Publication Type:

Journal Article


South Asia Research, Sage Publications, Volume 27, Number 1, p.79–103 (2007)


Using primarily different published secondary data, the article analyses employment generation, income of different categories of labour and the extent of indebtedness and earning prevalent among rural landless labourers and agricultural house-holds in rural Orissa, with a view to understanding their livelihood patterns. In this state—where more than 85 per cent of the population is rural—a third of rural households constitute landless labour households which depend completely on wage employment. Another 60 per cent of rural households is comprised of marginal farmers and small farmers who do not generate sufficient income from their land. Even small farmers with up to five acres supplement their agriculture with outside jobs or wage employment. The evidence relating to rural labour households and agricultural labour households shows an explicit overall decline in employment both for male and female labour. There is also a decline in the average number of earning members per household. Clearly, the rural labour households and agricultural labour households in this state are characterised by low earning, decline in income, low consumption and high debt, and remedies will have to be found to generate more employment and income.

Cite this Research Publication

S. Kumar Mahapatra, “Livelihood Pattern of Agricultural Labour Households in Rural India Evidence from Orissa”, South Asia Research, vol. 27, pp. 79–103, 2007.