  • Food processing sector in India has received around $ 7.54 billion as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between 2000 and 2017. FDI during 2017-18 was $ 484 million.


Importance of Food Processing sector in Livelihood Sustainability:

  • Food processing is a major source of employment and income in the rural areas.
  • The sector reduces the problem disguised unemployment in agriculture.
  • The sector also enhances agricultural yields, productivity and the quality of living.

Government Initiatives:

  • The government has introduced 100% FDI in marketing of food products and various incentives with a strong focus on supply chain infrastructure.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) is a scheme by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries to boost investments in the food processing sector. It covers the following aspects:
  • Establishment of mega food parks, integrated cold chain and value addition infrastructure, expansion of food processing and preservation capacities, infrastructure for agro-processing, creation of backward and forward Linkages, food safety and quality assurance infrastructure, generation of human resources and Institutions.
  • Under the Mega Food Park Scheme 42 mega food parks will be set up while 17 are already functional.
  • Make in India campaign: Government has identified food processing sector as one of the priority sectors.



  • The sector lacks adequate infrastructure for processing and marketing.
  • There is a need to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers.
  • Poor supply chain linkages.
  • Lack of skilled manpower in rural areas to be employed in the sector.
  • Low adherence to quality standards due to low competition.

Future Prospects:

  • Food and beverages companies are adding new products in markets by modernizing more professional promotional campaigns.
  • India has an advantage of huge agricultural land and this can help potentially to become an ideal sourcing destination for food products internationally.
  • In order to expand food processing sector and exports from the sector, the government has launched numerous schemes by making huge investments.

Way forward:

  • Substantial investments are required in various components of food processing and equipment industry.
  • There should be awareness programmes for rural farmers who are primarily engaged in agricultural activities
  • A well-developed food processing sector will help in improved shelf-life of the agricultural produce and ensure steady revenue for farmers.
  • Food processing sector can expand with an appropriate set of policy support and implementation.
  • The policy should focus on the involvement of rural farmers as they play an important role in the management of Indian food ecosystem.

Chapter 8. Non-Farm Sector in North-Eastern India

In North-East India, each state has its own unique ethnicity and culture. The region is mainly populated with ethnic and tribal population. The region is appropriate for eco-tourism and production of plantation crops, spices, herbs, etc.

Agriculture in Meghalaya:

  • Meghalaya is home to three major tribal communities, Khasi, Jaintia and Garo, who are further divided into clans.
  • The geo-climatic situation of Meghalaya offers an excellent scope for growing different types of crops.
  • Region-specific fruits like Myrica nagi (sophie), Prunus nepalensis (sohiong), Elaeagnus khasianum (sohshang), Flemingia vestita (sohphlang), Docynia indica khasiana (sohphoh khasi), chow chow etc. have medicinal and nutritional values.
  • Plantation crops such as tea, cashew nuts, areca nut and other spice crops like black pepper are also grown in abundance.
  • High value, low volume crops such as strawberries are also grown.
  • The state receives the highest amount of rain in India.
  • About 80 % of the total population still depend on agriculture for their livelihood.



  • There is a low level of industrialization and infrastructure is poor.
  • The state suffers from dry spells and ‘moisture strain’ as most of the rainwater runs off the hills and is taken away to plain areas of Bangladesh and Assam.
  • There is limited land for cultivation and the contribution of agriculture to the state economy is about one-third only.
  • The hilly terrains of the State further limits bringing in additional area under cultivation.

Non-Farm Sector in Meghalaya:

  • The non-farm sector in the state is constituted by manufacturing, handicrafts, processing, repairs, construction, mining and quarrying, transport, trade, tourism etc.
  • Credit link to schemes like Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) for educated unemployed youth, MUDRA and Start-Up India are routed through all banks in the region.
  • Small-scale industry is starting to pick up in a slow but at a steady
  • The state of Meghalaya follows a matrilineal society and 80 % of the entrepreneurs are female.
  • Most of the Self Help Groups (SHGs) are led by women.

