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Poverty and Agricultural development Scenario in Orissa: A Regional Analysis

P., Nanda and MK, Sinha and A., Kumar (0201): Poverty and Agricultural development Scenario in Orissa: A Regional Analysis.

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The preliminary study of meso data at the district level and panel data of the sampled viI/ages made under the project ViIlage Dynamics Studies in South Asia(VDSA) in the two sampled districts of Orissa reveal interesting pictures with respect to poverty incidence, asset holding pattern, size class-wise land holding pattern, agricultural productivity, livestock owning and natural resource endowment. Poverty in Orissa, an eastern coastal state of India has been a matter of great concern for successive governments and planning authorities at the national and state levels. The eastern state has been under scrutiny by the national planning authorities and a number of poverty alleviation programme launched in the country have focused Orissa as a test case of impact of development initiatives. However, the state has failed to catch up with national poverty reduction efforts due to plethora of socio-economic, historical, political, administrative and natural reasons. It is estimated that during 2004-05, the incidence of rural poverty was 47 and for urban Orissa it was 44 as against the average poverty incidence of 26 for India. The social grouping of people under poverty in the state reflects that the poor scheduled tribes constitute as high as 76 in rural areas and 65 in the in urban areas respective category of population. The region-wise break up of rural and urban poverty in the stare indicates that the southern Orisso suffers from highest incidence of poverty followed by western, northern and eastern Orissa. The districts like Nuapoda, Balangir, Kalahandi, Koraput are grouped under highest poverty incidence region in the state. The two district sampled for study namely Bolangir (48.79 of population below poverty) under Western Orissa and Dhenkanal (47.53 of population below poverty) under north eastern high lands reveal different scenarios of poverty under different social groupings. The analysis of Ginni coefficient and Theil entropy measures in one of the sampled villages in Dhenkanal district under the project were found to be 0.7and 0.9 respectively. There is differential pattern of land holdings which highly skewed in favour of large farmers in all the study villages. The occupational composition of population, sex ratio, the age group distribution of population, farm mechanization, agricultural productivity and migration pattern also reveal diversified pattern under different size class and social groups.

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