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Abstract

The labour scarcity being felt as a major impediment in agriculture, this study has probed into its magnitude, impacts, causes and possible solutions in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. The study has revealed that prevalence of acute labour scarcity in the district has affected the productivity levels of almost all crops and is even leading towards the permanent changes in the cropping pattern. The important reasons identified for the labour scarcity include higher wages in other locally-available jobs, seasonal nature of agricultural jobs and presumption of an agricultural job to be of low esteem. The level of adoption of labour-saving implements and technologies by the farmers is very low for the reasons of higher cost, lack of skill and smaller size of holdings. The study has suggested that agricultural extension system of the district / state / country should be geared-up, to bring out farmers from the conventional methods of cultivation and to educate them on adoption of labour-saving implements and technologies. Also, a community level approach should be encouraged among farmers for adopting / availing highly expensive labour-saving technologies and implements cooperatively. In addition, agricultural jobs should be made more remunerative by increasing the wages at least at par with other jobs available locally.

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