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Experiments in farmers' collectives in Eastern India and Nepal: Process, benefits, and challenges

Sudgen, Fraser and Agarwal, Bina and Leder, Stephanie and Saikia, Panchali and Raut, Manita and Kumar, Anoj and Ray, Dhananjay (2021). Experiments in farmers' collectives in Eastern India and Nepal: Process, benefits, and challenges. Journal of Agrarian Change. 21 , 90-121
[Research article]

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Abstract

Do farmers' collectives, which pool land, labour, capital, and skills to create medium-sized production units, offer a more viable model of farming for resource-constrained smallholders than individual family farms? A participatory action research project in Eastern India and Nepal provides notable answers. Groups of marginal and tenant farmers, catalysed by the project, evolved into four different collective models with varying levels of cooperation, gender composition, and land ownership/tenancy status. Based on 3 years of action research, this paper examines how the models evolved and their differential outcomes. All groups have gained from cultivating contiguous plots in their efficiency of labour and machine use for land preparation and irrigation, and from economies in input purchase. Several collectives of tenant farmers have also enhanced their bargaining power vis-a-vis an entrenched landlord class and thus been able to negotiate lower rents and refuse long-standing feudal obligations. However, the models differ in their extent of economic gain and their ability to handle gender inequalities and conflicts over labour sharing. The paper explores the historical, regional, and cultural factors that could explain such differences across the models. It thus offers unique insights into the processes, benefits, and challenges of farmers' collectives and provides pointers for replication and further research.

Authors/Creators:Sudgen, Fraser and Agarwal, Bina and Leder, Stephanie and Saikia, Panchali and Raut, Manita and Kumar, Anoj and Ray, Dhananjay
Title:Experiments in farmers' collectives in Eastern India and Nepal: Process, benefits, and challenges
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Agrarian Change
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:21
Page range:90-121
Number of Pages:32
ISSN:1471-0358
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 502 Economics and Business > Economics
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 507 Social and Economic Geography > Human Geography
Keywords:Farmers' collectives, group farming, participatory action research, eastern India, Nepal
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105804
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105804
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/joac.12369
Web of Science (WoS)000550682200001
ID Code:22700
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Mar 2021 08:03
Metadata Last Modified:05 Mar 2021 08:11

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