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Rural Development in India: Agriculture, Non-farm, and Migration

Oct 2003
Stanford King Center on Global Development Working Paper
187
By  S. Mahendra Dev, Robert E. Evenson

More than 70 percent of India’s population lives in rural areas, and to raise India’s growth rate, it is necessary to raise the rural growth rate. This can be done in a number of ways. Rural households respond to a number of market related factors. Cultivator households respond to changes in prices for the commodities they produce, and to the introduction of new technology, particularly of new “high-yielding” or modern crop varieties, by experimenting and testing the merit of a new technology for their particular situation. Rural households, both farm and non-farm, also respond to the provision of “public goods” in the form of health services and schooling services. This paper summarizes a study of agricultural growth associated with the Green Revolution in India, assesses data on migration and rural non-farm employment, estimates determinants of rural-rural migration and rural non-farm employment, utilizing National Sample Survey data at the household level, and discusses policies needed for higher agricultural growth and rural non-farm employment.