Asset Creation through National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and its Impact on West Bengal Agriculture: A District Level Analysis
An important objective of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme presently known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is to raise agricultural productivity through creating different productive assets related to agriculture. The present study investigates whether different kinds of asset creation activities related to agriculture under NREGS have any impact on the cropping intensity of West Bengal over the years. We have taken 18 districts in West Bengal and the time period is considered up to 2013-14. We primarily carried out Random Effect estimation without considering the district specific effects. The result shows that work like ‘micro irrigation’ and ‘rural connectivity’ through NREGS has created a positive but small impact on cropping intensity. It is further observed that average rain fall and average harvest price of principal crops in the previous period play a significant role to enhance the cropping intensity of West Bengal. Considering few bottlenecks of random effect estimation, we as supplementary carried out the Fixed effect estimation to judge both cross district disparity in cropping intensity through district specific effects and variation over the time periods via examining time specific effects.
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