Survey Shows Economic Crisis Among J&K Farmers

KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

31.9 % Farmers Have Taken Loans For Farm, Non-Farm Businesses; Marriages And Housing

Srinagar: The National Statistical Survey (NSS), in its latest report, has revealed that almost 32 percent of the rural agricultural households in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) have borrowed loans from commercial and rural regional banks with an average outstanding demand of Rs 30,435.

The National Statistical Survey’s “Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households and Land and Livestock Holdings of Households in Rural India 2019” report has revealed that 31.9 percent of the farmers in J&K have taken loans from various banks for farm and non-farm business, housing, marriages, education and other purposes.

The report revealed that 6.7 percent of the borrowed money taken by farmers in J&K was used for revenue expenditure in the farm business, 3.4 percent for non-farm business, 3.9 for marriage and ceremonies, 2.9 for education, and 6.9 percent for other purposes.
As per the data, a major portion of the outstanding percentage of loans in J&K were calculated at 62.0 in scheduled commercial banks.“The farming community owed 62 percent of the outstanding money to commercial banks in J&K. 0.4 percent of the total debt belonged to rural regional banks followed by 0.2 percent to Self Help Groups.” The report revealed “Agricultural community also owes 3.8 percent of the total outstanding amount to non-institutional agencies.”

As per the NSS data, the copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer, the borrowings by the farming community in J&K are lower than the national average. “The total percentage of tenant holdings in J&K was reported at 1.5, lowest in the country.” The data said.

The data further revealed that around 28.4 percent of the outstanding money in agricultural households was borrowed for daily consumption purposes followed by 25.8 percent of the outstanding money borrowed for capital expenditure in farm business. “21.9 percent of the borrowed money by farmers in J&K was used for housing.” It said, “The total percentage of agricultural households reporting crop production in J&K till June 2019 was reported at 99.1 percent.”

The NSS survey has also revealed that J&K, in terms of agricultural households having accessed technical advice, recorded a booming 67.5 percent.
As per the survey, J&K consisted of 12,55,700 households out of which 54.8 percent owned agricultural land between 0.01 to 0.40 hectares. “More than 5,900 units were surveyed in first stage visit-1 in rural areas, covering 58,035 households and 5,894 first stage units were surveyed in visit-2 covering 56,894 households in J&K.” The report said.

As per the NSS, along with the outstanding amount,the survey has also collected the information on the source, nature and purpose of the loan. “Loans reported in the survey also include outstanding interest.” The survey said.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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