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Labour statistics from CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey has shown a large migration of workers towards agriculture in recent years. During fiscal 2021-22, agriculture saw an estimated 4.5 million increase in employment. During the pandemic-stricken 2020-21, while total employment fell by 21.7 million, agriculture provided employment to a substantial 3.4 million. In 2019-20, too, agriculture saw an addition of 3.1 million to its count of employed. Over the past three years, therefore, agriculture added 11 million jobs while the rest of the economy lost 15 million.
This sharp increase in employment in agriculture has generally been explained as a rise in disguised employment. When people fail to find jobs in non-farm sectors, they migrate back to their villages where their