Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation
19-December-2014 17:27 IST
Key Indicators of Situation of Agricultural Households in India


The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, conducted Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in its 70th round (January – December, 2013).  The detailed results of this survey will be brought out through a series of three reports.  In order to make available the salient results of the survey to the data users, well in advance of the release of the main reports, NSSO has released the key indicators of situation of agricultural households in India. NSSO conducted a similar survey on ‘Situation Assessment Survey of Farmers’ during January - December, 2003 in the rural areas of the country as part of its 59th round. 

            The survey covered the whole of the Indian Union. The survey aimed at capturing the condition of agricultural households in the rural areas of the country in the context of policies and programmes of Government of India. It was designed to collect information on various aspects relating to farming and other socio-economic characteristics of agricultural households. Information on consumer expenditure, information on income and productive assets, their indebtedness, farming practices and preferences, resource availability, awareness of technological developments, access to modern technology in the field of agriculture and information on crop loss & crop insurance was also collected. With a view to collect relevant information, separately for the two major agricultural seasons in a year, the same set of sample households was visited two times during the survey period.  The first visit was made during January- July 2013 and the second during August- December 2013.  The reference period for data collection was the agricultural year July 2012- June 2013.

            An agricultural household for this survey was defined as a household receiving  value of produce, more than Rs.3000/- from agricultural and having at least one member self-employed in agriculture either in the principal status or in subsidiary status during last 365 days.  On the other hand, in the ‘Situation Assessment Survey of Farmers’ conducted in NSS 59th Round, a ‘farmer’ was defined as a person who possesses some land and is engaged in some agricultural activities on that land during last 365 days preceding the date of survey. Thus the definition followed in NSS 59th Round had kept all agricultural activities of persons outside the scope of the survey which did not possess and operate any land.

Due to the change in coverage and difference in some important concepts and definitions followed in this survey vis-a-vis the 59th round survey, the results of these two rounds are not strictly comparable. While making any comparison of results of these two rounds, sufficient care should be taken to account for these differences.

The results of the survey are based on the Central Sample canvassed by NSSO, consisting of 4,529 villages spread over rural areas of all States and Union Territories. A total number of 35,200 households were surveyed in first visit and 34,907 of them could be re-surveyed in second visit. Some salient findings of the survey regarding situation of agricultural households in the country are as follows:


A.    Number of Agricultural households

·         During the agricultural year July 2012- June 2013, rural India had an estimated total of 90.2 million agricultural households, which constituted about 57.8 percent of the total estimated rural households of the country during the same period.

·         Uttar Pradesh, with an estimate of 18.05 million agricultural households, accounted for about 20 percent of all agricultural households in the country.

·         Rajasthan had highest percentage of agricultural households (78.4 percent) among its rural households and Kerala had the least percentage share of agricultural households (27.3 percent) in its rural households.

  • Out of the total estimated agricultural households in the country, about 45 percent belonged to Other Backward Classes.
  • About 16 percent agricultural households were from Scheduled Castes and 13 percent from Scheduled Tribes.

B.     Source of Income  of Agricultural households

·         Principal source of income of agricultural households is largely determined by the extent of land possession.

·         Majority of the agricultural households which possessed more than 0.40 hectare land,  reported cultivation as their principal source of income.

·         Among the agricultural households having less than 0.01 hectare land, about 56 percent reported wage/salary employment as their principal source of income and another 23 percent reported livestock as their principal source of income.

·         Agricultural activity (cultivation, livestock and other agricultural activities) was reported to be the principal source of income for majority of the agricultural households in all the major States, except Kerala where about 61 percent of the agricultural households reported to have received maximum income from sources other than agricultural activities.

  • About 44 percent of the estimated agricultural households in the country had MGNREGA job card during the survey period.
  • In rural India about 12 percent agricultural households did not possess any ration card as on the date of the survey.
  • BPL card was possessed by about 36 percent of the estimated agricultural households and another 5 percent possessed ‘Antyodaya’ cards.
  • About 13 percent agricultural households having land less than 0.01 hectare did not have ration card.

C.    Possession of Land by Agricultural households

  • About 0.1 percent of the estimated agricultural households in rural India were landless.
  • About 93 percent of agricultural households in the country possessed some type of land other than ‘homestead land only’ and little less than 7 percent possessed only homestead land.
  • Around 78.5 percent of the agricultural households did not possess any land outside the village they were residing during the survey period.
  • Among the households reported land possession outside the village, about 17.5 percent had land within the State itself and about 4 percent had land outside the State.

D.    Income, investment and indebtedness

  • About 52 percent of the agricultural households in the country were estimated to be indebted.
  • Among the major States, Andhra Pradesh had the highest share of indebted agricultural households in the country (92.9 percent) followed by Telengana (89.1 percent) and Tamil Nadu (82.5 percent).
  • In rural India, about 60 percent of the amount of outstanding loans taken by the agricultural households was taken from the institutional sources, which included Government (2.1 percent), Co-operative society (14.8 percent) and banks (42.9 percent).
  • Share of income of agricultural households from non-farm business in their average monthly income decreased with increase in land possession.
  • Net investment in productive assets per agricultural household increased with increase in land size.

E.     Farming practices, crop insurance etc.

  • Of the estimated 90.2 million agricultural households in the country, 86.5 percent households were engaged in crop production during the period July 2012- December 2012.
  • The average gross cropped area per agricultural household during this period was 0.937 hectare.
  • The survey results indicated that very small segment of agricultural households utilized crop insurance.
  • Lack of awareness was the most reported reason by the agricultural households for not insuring their crops during the agricultural year July 2012- June 2013.

The publication related to above cited Key Indicators is also available on the website of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.