ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Pragathi Bandhu Groups


In their article “Regional Economies and Small Farmers in Karnataka” (EPW,18 November 2017), Seema Purushothaman and Sheetal Patil have provided a closer look at the widening rural–urban divide, from the perspective of the agrarian community, using the case studies of Mandya and peri-urban Bengaluru. While discussing agriculture-related issues in the Bengaluru Urban and Mandya districts of Karnataka, where the percentage of both small and marginal landholders are quite high (around 90% of the total population), the authors have explained the issues faced by the farming communities through the use of abundant data.

The authors mention that “Traditional agrarian norms and institutions around sharing seed and labour, crop selection, community decisions on planting and harvesting, etc, are almost non-existent now. Without the emergence of alternative local institutions, this disappearance leaves a conspicuous vacuum … Agricultural extension agencies in the public and private sectors tend to overlook the need forsociocultural institutions. This results in widening the above lacuna often seen in individualisation and deskilling among farmers, helping a sweeping globalisation agenda to take over the unique strengths of our farm sector (small, communitarian, biodiverse and persistent), erode the welfare objectives of the state and add new vulnerabilities to farm families already at the mercy of the monsoons.” I do not understand why the authors have taken a negative view in this regard.

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Updated On : 1st Dec, 2017
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