The livelihood systems of farm households in coastal Orissa have been analysed based on a sample of 193 farmers. It is found that the incomes of these households were quite diversified. As against the general impression that crop income dominates household income, it is observed that the non-farm income has emerged important in the coastal Orissa. Rice, which has been traditionally the main source of income in this area, has slipped to the third position, next to remittances and income from non-farm activities. The income from non-farm works and rice has accounted for 71 per cent and 20 per cent of the total income, respectively. The non-farm sources have contributed more than 90 per cent towards income inequality. The source-wise income share has also shown a similar trend at the disaggregated level of farm-size categories. The income share for livestock has been comparatively high for large farmers. In general, the non-farm income was 3-times higher than that of the on-farm income for the small farmers and two-times in case of the larger category. The analysis of employment pattern shows that the male workers have dominated the labour market participation. A sizeable proportion of it has been in the non-farm sector. Creation of more non-farm employment opportunities, increase in investment on human resource development, more of R&D on development of rice varieties and tubewell irrigation will be needed to increase and stabilize household income in the coastal Orissa.


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