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Agrarian distress and livelihood strategies: A Study in Pulpalli panchayat, Wayanad District, Kerala


  • K.N. Nair

    (Centre for Development Studies)

  • Vineetha Menon

    (Centre for Development Studies)

  • Vineetha Menon

    (Centre for Development Studies)


This paper examines the household livelihood strategies under agrarian distress in Pulpalli Panchayat of Kerala. It also looks at the relationship between household assets and livelihood strategies. The negotiations of institutions by the marginalized and depressed sections of the society were analysed in detail. Major causes of agrarian distress in the study area are the ecological degradation and fall in crops income. Land continues to be the most important asset determining livelihood outcomes. The livelihood strategies have been investigated in relation to land, education, housing pattern, investments & credit facilities, and participation in organizational activities. The livelihood strategies adopted by farmers in the wake of agrarian crisis includes diversification of agriculture, share cropping, organic farming, self-help group activities, cattle rearing, migration and exchange of labour. Livelihood strategies varied across socio-economic groups as farmers owning better landholdings diversified cropping patterns while poor households participated in the activities of SHGs. Casual agricultural labourers and marginal farmers moved to other places in search of jobs. Mitigation of agrarian distress requires public provision of education, health and other social safety measures.

Suggested Citation

  • K.N. Nair & Vineetha Menon & Vineetha Menon, 2007. "Agrarian distress and livelihood strategies: A Study in Pulpalli panchayat, Wayanad District, Kerala," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 396, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:396

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. S. Irudaya Rajan & Udaya S. Mishra, 2008. "Managing Migration in thePhilippines: Lessons for India," Working Papers id:1346, eSocialSciences.
    2. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
    3. Stefan Dercon, 2002. "Income Risk, Coping Strategies, and Safety Nets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 141-166, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vinoj Abraham, 2008. "Employment growth in rural India: Distress driven?," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 404, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
    2. Centre for Development Studies CDS, 2009. "Report on the GLobal Financial Crisis and Kerala Economy: Impact and Mitigation Measures," Working Papers id:1821, eSocialSciences.
    3. Vineetha Menon & K.N. Nair, 2008. "Distress Debt and Suicides among Agrarian Households: Findings from Three Villages in Kerala," Working Papers id:1586, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item


    Livelihood risk; Coping Strategies; Livelihood; Livelihood Assets; Institutions; Wayanad; Kerala;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General


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