Academic journal article Political Economy Journal of India

Hill Economy in Transition: A Case Study of Jia Village in Himachal Pradesh

Academic journal article Political Economy Journal of India

Hill Economy in Transition: A Case Study of Jia Village in Himachal Pradesh

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh large variations exist in the geo-physical, agro-climatic and anthropological characteristic. The various demographic variables such as population density, quality of life, etc also vary to a great extent. The unique features of the region make it difficult for the planners to apply policies framed at aggregate level to a particular region. Thus, in order to apply the development policies efficiently for making appreciable difference in the living standards of rural poor, specific attention for particular region from the planners is required. The village surveys in such regions are a step towards highlighting the socio-economic changes and other problems which may need urgent attention and priority treatment. After the initiation of era of planned development in India, increasing need was felt for carrying out the studies for proper understanding of the changes occurring in the structure and functioning of village economy by means of surveys and resurveys of villages. However, such villages can be representative of the rural economy and trends in a particular agro-climatic zone. The upliftment of the rural masses cannot be envisaged without prior knowledge of villages and villagers. It is envisaged that confining the study to a village or a small region will help to gather comprehensive village information such as size of operation, location, resource base, income distribution, customs and traditions, occupations etc, important variables in development administration. Therefore, the systematic study of the village presents picture of village economy as a whole. Keeping in view the present study has been conducted to analyze the socio-economic transition during the last five decades.

Methodology

The studies pertaining to the transition of economy require the information at various points of time, which are sufficiently apart so as to make the changes visible. Thus, it is necessary that the study area should be such that for which sufficient information exists. The study of Agricultural Economics Research Centre, University of Delhi in 1960-61 will serve as the benchmark for the present study for highlighting the transition. The required data pertaining to the year 2009-10 has been obtained on a structured schedule by personal interview method with the villagers which have been major sources of information. Both primary and secondary data has been used in the present study. Primary data has been collected from sampled farmers including their land use pattern, cropping and production pattern, size of holdings, gross return etc. Secondary data is collected from various Governments, offices and published reports and unpublished sources. Simple tabular analysis has been used to arrive at results. The present study has been based on 200 farmers located in four 'hamlets', those are Kuddan, Badaar, Arari and Dayala. For the purpose of detailed analysis all the households are divided according to their caste. This distribution has been presented in the following Table.

A unique feature of this village is that the whole population belongs to 'Gaddi' sect, although there are different sub-sects. Paddy, maize and wheat are the staple diet of the people. Nowadays agriculture is the main source of employment of the village where as in 1960-61 it was sheep and goats rearing. The number of household has increased from 108 in 1960-61 to 286 in 2009-10 and total population rose from 639 person to 1575 person during this period. The average size of the family has decreased from 5.9 to 4.3 and literacy rate rose from 6 percent in 1960-61.to 74.21 percent in 2009-10.

Socio-Economic Profile

Land use Pattern of the Village

Next to human resources, land is the most important asset in the village economy. It is the basic asset, mean of employment and income for a rural economy. The study of land use pattern is important because that it reveals the extent of land use under different activities such as cultivable, uncultivable, barren, waste land etc. …

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