An estimated 27% of the total population living in rural areas comprising about 300 million, depend partly or completely on forests for livelihood.
The dependence of 104 million Adivasis on forests is higher as they live in forest-fringe areas. More than 80% of rural India is dependent on agriculture and forest resources for their livelihoods and 85% of the farmers own less than two hectares of land.
Around 80% of all rural female workers are in agriculture, but only under 13% of women in India have rights over land.
World Bank’s research showed that in terms of poverty, India’s Adivasis are 20 years behind the general population and Dalits lag by 10 years.
In the last few decades around 40% of them have been displaced due to the various development projects. Adivasi population and other marginalised communities depend on natural resources for their livelihood.
Low levels of literacy, poor health status, food insecurity and scant economic development are defining features of these communities. Endemic hunger remains a major problem across the rural-urban landscape- despite some improvement in the recent past, India still has the highest number of undernourished children in the world.
Oxfam India aims to improve poor people’s access, rights and entitlements over land, natural resources, and food in order to support and augment their livelihood.
Secure access to natural resources is the key to sustainable rural livelihoods. Our work is also focused on improving access to forest resources by poor communities and making agricultural models viable for small farmers especially women.
We also work to improve poor peoples’ rights to food and good nutrition through efficient implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA). The work areas under Economic Justice are: Small Holder Agriculture, Natural Resource Management and Food & Climate Justice Campaign.
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