ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Rethinking Agricultural Production Collectivities

In the face of persistent rural poverty, an incomplete agrarian transition, the predominance of small and marginal farms and a growing feminisation of agriculture, this paper argues for a new institutional approach to poverty reduction, agricultural revival and social empowerment. It makes a strong case for a group approach to agricultural investment and production by promoting collectivities of the poor which, it argues, would be much more effective on all these counts than the traditional individual-oriented approaches. The collectivities proposed here, however, are small-sized, voluntary, socio-economically homogeneous and participatory in decision-making, in keeping with the principles emphasised in a human rights approach to development. The paper describes a range of successful cases of agricultural production collectivities from the transition economies and south Asia. It also reflects on the contexts in which they may be expected to succeed, and how these efforts could be replicated for wider geographic coverage and impact.



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