Vol. 5 No. 1
A study on poverty of agricultural households in coastal saline zone of West Bengal.
Author(s): G. DEY
Abstract: A study was undertaken in Coastal and Saline Zone of West Bengal to measure the poverty among the agriculture households using Simple Random Sampling Without Replacement (SRSWOR). Extent of poverty was measured by Head-Count Ratio and Poverty-Gap Ratio. It was found that poverty existed among agricultural households in marginal and small size classes. In head-count measure about 48 per cent and 22 per cent of the agricultural households respectively in marginal and small size classes were found to be lying below poverty line (BPL). Overall, 41 per cent of the total agricultural households were found below poverty line. The extents of poverty of agricultural households below poverty line were measured 23.62, 8.30 and 20.00 per cent respectively in marginal, small and overall size classes by poverty-gap ratio measure. In this measure extent of poverty was estimated 20 per cent taking all the agricultural households into consideration. The highest disparity in income between agricultural households above and below poverty line was observed to originate from crop production, being a major source of income of agricultural households. Linear correlation analysis indicated a significant positive relationship between net income of agricultural households earned from crop production and each individual variables like size of operational holding, irrigated land and land allocated to non-food grain crops. A significant positive relationship was also observed between size of irrigated land and land allocated for non-food grain crops. Among the large number of crops grown by the agricultural households above poverty line (APL), the crop like cucumber, spinach and betelvine were not found to be grown by the agricultural households below poverty line. Not only the size of operational holding, irrigated land and area of land under non-food grain crops were recorded to be higher for the households above poverty line compared to the households below poverty line, level of net income per unit area was also estimated to be higher for the former than for the latter. Lower level of per capita non-farm income of the households below poverty line was found to be attributed to not only higher size of family but also to lower level of non-farm income per household as compared to those of the households above poverty line.