Challenges in Non-Farm Sector:

  • There is lack of adequate market value.
  • The techniques of value addition are unknown to the farmers of the state and it leads to a huge loss of raw material.
  • There is disguised unemployment where the whole family is involved in the farming sector.
  • There is absence of proper linkage between the farmers and the manufacturers.
  • : Jackfruit and other local fruits grown abundantly in the state get wasted as value addition is not done and there are no sufficient cold storage facilities.
  • There are inadequate infrastructural facilities in terms of power and connectivity.
  • Proper marketing is required to get the true value of their products such as Urlong tea.
  • The only market the products get is from the tourists who visit the state.
  • The state lacks rail and airways connectivity. The only means of commute to the state is the roadways, but it is also inadequate.

Way ahead:

  • Start-ups need to be promoted for manufacturing and marketing of products.
  • Recently, the state has approved the Meghalaya Start-up Policy 2018.
  • The policy will lead to creation of models for scalability and reliability.
  • It will create an enabling environment to facilitate at least 500 start-ups in the next five years.
  • The Meghalaya Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2012 also offers various incentives to functioning industries.
  • There should be a mapping of the movement of raw materials from farmers to commission agents, traders, processors, wholesalers, retail chains and ultimately to the end consumer.
  • It will help to identify the proposed collection centres, activity calendar, separation of peak and off season crop groups, man-days requirement etc. in terms of the sustainable supply and profitability.
  • There is a need to boost the production of high value crops and link the production with value chain management.
  • There will be less wastage of natural resources as they are not sold in their raw form.
  • The connectivity to the region should be improved.
  • District level exhibitions and trade fairs will ensure market linkages with various buyers in the local ‘haat’. Such promotional activities must be carried out.
  • The government should encourage vocational training, export-oriented manufacturing units and promote village and small-scale industries.
  • Value addition to spices, processing of bamboo handicrafts, handloom, juices, orange squashes pickles, local fruit wines, crushed stones bakery, etc. can be developed to a large extent.
  • The bamboo products can be a good replacement, the hazards of plastic use, it will lead towards the protection of the environment.


North-East India has all the potential resources to transform into a commercial hub. If the local products are promoted in a large scale, the state can make a mark in the non-farm sector. Development should also consider the fragility of the ecosystem.

Chapter 9. Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Uncleanliness of the mind is more dangerous than that of the body. The latter, however, is an indication of the former.” Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was launched in 2014 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti to achieve a ‘Clean India’ by 2019, marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Importance of SBM:

  • SBM has mobilised masses and public and private sector corporations alike.
  • It has become a peoples’ movement, evoking a sense of responsibility among the people.
  • Apart from sanitation, behaviour and mind set changes are also brought in.
  • It has a significant impact on public health, self-esteem and security.

Scope of SBM:

  • Apart from building toilets, Sanitation also includes safe management and appropriate disposal of waste, a planned approach towards behaviour issues, providing proper infrastructure and coming up with appropriate policies and delivery of services.
  • In 1954, the first rural sanitation programme was introduced as part of the First Five Year Plan. But the growth had been slow.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G), was launched focusing on ‘transforming and changing behaviours in rural India.’
  • The main objective was to make India Open Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019.
  • The SBM-G is administered by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS).

Achievements (2014-19):

  • According to recent data, all the states had been covered 100 % by Individual Households Latrines (IHHL), except Odisha, Goa, Telangana and West Bengal.
  • 1.34 Lakh Cr. was allotted for rural areas during the period to construct 11.11 Cr. toilets.
  • More than 9 Cr. household toilets were constructed and 98.86 % people have toilet facility in their premises.
  • 5,50,295 villages, 2,46,146 Gram Panchayats, 602 districts and 28 states are declared as ODF.

Funding SBM-G:

  • The funding for SBM-G is provided by Central and State government and from Swachh Bharat Kosh.
  • The Swachh Bharat Kosh has been established to collect and mobilise funds from non-governmental agencies and corporate sectors as well.

