A study on the livelihood pattern

A study on the livelihood pattern of rural Jharkhand on vegetable based agricultural economy

B. Sushil Kumar

The present investigation was carried out at different villages of Angara (Ranchi district) and Karra (Khunti district) blocks during March-2010 to June-2010 with the help of questionnaires and interview among the selected farmers.

Most of the farmers under studied areas of both blocks belong to either marginal or small category. The typical demographic feature of the studied areas is undulated topography comprising of low, medium and up land situations and the maximum crop cultivation in low land areas is conducted during kharif season by growing mainly paddy. Whereas, during rabi and summer seasons, most of the upland and lowland areas are covered by growing different vegetables due to prevalence of suitable weather conditions and presence of either perennial sources of water or arrangement of artificial sources of water through digging dobha (under low land condition) and wells (under up land condition) but there is no cultivation of crop in summer season at the medium land due to lack of convenient irrigation facilities.

 The villages under studied areas of the Karra block of Khunti district are dominated for cultivation of different vegetables like potato, tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, chilli, brinjal, French bean, peas, cow peas, onion, radish, carrot, okra, ginger and garlic. Most of the farmers of the Karra block are interested to grow potato and tomato but very few of them are keen interested to grow radish, carrot, okra, ginger and garlic. Root crops like radish, carrot and cucurbits like bottle gourd are not preferred by the all selected farmers of different villages of Karra block probably due to comparatively lower magnitude of profitability that were recorded as against such vegetables in the studied areas of Karra block.

 Similarly, almost all farmers of the Badri and Obar villages of the block Angara are interested to grow potato followed by tomato, brinjal and peas but only few of them are in favour of growing carrot and onion. The most of the farmers under Angara block are not so much interested to grow onion probably due to long duration of the crop that may interfere for the cultivation of their late summer crops or due to non-availability of reliable planting materials timely.

The benefit cost ratios of potato and tomato are 2.30 and 4.00; 2.57 and 3.50; 2.73 and 4.46, for Tangratoli, Larta and Kusumtoli villages of Karra block, respectively.  The benefit cost ratios for growing cauliflower and cabbage are more than 3.0 in all cases of the three studied villages of the Karra block. This indicates maximum profitability for growing potato, tomato and cole crops like cabbage, cauliflower etc. under Karra block of Khunti district. Similarly, the benefit cost ratios of potato and tomato are 2.17 and 2.20; 2.08 and 2.14, for Badri and Obar villages of Angara block, respectively. These findings are in favour of cultivation of such vegetables as livelihoods of the farmers of the Angara block.  The benefit cost ratios for growing different vegetables in selected villages of Karra block are more than 2.0 in almost all cases; these results justify the scope of vegetables cultivation in the studied areas of Karra block. The market price variation for same vegetable in different villages even within the same block was recorded. This variation in price is mainly due to harvesting of same vegetable at different times of the season by the growers of different villages. In the case of potato, market price is Rs. 1000/- per quintal (for Tangratoli) but for other four villages namely Larta, Kusumtoli (Karra block), Obar and Badri (Angara block) it is Rs. 1200/- per quintal. This finding clearly suggests early harvesting of potato by the farmers of all studied villages except Tangratoli. The market price of potato is comparatively higher in almost all cases under the studied areas. The actual reason behind it is nothing but cultivation of kharif potato by the farmers of the studied villages and their produce becomes available in the market during October onwards when price of potato is really high in the markets. This observation denotes preponderance of growing kharif potato in the studied villages of both Angara and Karra blocks. The benefit cost ratio for the same vegetable differs in the cases of different selected villages because of not only price variation but also yield variations too.

The selected farmers of the three villages of Karra block enjoyed more than Rs. 18000/- net profit by growing potato in one acre of land as against the maximum net profit of Rs. 65500/- by growing cauliflower by the Tangratoli’s farmers. Similarly, in the cases of tomato, net profit of Rs. 39450/- (for Tangratoli’s farmers), Rs.34300/- (for Larta’s farmers) and Rs. 37250/- (for Kusumtoli’s farmers) were obtained by growing different high yielding extra early hybrids and improved varieties in the selected villages of the block Karra. On the contrary, farmers of the village Badri (Angara block) gained more net profit by growing cauliflower (Rs. 16200/-) in one acre of land but the village Obar (Angara block) gained only Rs. 4100/- by growing the same crop in one acre of land. Whereas, the farmers of the Obar village enjoyed maximum net profit of Rs. 10600/- by growing potato in one acre of land as against Rs.9700/- by the farmers of the Badri village. Almost all cases, the more profit is obtained by growing different vegetables in the Karra block as compared to the Angara block. The maximum average net profit (Rs. 54733/-) is obtained from the cultivation of cauliflower in one acre of land in the Karra block but it is comparatively lower in the cases of Angara block (Rs. 10150/-). There is  huge differences in average net profit by cultivating the same vegetable between these two blocks not only due to differences in marketing facilities and cultivation of early high yielding hybrids and improved varieties  but also there may be some other anthropological causes, because the studied villages under the Angara block are diethnic villages with Bedia  and Lohar communities (in Obar) and Bedia and Kumhar communities (in Badri)  that is mostly tribal dominated villages and thereby, there may be some belief on classical cultivation practices instead of modern cultivation packages along with lack of good marketing networks, where as the studied villages (Kusumtoli, Tangratoli and Larta) under the Karra blocks are multi-ethnic villages with Munda, Oraon, Muslim, Lohar, Baraik, Rai, Mahto, Rautia and Bhoktha communities that is the mixed communities are there and they are probably more awareness to accept the modern technologies for growing different crops along with good marketing facilities.

Keywords: Vegetable based economy, livelihood pattern, Angara block, karra block