More than half farmers still in debt: Nabard Survey

• The Indian farmer has turned ‘lakhpati’ with an annual income of Rs 107,172. But about 52% of them continued to be indebted, a survey by agri and rural lender Nabard showed.

• Agricultural households, which accounted for 48% of rural households, earned Rs 107,172 during 2015-16 from cultivation, livestock, non-farm sector activities and wages/salaries, a survey on financial inclusion released by Nabard.

• The survey defined farm households as families having over Rs 5,000 as the value of produce from agriculture operations in the year preceding the survey. For all rural households, the average annual income stood at Rs 96,708. The 48 percent of the rural families are agricultural households.

• At these levels, farm income grew at a compounded rate of 12% per annum from Rs 77,112 per annum according to an NSSO assessment in 2012-13. The income levels for 19 out of 29 states are above all India average and 15 states recorded annual compound growth of above 10.5% between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

• The survey conducted with the year 2015-16 as the reference year covered 40327 rural households.
Income for households engaged in non-agricultural activities, on the other hand, was Rs 87,228.

• But the level of indebtedness among farmer families is still higher, the survey indicated. The incidence of Indebtedness, which is a proportion of households having outstanding debt on the date of the survey, was 52.5 percent and 42.8 percent for agricultural and non-agricultural households respectively.

• Apart from assessing the income levels of rural households, the survey mapped aspects like debt, saving, investment, insurance, pension and financial aptitude and behavior of individuals.

• While 88.1 percent rural households and 55 percent agricultural households reported having a bank account, average savings per annum per household was Rs 17,488. About 26 percent of agricultural households and 25 percent of non-agricultural households were found to have been covered under insurance.

• Similarly, 20.1 percent agricultural households as against 18.9 percent non-agricultural households have subscribed to pension schemes.

• The survey was conducted on a pan India basis drawing samples from as many as 2016 villages in 245 districts and 29 states. A population of 1,87,518 was covered in the process.

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