Base Line Survey For Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (A Village Level Case Study)
The Base Line Surveys are an important research tool as it provides us the mechanism of collecting valuable primary data. Keeping it in view, a baseline socio-economic survey was conducted in Bajrer village of Himachal Pradesh. For obtaining the information a detailed interview schedule was prepared which mainly consisted of: demographic features, land inventory, cropping pattern, labour use in production, sources of income and expenditure pattern of households, sources of information, environmental issues, health issues and various other socio-economic indicators.
The baseline information of the sample households shows that majority of the households belong to OBC category. Major source of irrigation of this village is kuhl. Rice and wheat are the two major crops. Farm mechanization is very less. Infrastructural facilities are very poor. Awareness levels of farmers regarding scientific crop cultivation are poor. The transport facilities are inadequate.
Regarding the status of the socio-economic profile of the households, Agriculture is the main occupation and (50%) of population primarily depends on Agriculture for their livelihood. The average size of land holding came out to be 1.2bigha.There exist a number of social issues out of which the notable are increase in dowry, unemployment, drudgery for women, poor health of children, strong opposition to the inter-caste marriage etc. In all the households the highest expenditure was incurred on day to day consumption primarily on food items and clothing (85.01%) followed by electricity (5.24%) and communication (5.12%). Expenditure on education (2.78%) and health (1.94%) was poor among all the households. Majority of the farmers belong to the category of marginal farmers.
The post-harvest activities like grading and mechanical cleaning are not done. Marketing facilities are underdeveloped and marketing practices are unorganized. Storage is only traditional.
Among the various livestock activities cow is the main source of milk and bullock is the main source of draught power. Very less expenditure is made on animal rearing and maintenance. Regarding the income from other subsidiary occupations farmers are engaged to some extent in MGNREGA but the income earned is meagre.
On the status of source of knowledge the status is encouraging. The farmers get knowledge basically from Agriculture Development Officer (61%) followed by Radio and TV (50%).However the farmers were dissatisfied with extension services provided by other agencies like krishi vigyan Kendras (0%) and agricultural universities (1%).The main constraints faced by the farmers in agriculture are lack of timely availability of fertilizers (28%) and monkey menace (28%) which appeared to be a major problem in the village for the destruction of crops.
It was found during the survey that the farmers are not at all aware about the contract farming which leaves a great room to infuse them with the concept in future and thereby usher a new era of farming.