Social and Economic Impact of SBM-G:

  • It has improved the quality of life of people of rural areas.
  • In 2017, a study conducted by UNICEF on the request of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) found that the total benefit gained by households exceeded the cost by 4.7 times.
  • It has also strengthened the safety of women, girls and children and increased their participation in education and workforce.
  • It has also reduced the medical expenses and mortality.
  • According to WHO, attainment of 100 % toilet coverage would prevent 3 lakh deaths due to various waterborne diseases.


  • There is lack of maintenance and water availability.
  • Many taboos and beliefs are still existing in the rural areas. Many people, with access to toilets, still defecate in the open owing to pre-conceived beliefs.

Future Strategy:

  • Proper maintenance of toilets is to be done in a sustainable manner.
  • There should be water availability and proper disposal of waste.
  • Sanitation campaigns need to be organised to educate the masses.
  • Financial support from various financial institutions is required through interest-free loan.
  • Efforts need to be recognized through appreciations and awards to various social workers, villages, Gram Panchayats, blocks and districts.
  • Partnering with various implementing agencies and voluntary organizations for better sanitation drive should be given priority.
  • Emphasizing the role of rural youth and social workers and motivating them is pivotal in continuing the urge for rural sanitation awareness.

Case Study – Udupi, Karnataka:

  • About 50 Gram Panchayats in Udupi district of Karnataka have a solid and Liquid Resource Management (SLRM) Centre.
  • Each SLRM is equipped with a specially designed vehicle that the local Self Help Group (SHG) used for collection of household waste.
  • Waste collected from the households is processed in a scientific manner.
  • The project is a part of ‘ODF Plus’ activities under SBM-G.
  • After an initial survey, a draft ‘Solid Waste (Resources) Management’ policy was prepared at the district level and sent to Gram Panchayats for implementation.
  • User-fee collection system, training programmes and plastic ban are also initiated.

Waste Management – Udupi Model:

  • Each household has been given two dustbins; green and red to segregate waste as wet and dry respectively.
  • For scattered households a “bora” bag has been provided to store only dry waste which will be collected once a week.
  • Sanitary napkins and medical waste need to be wrapped in newspaper separately and marked in red and blue colours respectively.
  • The waste is collected twice a day.
  • Organic waste is further segregated and fresh items are fed to cattle.
  • The remaining organic waste is mixed with cow dung slurry to make compost.
  • Egg shells which are rich in calcium are dried, powdered and used for gardening.
  • Waste flowers are sold to Rangoli powder manufacturers.
  • Grey water generated in centres is used for growing Canna plants.
  • Inorganic items are segregated into 17 categories in SLRM centres and sold to authorized recyclers at value added price.
  • Non-recyclable items are stored separately and sent to cement factories for safe disposal.
  • Each SLRM centre comprises of a washing unit to clean segregated waste, one tricycle or one motor vehicle, a compost pit, and safety equipment and tools for segregation.
  • The district administration have appointed women SHGs to take care of SLRM.
  • Over 90% of households and commercial organizations properly segregate waste into organic and inorganic Items.


  • A better and healthier tomorrow is not only the government’s responsibility but a collective duty to be equally shared between the citizens and government.
  • A focused strategy involving various stakeholders in achieving the mission, powered by strong political will and political leadership driven by dedicated officials, can ‘make sanitation everyone’s business’.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission

According to the Global Multi-dimensional Poverty Index 2018, the pace of poverty reduction in India has sped up in recent years. The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana — National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is aimed at the alleviation of rural poverty.



  • DAY-NRLM seeks to mobilize about 9 Cr. households into Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • It will direct them to sustainable livelihood opportunities by building their skills.
  • It will also enable access to formal sources of finance, entitlements and services from both public and private sectors.
  • Since 2015, DAY-NRLM has also made efforts to create value chain development interventions to enhance market linkages.


  • Intensive and continuous capacity building of poor rural women will ensure their social, economic and political empowerment and development.
  • The mission supports 2 lakh SHG members under value chain development interventions.
  • The sanctioned projects include sectors like agriculture, livestock and Non-timber forest products (NTFP) commodities.

Gist of Kurukshetra: July 2019 Issue:-Download PDF Here

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