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

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Punjab Agriculture

Punjab’s economy, including its agriculture, has been in crisis for some time on various fronts. But the pandemic provided an opportunity to the state government to set up an expert committee to suggest measures for rolling out a medium- and long-term strategy for the revival of the state economy. This article provides critical commentary on the various recommendations of the committee to deal with the agrarian crisis and presents an alternative perspective.

Restoring Employment and Rural Landscapes

The national lockdown unleashed an unprecedented economic crisis on millions of poor urban migrants who lost their employment and were forced to “reverse-migrate” to their homes on foot over vast distances. However, the rural areas—from where they originated—were already reeling under severe and rapid economic and ecological degradation and were ill-equipped to deal with this sudden increase in the demand for livelihood opportunities. In this paper, we demonstrate the potential of “ecological restoration” of primarily rural landscapes in India to generate rapid and high-volume employment along with other co-benefits.

Swidden Farming among the Yimchunger Nagas

The Politics of Swidden Farming: Environment and Development in Eastern India by Debojyoti Das, London and New York: Anthem Press, 2018; pp 272, £70 (Hardback).

Peasants and Their Interlocutors

Culture, Vernacular Politics, and the Peasants: India, 1889–1950: An edited translation of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati’s Mera Jivan Sangharsh (My Life Struggle), Walter Hauser, Kailash Chandra Jha (translated and ed), New Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 2015; pp xliv + 708, ₹ 2,295. My Life Struggle: A Translation of Swami Sahjanand Saraswati’s Mera Jivan Sangharsh, Walter Hauser and Kailash Chandra Jha (translator and ed), Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 2018; pp 434, ₹ 995. The Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha 1929–1942: A Study of an Indian Peasant Movement , Walter Hauser (Foreword by William Pinch), Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 2019; pp 265, ₹ 1,495.

Goal Setting for Indian Agriculture

Though the 16-point action plan for agriculture laid down in the 2020 Union Budget continues prioritising subsidies and safety nets over agricultural investments, it does not make any fundamental improvements in the allocations towards these heads.

Community Participation in Effective Water Resource Management

The initiation of the growth process in the rural economy in India, which is predominantly agriculture-based, needs optimum allocation and careful management of scarce water resources for irrigation. Using primary data, the impact of a tripartite institutional framework—comprising a non-governmental organisation, the funding agency, and the people (forming a community-based organisation)—on rural sustainability is examined. Tobit analysis is used to evaluate the impact of participation on rural sustainability. The results establish that community participation is critical in enhancing rural sustainability in terms of managing indigenous water harvesting structures like johad s.

Putting the Cart before the Horse

The 2019 union budget has neither proposed any bold policy moves, nor any big allocations for investments in the agri-food sector. What it has is massive welfare programmes, predominantly the remnants of its predecessor government’s welfare policies. It appears that India has already become a welfare state before generating enough wealth. Has the budget for the agricultural sector actually put the cart before the horse?

How to Make Budgets with a Dearth of Data

Given that the reliability of official data has come into question, there is no way to understand the full extent of the issues that various sectors are facing without accurate data.

How Can We Manage Drought Without Water-Use Data?

Measures to mitigate drought only seek to address its effects, rather than finding ways to prevent it.

Indian Democracy Has Failed to Advance Redistributive Reforms for Marginalised Groups

Class exploitation and caste oppression in rural India have to be put squarely at the centre of any oppositional agenda for redistribution, recognition, and progressive change.

How Can Agriculture Be Made 'Cool' For India's Youth?

This article discusses the waning interests of rural youth in agriculture and suggests interventions to mitigate this issue.

Why Are Our Farmers Angry?

EPW Engage contextualises the agrarian crisis and farmer protests in India with this reading list.

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