Overcoming Poverty in Rural India: Focus on Rainfed Semi-Arid Tropics uri icon


  • This study is a comprehensive analysis of the nature, the dynamics and the determinants of poverty in thesemi-arid tropics (SAT). It uses the sustainable livelihood framework to identify the underlying determinantsof poverty and the pathways in moving out of poverty. Quantitative analysis based on the most recent NationalSample Surveys (NSS) of India (1999-2000 round) generated classifications of relevant typologies includingagroecological zones, occupational groups, irrigation access and social groups. It shows that poverty in India isconcentrated most in the SAT and humid areas. It identifies caste and occupational groups facing highestincidence of poverty. The typologies systematized the establishment of linkages between rural poverty and thesemi-arid tropics.The study presents a synthesis of evidence and lessons learnt from the village level studies (VLS) by theInternational Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and other household level casestudies - income and expenditure levels, incidence of poverty and under-nutrition and coping strategies whenfaced with droughts and other income shocks. The empirical analysis uses both the quantitative and thequalitative data to document the existing and emerging evidences on the spatial and the social dimensions ofpoverty. The poverty diagnostics and strategic assessment of the issues confronting SAT generated acomprehensive perspective from both the micro and the macro levels, thus deepening our understanding ofthe multi-dimensional nature of SAT poverty.The study reviews the existing poverty alleviation programs (their merits and demerits and successes andfailures) and concludes with a set of recommendations on strategies to increase the contribution of SATagriculture to poverty reduction

publication date

  • 2005