Sustainability of Agricultural Livelihoods among Marginal and Small Farmers in the Mining Context of Sundargarh District of Odisha: A Literature Review

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Chhayakanta Mishra, Damodar Jena

Abstract

This article makes an attempt to assess the adverse effect of mining on the marginal and small farmers in the Sundargarh District of Odisha and the resultant socio-ecological changes occurring in their lives, as made clear by evidences collected from secondary data sourced from literature reviews, and primary data from key informant interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs). Despite consistent efforts in the forms of agricultural policies, institutions and development schemes, the agriculture-based livelihoods including the cultivation of paddy, vegetables, horticulture and livestock of small and marginal farmers in the mining areas of Sundargarh district, Odisha continue to remain unsustainable. What further compounds the problem is the fact that the lack of different kinds of capital, coupled with low education and limited skills impedes people’s abilities to diversify their income sources. Thus, marginal and small farmers are facing serious challenges in coping with and adapting to the changed reality, due to suction dredger mining. The current study makes a modest attempt to carve out a sustainable agricultural livelihood approach (SLA) through a close analysis of the adverse effects of mining on sustainable agricultural livelihood of marginal and small farmers in Sundargarh District.

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