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Agricultural Economics Research Review
Year : 2013, Volume : 26, Issue : 2
First page : ( 257) Last page : ( 266)
Print ISSN : 0971-3441. Online ISSN : 0974-0279.

Role of Non-Farm Sector in Sustaining Rural Livelihoods in Punjab§

Pavithra S.a,*, Vatta Kamalb

aNational Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP), New Delhi - 110 012

bDepartment of Economics & Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - 141 004, Punjab

*Author for correspondence Email: vgpavithra@ncap.res.in

§The paper is a part of the M.Sc thesis entitled “Diversity and Distribution of Rural Household Income in Punjab“ of the fist author, submitted to the Department of Economics & Sociology, PAU, Ludhiana-141004, in 2009.

JEL Classification: D31, D63, I32, J40

Online published on 19 December, 2013.


The role of non-farm sector has been examined in promoting rural livelihoods in the state of Punjab, especially of the landless and marginal farm households who are often poor and derive a sizeable proportion of their income from non-farm activities. The non-farm income sources have been found to contribute towards reduction in income inequality. Owing to their lower level of education, lack of skills and capital, these households are engaged in relatively less-remunerative activities. The determinants of participation in non-farm activities have been identified and it has been found that larger family size, higher dependency ratio, small landholdings and social backwardness motivate farm households to participate more in the non-farm sector. Improvement in education and skills and creation of productive assets are crucial for enhancing their participation in more remunerative income-generating non-farm activities.



Non-farm sector, poor farmers, income inequality, rural livelihoods, Punjab.


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