Vol. 9, Issue 5 (2020)
Effectiveness of MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) on nutritional security of farm women: A study in coastal Odisha
Food security is the core afflictions of poor people and it became a chronic condition for farmers of India. The women are the backbone of agricultural workforce. Several government programs were going on for involvement of the poor farmers especially aimed at providing nutritional stability and food security through generation of income to the village households. The present study was carried out to assess the effectiveness of welfare programs on nutritional security of women in agriculture sectors in the selected coastal districts of Odisha during the year 2013-2016. MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) was found to be most popular among farmers and it was directly related to income of the target groups. The inclusion criteria was that the households having a married couple with minimum family size of 4 members and the respondent is engaged in agricultural activity aging more than 35 years. Thirty samples from each groups were selected randomly from the MGNREGA and Non-MGNREGA groups so a total 60 samples were selected in the study. We observe significant difference in means between the groups both for income (t=4.38*, p<0.05) and expenditure (t=3.47*, p<0.05). The mean BMI of Non-MGNREGA was lower (16.00±1.38) than the MGNREGA (19.37±2.71) groups. Nutritional status like intake of energy, protein and folic acid was statistically significant in MGNREGA households compared to non-MGNREGA households (p<0.05%). From the study it was clear that MGNREGA had a positive impact on the income of the respondents ultimately leading towards nutritional security.