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In this chapter, we deliberate upon the role of the non-farm sector in the food systems. We argue that livelihood diversification in rural India would lead to an overall economy-wide increase in productivity, and facilitate swifter structural transformation and poverty reduction. We highlight the role of the non-farm sector for job creation in rural areas, especially along the rural-urban continuum for structural transformation to take place. Policy has not yet leveraged the potential of small towns and the peri-urban spaces as a means to create new job opportunities. We focus on these blurring of the rural-urban distinction which provide an opportunity to diversify the portfolio of economic opportunities available to rural households, thereby enabling greater rural income and improved access to food and nutrition.
See chapter on health for discussion on the pathways to reduce malnutrition.
In 2011–12, 84% of India’s population was classified as net consumers of rice, much of which was purchased in the market (CITE).
Many of these points will be discussed in the following chapters.
The food equation is the term used by Malthus in his 1978 “Essay on Population” as a race between food and population. A balanced food equation implies food sufficiency where domestic food demand is met by overall supplies.
Structural transformation by regions has been dealt with in detail in Chap. 2.
A report by McKinsey Global Institute titled “India’s Labour Market: A new emphasis on gainful employment” presents a similar figure. It says that during 2011–15, 33 million non-farm jobs were created, while the number of agricultural jobs declined by 26 million.
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- Rural Livelihood Challenges: Moving out of Agriculture
- Chapter 3
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