Agricultural households: In most agricultural households, debts are greater than income | Visakhapatnam News

Visakhapatnam: A study conducted by researchers from various institutions in the UK and India has revealed that almost two-thirds of agricultural households in Andhra Pradesh have high unpaid debts. The average debt-to-income ratio is negative for all firm sizes, indicating that most households’ debts are, on average, higher than their incomes. Based on data from the earlier Bloom study (Additional Benefits of Large-Scale Organic Farming for Human Health), the current study evaluated the pattern of income, household expenses (including cultivation costs), outstanding debts, and depressive symptoms. As part of the study, a baseline visit was conducted in 82 villages in four districts of Andhra Pradesh – Anakapalli, Kurnool, Nandyal and Visakhapatnam – covering 1,956 households. The survey found that income from cultivation (23%) and salary (22%) made the largest contributions to household income. For large farms, cultivation contributed to almost half (47%) of household income, while for small farms (25%) it only accounted for about a quarter of household income. Wages constituted almost a third of the income of landless peasants (37%). Overall, the average income from cultivation and salary was 3,369.5 and 4,564.1 per month, respectively. The research team included Otu Ibok, Ranjit Kumar, Divya Veluguri, Bharat Sandip, Lilia Bliznasha, Michael Eddleston, Peter Craig, Alfy Gathorne-Hardy, Sailesh Mohan, John Norrie, Poornima Prabhakaran and Lindsay Jaacks. Some of these researchers belong to different institutions such as University of Edinburgh (UK), ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (India) and University of Glasgow (UK). In terms of cultivation expenditure, the largest share was spent on human labor (40%), followed by pesticides (18%), fertilizers (17%) and seeds (8%). Small farms spent the largest share on labor (43%, compared to 30% for landless farms). Landless farms, on the other hand, spent the largest share on rent (22%, compared to 3% for small farms). In terms of household expenditure (excluding cultivation and ritual expenditure), food (50%) had the highest share, followed by household goods (12%), healthcare (10%), cooking fuel (8%) and transit (7%). Regarding depression, the majority of individuals across all land ownership categories were not depressed (with percentages ranging from 98% to 99%). This low prevalence of depression indicates good mental status and well-being.

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