India is facing an agrarian crisis. Since 1995, over three hundred thousand farmers have taken their own lives primarily due to policies which have gone wrong and the short sightedness of policy makers. Not only has the Green Revolution left farmers reeling with debt and struggling with declining yields, it has been very detrimental to the environment in which they live. Farmers across India are now being squeezed between the Green and Gene Revolutions as the union state is fixated on technological “solutions” to the crisis, such as the introduction of Genetically Modified crops. As a response to this crisis, certain communities and indeed states have embraced an agro-ecological approach to farming. These approaches which are based on local knowledge and environmentally sustainable systems, have allowed many thousands of farmers to realise the right to food. In this paper, following on from previous work I have done in the area, I look at different models of agroecology in India: state led, community led (with assistance from local NGOs) and state supported.
DISCUSSANT: Graeme MacRae