In developing economies and particularly in rural areas, many activities that would be classified in the developed world as financial are not monetized: That is, there is no money used to carry them out. This is often the case when people need the services money can provide but do not have dispensable funds required for those services, forcing them to revert to other means of acquiring them. People find creative and often collaborative ways to meet the needs, primarily through creating and exchanging different forms of non-cash value. Common substitutes for cash vary from country to country but typically include livestock, grains, jewelry and precious metals.
In the 2000s, the micro finance industry's objective is to satisfy the unmet demand on a much larger scale, and to play a role in reducing poverty. While much progress has been made in developing a viable commercial micro finance sector in the last few decades, several issues remain that need to be addressed before the industry will be able to satisfy massive worldwide demand.
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Dr. R. Neelaiah is assistant professor and head of the Department of Commerce at Govt. College for Men in Kadapa, Andra Pradesh, India, and has been teaching bachelor and master courses since 2003. His areas of specialization and research are Accounting, Financial Management, Micro-finance, Human Resource Management and Taxation. So far, he has published one edited book and 50 research articles in national and international journals of repute, as well as presented 100 research papers in seminars and conferences.
Chapter-II Poverty Alleviation Programmes: An overview:
Economic growth is necessary but it does not benefit automatically and in equal proportion to all regions and sections of the population. For various reasons such as historical factors, resource endowments, social and political conjunctures and, of course, government policy, growth happens to be very uneven across regions. This fact is beyond dispute. It also happens that regions which are poorly developed to begin with have also grown at a slower rate than average. Hence, there is the need for government intervention in the form of various programmes and policies for ensuring equity and justice. However, the evolution of policies and programmes meant to tackle this problem may be haphazard and in some respects even incoherent. Nevertheless one can see a clear pattern in the way they seek to recognize and address differing needs of backward areas with special problems, and of different segments of the poor and underprivileged.
When a substantial segment of a society is deprived of the minimum level of living and continues at bare subsistence level that society is said to be plagued with the mass poverty. It is also believed that poverty everywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. Eradication of poverty and hunger through employment in the community has been one of the main goals of planning in India. Since the planning era, various target oriented as well as area oriented programmes and schemes have been implemented for generation of income with the purpose to eradicate poverty, inequality and backwardness from rural areas. Alleviation of poverty has consistently been of the major objectives of our economy.
At the beginning of the millennium, 260 million people in the country did not have incomes to access a consumption basket, which defines the poverty line. Of these, 75 per cent were in the rural areas. India is home to 22 per cent of the worlds poor. Such a high incidence of poverty is a matter of concern in view of the fact that poverty eradication has been one of the major objectives of the development planning process. Indeed, poverty is a global issue. Its eradication is considered integral to humanity's quest for sustainable development. Reduction of poverty in India is therefore, vital for the attainment of international goals.
Agriculture wage earners small and marginal farmers and casual workers engaged in non-agricultural activities, constitute the bulk of the rural poor. Small land holdings and their low productivity are the cause of poverty among households dependent on land-based activities for their livelihood. Poor educational base and lack of other vocational skills also perpetuate poverty. Due to the poor physical and social capital base, a large proportion of the people are forced to seek employment in vocations with extremely low levels of productivity and wages. The creation of employment opportunities for the unskilled workforce has been a major challenge for development planners and administrators.
Poverty alleviation has been one of the guiding principles of the planning process in India. The role of economic growth in providing more employment avenues to the population has been clearly recognized. The growth-oriented approach has been reinforced by focusing on specific sectors which provide greater opportunities to the people to participate in the growth process. The various dimensions of poverty relating to health, education and other basic services have been progressively internalized in the planning process. Central and State Governments have considerably enhanced allocations for the provision of education, health, sanitation and other facilities which promote capacity building and well being of the poor. Investments in agricultural area development programmes and afforestation provides avenue for employment and income. Special programmes have been taken up for the welfare of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), the disabled and other vulnerable groups. Antipoverty programmes that seek to transfer assets and skills to people for self-employment, coupled with public works programmes that enables people to cope with transient poverty are the third stand of the larger anti poverty strategy. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) protects the poor form the adverse effects of arise in prices and ensures food and nutrition security at affordable prices.
The success of anti poverty strategy can be gauged from the decline in poverty levels from 37.27 per cent in 1993-94 to 27.09 per cent in 1999-2000 in the rural areas. In absolute terms, the number of rural poor fell below the 200 million mark for the first time since 1973-74. However, this achievement falls short of the ninth plan projections. At the beginning of the plan it was projected that with a growth target of 6.5 per cent per annum during the plan period, only 18.61 per cent of the population would be below the poverty line by 2001.
