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Livelihoods and agro-ecological gradients: A meso-level analysis in the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India

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  • Erenstein, Olaf
  • Thorpe, William

Abstract

Rice-wheat systems in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) have long exemplified South Asia's agricultural transformation through the Green Revolution. The same systems now also typify the post-Green Revolution stagnation and equity challenges, despite receiving considerable attention from the research and development (R&D) community. The apparent homogeneity of vast irrigated plains masks significant diversity in assets, livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes. The paper analyzes the rural livelihoods and underlying agro-ecological gradients in the IGP drawing on village surveys and secondary data as characterization tools. The contribution of the paper is twofold: (i) new knowledge of the socio-economic circumstances in farming communities across the Indian IGP to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of R&D interventions and particularly poverty alleviation; and (ii) an illustration of a novel approach to operationalize livelihood analysis at the meso-level so as to address spatial scale issues and link micro-level contextual realities across a vast geographical area. The agricultural R&D community needs to incorporate this socio-economic diversity more proactively into its R&D agenda if it is to succeed in sustaining productivity gains, improving rural livelihoods equitably, and securing environmental sustainability in this important eco-region.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

Volume (Year): 104 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 42-53

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:104:y:2011:i:1:p:42-53

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

Related research

Keywords: Livelihood analysis Rice-wheat systems Crop-livestock systems South Asia Village survey Eco-regional research;

References

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  1. Gulati, Ashok & Narayanan, Sudha, 2003. "The Subsidy Syndrome in Indian Agriculture," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195662061.
  2. Olaf Erenstein & William Thorpe, 2010. "Crop–livestock interactions along agro-ecological gradients: a meso-level analysis in the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 669-689, October.
  3. Fujisaka, Sam & Harrington, Larry & Hobbs, Peter, 1994. "Rice-Wheat in South Asia: Systems and long-term priorities established through diagnostic research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 169-187.
  4. Andrew Dorward & Nigel Poole & Jamie Morrison & Jonathan Kydd & Ian Urey, 2003. "Markets, Institutions and Technology: Missing Links in Livelihoods Analysis," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21, pages 319-332, 05.
  5. Giller, Ken E. & Rowe, Ed C. & de Ridder, Nico & van Keulen, Herman, 2006. "Resource use dynamics and interactions in the tropics: Scaling up in space and time," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 8-27, April.
  6. Singh, Lakhwinder & Singh, Inderjeet & Ghuman, Ranjit Singh, 2007. "Changing Character of Rural Economy and Migrant Labour in Punjab," MPRA Paper 6420, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Laxmi, Vijay & Erenstein, Olaf & Gupta, Raj K., 2007. "Impact of Zero Tillage in India's Rice-Wheat Systems," Impact Studies 56093, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  8. Sultana, Parvin & Abeyasekera, Savitri & Thompson, Paul, 2007. "Methodological rigour in assessing participatory development," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 220-230, May.
  9. Reardon, Thomas & Timmer, C. Peter, 2007. "Transformation of Markets for Agricultural Output in Developing Countries Since 1950: How Has Thinking Changed?," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  10. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "The origins and practice of participatory rural appraisal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 953-969, July.
  11. The World Bank,, 2005. "India: Re-Energizing the Agricultural Sector to Sustain Growth and Reduce Poverty," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195674323.
  12. Erenstein, Olaf, 2006. "Intensification or extensification? Factors affecting technology use in peri-urban lowlands along an agro-ecological gradient in West Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 132-158, October.
  13. Indira Hirway, 2006. "Enhancing Livelihood Security through the National Employment Guarantee Act: Toward Effective Implementation of the Act," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_437, Levy Economics Institute.
  14. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
  15. Arindam Samaddar & Prabir Das, 2008. "Changes in transition: technology adoption and rice farming in two Indian villages," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 541-553, December.
  16. Kathleen Baker & Sarah Jewitt, 2007. "Evaluating 35 years of Green Revolution technology in villages of Bulandshahr district, western UP, North India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 312-339.
  17. World Bank, 2002. "Poverty in India : The Challenge of Uttar Pradesh," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13876, The World Bank.
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  19. Arjan de Haan, 2002. "Migration and Livelihoods in Historical Perspective: A Case Study of Bihar, India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 115-142.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Aravindakshan, Sreejith & Chowdhury, Apurba & Rudra, Bankim, 2012. "Farmer Access and Differential Impacts of Zero Tillage Technology in the Subsistence Wheat Farming Systems of West Bengal, India," Socioeconomics Program Working Papers 147204, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  2. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Mehrotra, Meera Bhatia & Teufel, Nils & Bishnoi, Dalip Kumar, 2012. "Characterizing the Cereal Systems and Identifying the Potential of Conservation Agriculture in South Asia," Socioeconomics Program Working Papers 147109, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.

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