Dynamics and Development Pathways in the Semi-Arid Tropics: Dokur Village Profile. Research Bulletin no. 23 uri icon

abstract

  • This Research Bulletin is a profile of Dokur village in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, India.It is part of a series of village profiles featuring six villages located in the semi-arid tropics of Indiawhich were studied by ICRISAT in its long-term socio-economic research known as the Village LevelStudies (VLS). This profile chronicles the developments undertaken and pathways of improvedlivelihoods in Dokur village from 1975 to the present. It is based on insights from the longitudinalhousehold panel data which originally studied 40 households in 1975 to 1985 (VLS-1) and systematicallytracked them since then beginning 2001 to the present (VLS-2) using formal surveys of originalhouseholds and their split-off households. The survey data were complemented by focus groupmeetings (FGM) and personal interviews with key village informants. The profile features significantchanges that have taken place in the overall situation in Dokur village during the last 30 years. Theunique experience of this village during the last three decades is captured by the two generations ofVLS data. The transformation of this village is seen to be significantly influenced by the environmental,political and socioeconomic changes, particularly during the last two decades. The food security ofhouseholds that fall below the poverty line has improved in recent years compared to the past.However, the persistent drought experienced by farmers of Dokur in the last decade presents evidenceof their vulnerability, their responses to drought and other shocks and corresponding copingmechanisms. Crop production and cropping patterns shifted from food crops to cash crops or highvalue crops, with farmers? greater concern about income and profitability. Due to persistent droughtand increasing water scarcity in Dokur, the role of agriculture has been declining. Household incomeswere seen to be increasingly derived from migration and non-farm or non-agricultural activities.Literacy and education levels significantly increased with greater diversification of livelihoods andsubstantial income opportunities from migration and the non-farm sector. Credit facilities improvedwith accessibility to more formal credit sources, although informal sources (e.g., private moneylenders)remain dominant. Greater social and household empowerment of women was evident as theyovercame social barriers to participate in government welfare programs, village development activitiesand acquired membership in Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Overall, Dokur?s transformation has led to thesignificant improvement of the welfare of its population. However, this transformation is driven notby agriculture but by the opportunities presented by higher education, improved awareness, womenempowerment, and diversification into non-agricultural sources of livelihood, and even migration

publication date

  • 2009