Chhattisgarh: changes in the sectoral distribution of income and employment
The primary sector, more specifically agriculture and allied activities, forms the base of the State’s economy and provides livelihood to 80 percent of the rural population. The rural economy has a diversified base with agriculture and allied activities as the mainstay, accompanied by a thriving rural non-farm economy.
According to the 2011 Census, the Work Force Participation Rate (WFPR) for the State is 46.5 percent. The rural WFPR is higher, at 50 percent, compared to the urban WFPR of 31 percent. Marginal workers constitute about 27.2 percent of the total work force in the State of which 70 percent are women. Around 76 percent of the total workers are employed in agriculture. Agricultural labour accounts for 32 percent of the workforce.
The hilly and forested terrain in the north of the State includes the districts of Korea, Surguja, Jashpur, and parts of Bilaspur, Korba, Kabirdham and Raigarh districts. The environment and the topography shape the lives of the people of this region. People and communities are dependent on the forests for fuel, firewood, medicines, liquor, food, implements and housing material. Many trees, shrubs and creepers provide vegetables and fruits that form an important part of the diet of the people.
The plains area of the State covers the districts of Rajnandgaon, Durg, Raipur, Mahasamund, Dhamtari and some blocks of Bilaspur. Single crop agriculture is the norm and paddy is the main crop. The increasing spread of irrigation has provided opportunities for double cropping and diversification, and has encouraged horticultural activities. This is the most fertile and productive region of Chhattisgarh.
Southern area of chhatishgarh consists of the forested hill tracts of the districts of Bastar, northern Bastar (Kanker) and southern Bastar (Dantewada). It has a lot in common with the forested and hilly tracts of the north. The region is heavily forested and forests are the primary source of livelihood, providing for many household needs.
About 18.74 percent of households are workers or wage earners. Around three percent of the rural households run shops. It is important to note that this figure refers to those households that are completely dependent on wages and other work. A sizeable proportion of agriculturists live on the margins. During the lean season, or when they face a shortage of food grain, they look for wage labour. Wages are an important source of livelihood. Within the wage labour category, there are several sub-categories like agricultural wage labour, wage labour for forest produce collection and wage labour in cattle rearing. Wage earners are engaged in cottage industry, manufacturing industry, construction work, mines, transport related activities and in small hotels and dhabas. The smallest category of rural households (0.15 percent of all rural households), is that of skilled workers and they are largely rural artisans.
About 82 percent of rural wage earners find employment in agricultural activities. Cattlerearing is second in importance to agriculture and provides employment to 6 percent of all rural wage earners. However, wages from cattle rearing are largely contractual in nature. About five percent of the rural wage earners get wages from forest-based activities. Construction labour provides employment to about 2.7 percent of wage earners.
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