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India and Africa in the Global Agricultural System (1961–2050)

Towards a New Sociotechnical Regime?

Bruno Dorin (bruno.dorin@csh-delhi.com) is an economist from CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, Montpellier, France) and CIRED (International Research Centre on Environment and Development, Paris, France) on secondment to the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities, New Delhi.

The asynchronous but somewhat similar agricultural trajectories of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, especially India, are analysed over nearly a century (1961–2050). Millions of pieces of data available on the past (1961–2007) and on a plausible future (2006–50 projections by the Food and Agriculture Organization) are organised in a simple world food model where production, trade and consumption are aggregated and balanced in calories. Given the current and/or future land–labour relationships that characterise India and Africa, can these regions experience the same structural transformation that the developed countries went through, or work together towards a new sociotechnical regime by developing their own regionally differentiated labour-intensive production investments and technological capacities for economic, social, and ecological sustainability?

The views expressed in this paper are of the author’s and may not be shared by the people or organisations to which he belongs.

The author is grateful to the Food and Agriculture Organization for the data sets they sent on their 2006–50 projections; the association Pluriagri and the foundation FARM for their fi nancial support, which enabled this research; Rajeswari S Raina, Nitin Desai, Samuel Berthet, Surinder S Jodhka and Himanshu for their comments; and Renuka George for the English translation/editing.

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