Comparative Study Across Four States of India: Gajpati District, Orissa State

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Bangalore, India


"Orissa is the second poorest state in India with one fifth of the population classed as Scheduled Tribes and thirteen tribes have been classed as Primitive Tribal Groups. Such communities are traditionally reliant on livelihoods derived from forest products. In the south of the state, 87% of the scheduled tribe population live below the poverty line, compared to a state average of 50% for the population overall. Gajapati district is situated in southern Orissa, a district characterised by a low literacy rate and very low standards of living for many of the people. The region is notable for its high population of primitive tribal groups inhabiting an area of undulating terrain, where traditionally they practised shifting cultivation in addition to hunter-gathering practices. Approximately 93% of the rural households in this district have legal title on only 9% of the district's land area. Therefore, one of the major development issues facing the rural poor of the district relates to unsettled landholdings, which has left many tribal communities classed as encroachers on lands that historically they inhabited."



community forestry, livelihoods, forest management, land tenure and use, poverty