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Collective influence of household and community capitals on agricultural employment as a measure of rural poverty in the Mahanadi Delta, India

Collective influence of household and community capitals on agricultural employment as a measure of rural poverty in the Mahanadi Delta, India
Collective influence of household and community capitals on agricultural employment as a measure of rural poverty in the Mahanadi Delta, India
The main determinants of agricultural employment are related to households' access to private assets and the influence of inherited social-economic stratification and power relationships. However, despite the recommendations of rural studies which have shown the importance of multi-level approaches to rural poverty, very few studies have explored quantitatively the effects of common-pool resources and household livelihood capitals on agricultural employment. Understanding the influence of both access to common-pool resources and private assets on rural livelihoods can enrich our understanding of the drivers of rural poverty in agrarian societies, which is central to achieving sustainable development pathways. Based on a participatory assessment conducted in rural communities in India, this paper differentiates two levels of livelihood capitals (household capitals and community capitals) and quantifies them by using national census data and remotely sensed satellite sensor data. We characterise the effects of these two levels of livelihood capitals on precarious agricultural employment by using multilevel logistic regression. Our study brings a new perspective on livelihood studies and rural economics by demonstrating that common-pool resources and private assets do not have the same effect on agricultural livelihoods. It identifies that a lack of access to human, financial and social capitals at the household level increases the levels of precarious agricultural employment, such as daily-wage agricultural labour. Households located in communities with greater access to collective natural capital are less likely to be agricultural labourers. The statistical models also show that proximity to rural centres and access to financial infrastructures increase the likelihood of being a landless agricultural labourer. These findings suggest that investment in rural infrastructure might increase livelihood vulnerability, if not accompanied by an improvement in the provisioning of complementary rural services, such as access to rural finance, and by the implementation of agricultural tenancy laws to protect smallholders' productive assets.
rural livelihoods, agricultural labour, community resources, livelihood capitals, development economics, India
0044-7447
Berchoux, Tristan
73e8221a-e1e0-45e1-aefd-e604f0b05498
Watmough, Gary R.
35e3ef1c-950a-4f43-95a1-035ee97ed778
Amoako Johnson, Fiifi
a3e79747-26a5-439f-a02c-50223418cb13
Hutton, Craig
9102617b-caf7-4538-9414-c29e72f5fe2e
Atkinson, Peter M.
29ab8d8a-31cb-4a19-b0fb-f0558a1f110a
Berchoux, Tristan
73e8221a-e1e0-45e1-aefd-e604f0b05498
Watmough, Gary R.
35e3ef1c-950a-4f43-95a1-035ee97ed778
Amoako Johnson, Fiifi
a3e79747-26a5-439f-a02c-50223418cb13
Hutton, Craig
9102617b-caf7-4538-9414-c29e72f5fe2e
Atkinson, Peter M.
29ab8d8a-31cb-4a19-b0fb-f0558a1f110a

Berchoux, Tristan, Watmough, Gary R., Amoako Johnson, Fiifi, Hutton, Craig and Atkinson, Peter M. (2019) Collective influence of household and community capitals on agricultural employment as a measure of rural poverty in the Mahanadi Delta, India. Ambio. (doi:10.1007/s13280-019-01150-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The main determinants of agricultural employment are related to households' access to private assets and the influence of inherited social-economic stratification and power relationships. However, despite the recommendations of rural studies which have shown the importance of multi-level approaches to rural poverty, very few studies have explored quantitatively the effects of common-pool resources and household livelihood capitals on agricultural employment. Understanding the influence of both access to common-pool resources and private assets on rural livelihoods can enrich our understanding of the drivers of rural poverty in agrarian societies, which is central to achieving sustainable development pathways. Based on a participatory assessment conducted in rural communities in India, this paper differentiates two levels of livelihood capitals (household capitals and community capitals) and quantifies them by using national census data and remotely sensed satellite sensor data. We characterise the effects of these two levels of livelihood capitals on precarious agricultural employment by using multilevel logistic regression. Our study brings a new perspective on livelihood studies and rural economics by demonstrating that common-pool resources and private assets do not have the same effect on agricultural livelihoods. It identifies that a lack of access to human, financial and social capitals at the household level increases the levels of precarious agricultural employment, such as daily-wage agricultural labour. Households located in communities with greater access to collective natural capital are less likely to be agricultural labourers. The statistical models also show that proximity to rural centres and access to financial infrastructures increase the likelihood of being a landless agricultural labourer. These findings suggest that investment in rural infrastructure might increase livelihood vulnerability, if not accompanied by an improvement in the provisioning of complementary rural services, such as access to rural finance, and by the implementation of agricultural tenancy laws to protect smallholders' productive assets.

Text
AMBI-D-18-00413-V3 - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 14 January 2020.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 March 2019
Keywords: rural livelihoods, agricultural labour, community resources, livelihood capitals, development economics, India

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427518
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427518
ISSN: 0044-7447
PURE UUID: 498dd8c0-7d3a-4f07-a307-2fe492a6aefa
ORCID for Craig Hutton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5896-756X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 23 Apr 2019 00:35

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