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

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Farmworkers of Immokalee in Florida and Similarities with India

Experiences of Agribusiness

Agribusiness refers to a model of food production that draws on strategies deployed in any other large-scale industry and is therefore markedly different from farming and agriculture on smaller scales. In this article, an interview-based description of the day-to-day experiences of farmworkers of Immokalee, Florida, is presented. These have close resemblance to the experience of Indian workers.

The small town of Immokalee in the US state of Florida encapsulates many problems of agribusiness, the dominant form of agricultural production in that country at present. Drawing on interviews with farm workers,1 this article focuses on their lives inImmokalee, characterised by a system of exploitation that disables and dehumanises them, stripping them of dignity and health. The residents of Immokalee who live round the year, call it a ghost town because much of the town is deserted for eight months in a year. But it is a ghost town also because its people are reduced to phantoms, their labour present on all plates while they themselves are invisible. We also briefly take up some examples of agribusiness in India, and discuss worldwide trends and their likely effects on Indian farm workers.

The Undocumented Worker

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