MP census reveals 4-fold increase in farm labourers

Child sex ratio drops to 918 in 2011 from 932 in 2001,lowest since 1981; 490 villages wiped off state’s map

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Published: June 11, 2013 3:45 am

Even the impressive agriculture growth by Madhya Pradesh over the last few years can’t ignore this reality: more than a million cultivators have withdrawn from farming activity and there’s a simultaneous four-fold increase in the number of agriculture labourers between 2001 and 2011.

It means farming has become unviable for many cultivators either due to the increase in input costs or due to division of land-holding forcing them to work as labourers,a fact that has emerged from the detailed analysis of the 2011 census released by the Directorate of Census Operations,Madhya Pradesh,on Monday.

MP clocked an eye-catching 18.91 per cent growth rate in agriculture in 2011-12 followed by 14.28 in 2012-13 taking it closer to the traditional majors like Punjab and Haryana in terms of wheat production while holding on to its top position in soybean and pulses.

But the analysis of 2011 census shows a fall of 1.2 million cultivators in MP and a simultaneous increase of 4.8 million agriculture labourers. Though the numbers correspond with the national trend they are significant in the state which gives agriculture the top billing by implementing a slew of populist schemes.

Another cause of concern was the falling child sex ratio (0-6 years,girls per thousand boys). The number dropped to 918 in 2011 from 932 in 2001 and is the lowest since 1981. Morena,one of the notorious districts for female foeticide and infanticide,recorded the lowest ratio of 829. The pro-girl child schemes of the state are yet to translate into areas like Morena and Bhind.

The data revealed an interesting highlight that between 2001 and 2011 as many as 490 villages were wiped off the state’s map. MP has 54,903 villages now compared to the 2001 figure of 55,903. While speaking to The Indian Express,director Census Operation Sachin Sinha attributed the phenomenon to villages getting submerged due to major projects and also to their conversion as urban areas.

The phenomenon of villages disappearing in such large numbers is common to every census,Sinha said. MP has registered an increase of 1.1 per cent in the proportion of urban population. MP’s total population of 72.6 million comprises 52.6 million in rural and 20.1 million in urban areas.

Indore has the highest share of urban population at 2.4 million (12.1 per cent) followed by Bhopal (9.6 per cent) and Jabalpur 7.2 per cent.

At 15.3 million,MP’s scheduled tribes’ population is highest in the country. Alirajpur has 89 per cent tribals while Bhind has the lowest in the state at 0.4 per cent.

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