In the recent decade a host of poverty alleviation programmes have been launched in our country. The important among the more.
1. Intensive Agricultural District Programme (IADP):
One of the basic defects of our planning is limited outlays for agricultural development. The resources made were very limited and disproptionate in relation to wide area. Till the commencement of the Third Five Year Plan, planning of agriculture also received inadequate attention. The new agricultural strategy was found necessary and urgent. The first step towards this end was taken up only in the beginning of the Third Five Year Plan. An attempt was made to increase food production in the country to meet shortage and increasing demand. Intensive agricultural production programme was initiated in the direction of concentration of available limited resources and efforts, both human and material in achieving a breakthrough in agricultural production.
In order to explore the full production capacities of some selected areas with irrigation facilities and other felicities a new agricultural strategy, as a matter of fact a first step of the new strategy, a scheme called "Intensive Agricultural District Programme" (IADP) was started in 1960-61. The story is also known as package programme. This programme was initially started in the country in three districts and subsequently extended to twelve more districts, to bring coverage of fifteen districts under this programme. With more than 27,000 villages. The programme also received financial assistance from the Ford Foundation. The main theme behind this programme was to increase food production and direction of concentration of available resources, both men and material. To achieve a breakthrough in agricultural production it is necessary to promote the intensive agriculture. The programme is called package programme because it allows the "Package Approach" it means it uses interrelated factors in agriculture. This programme removes the defects of earlier planning of agriculture because the earlier plans used to disperse limited resources on many schemes ever too wide an area.
The main object IADP was to avoid spreading the development efforts more or less uniform basis throughout the country. The IADP undertakes the combination of technical improvement and concentration of man power resources in favourable selected areas having irrigation and other conditions for increasing production.
In the state of Andhra Pradesh IADP programme was introduced in West Godavari district in 1960. The following were the main features of this programme in the state.
1. Preparation of production plan for individual cultivators.
2. Assessing the requirements such as the improved seeds, fertilizers and pesticides as per production plans.
3. Making available the requisites in full and in time within the reach of the farmers.
4. Providing adequate credit to meet the needs for cultivation and:
5. Educating the farmers in scientific methods by arranging large number of demonstration on cultivator's fields.
The scheme was started in the state with an intension to promote the adoption of combination of improved practices by the farmers for making available the required means of production like chemical fertilizers, improved seeds, plant protection, insecticides, pesticides, implements, credit etc. The crops selected for this purpose were paddy, sugar cane, chillies, banana fruits, vegetables, tobacco, groundnut and cotton. The review of progress, Third Five Year Plan, Andhra Pradesh remarked that this scheme was started in West Godavari district with a view to demonstrate on large scale the feasibility of achieving substantial increase in the existing yield rates through the package of all improved practices in areas with assured water supply and minimum natural hazards. The IADP was implemented in the entire district. The target fixed to be achieved by the end of the Third Plan was cent per cent.
2. Intensive Agricultural Area Programme (IAAP):
The intensive Agricultural Area Programme (IAAP) was a modified form of IADP. The IAAP was started in 1963. The word district was substituted by Area. This new programme extended to serve other parts. The modified version of the same approach was started in Andhra Pradesh in 1963- 64 in 10 Districts, namely East Godavari, Krishna, Nellore, Guntur, Chittoor, Kurnool, Nizamabad, Warangal, Karimnagar and Mahaboobnagar covering in all 150 blocks (116 reorganised). The crops selected under this scheme were paddy, sugarcane, Groundnut, Banana, Vegetables, cotton, Jowar, Ragi, Maize. It was a similar programme like IADP, but somewhat modified version of the IADP. The scheme of IADP encouraged by the experience. Because of encouraging results, the Government of India suggested this scheme for implementation in other areas having assured irrigation facilities or rainfall. IAAP also concerned with the promotion of intensive agriculture with emphasis on increasing production of food grains. The crops selected under this scheme and the targets to be achieved were 40 per cent in the year 1963- 64, 70 per cent in the year 1964-65 and 100 per cent in the year 1965-66 of the areas under selected crops. The targets were fulfilled and about 19,950 composite demonstrations involving package of improved practices were arranged in various villages in the three year period. The results of the implementation of this scheme were significant, in that, 15 to 33 per cent increase in paddy, 25.7 per cent in Jowar and 29 per cent in Sugarcane yield rates were achieved.
A package of improved agricultural practices for each crop in each district was developed and distributed to the agriculturists and simple crop production plans were prepared. The results of composite demonstrations have indicated increased yields ranging from 16.4 per cent to 21.6 per cent in rice, 16.4 per cent to 20 per cent in jowar, 28.7 per cent in groundnut and 26.8 per cent cotton.
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