The off-farm economic structure of agriculturally growing regions: a study of Indian Punjab

Chadha, G.K.

Off farm employment in the development of rural Asia Papers presented at a conference held in Chiang Mai Thailand 23 to 26 August 1983, 2: 147-175


Accession: 001712890

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The Punjab development model shows that a fast growing agriculture is capable of generating (1) high and rising levels of on-farm employment and income; (2) new and expanding avenues of off-farm employment and income, especially for the weaker sections of the rural society; (3) rising demands for purchased inputs to meet the requirements of technological changes, and for non-farm consumption goods arising out of higher income levels and structural changes in rural consumption patterns; and (4) considerable industrial growth, heavily biased towards agro-industrialization which, by its very nature, is very widely dispersed in space and strengthens the rural-urban economic relationships. The paper examines these features of the Indian Punjab economy. The first section deals briefly with the changing structure and growth performance of Punjab agriculture, together with the shares of farm and non-farm incomes accruing to various categories of cultivating households, and also the changing structure of employment of rural labour households. The changing consumption patterns in rural Punjab, with implications for the nature of future demand for industrial goods and services, are then analysed. There follows an examination of the pattern of sectoral growth and economic diversification focusing, in particular, on the agriculture-industry relationship in the Punjab economy at the aggregate or sectoral level. Finally, some relevant features of the state's industrial structure are highlighted, with the underlying objective of observing the degree of agricultural orientation in the industrial sector of the state.