What is Rural, Non farm Sector and Off farm Sector?
Rural Non-farm Sector and Off-farm Sector.
All activities in the rural areas which do not form a part of the agriculture and allied sector comprise of the rural Non farm sector, which includes all activities under manufacturing, construction, business, communications, banking and financial, etc.
Al the secondary and tertiary activities in the rural areas are a part of the Non farm sector, On farm, naturally refers to the agricultural operations up to the stage of cultivation, i.e. ploughing, tilling, sowing, harvesting, etc. while off farm are the activities after the harvesting is done, like storage, processing, packaging, marketing, etc. and is a part of the farm sector only. The increase in the productivity of the on-farm sector and activities in the off-farm sector together provide a boost to the entire rural non-farm sector.
Thus, the growth in one sector provides a boost to the other sector, all the sectors affecting each other in a virtuous cycle.
In order to create more employment opportunities, it is important to focus on the rural non-farm sector enterprises. When the small and marginal farmers open small and tiny enterprises, it gives them an opportunity to earn additional income initially. Later, there is scope for establishment of industries in which investment requirement is higher, and it also generates requirement for skilled labor, for which short term skill development programs have to be made available to the rural workforce.
It would also create demand for services related to packaging, processing, marketing, etc. which give impetus to rural sector. Thus, in order to create more employment opportunities in the rural areas, it is important to encourage development of rural non-farm ventures, and give infrastructural support to these activities.