ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Agricultural diversification in Rural North-West India: Understanding Transitions and Its Socio-Ecological Implications


Dalal Anjali - The University of Edinburgh, SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


07 – Towards Collaborative Research on Cereal Cultures in South Asia


 Transformation through agricultural diversification, in particular crop diversification, is considered as one of factors to check whether agricultural development and economic growth in a region has happened or not (Rahaman 2021).  This paper investigates farmers’ perspectives and experiences of moving towards alternate approaches to agriculture and the changing character of farming in Haryana (India) villages. During 11-months of fieldwork (2020-21), I collected data using in-depth interviews and group discussions in the villages of Sonipat district. In Haryana, I found that transition in agriculture was happening through diversification in two ways: i) crop diversification, specifically by moving from wheat and rice cultivation to other vegetables like baby corn, sweet corn, bell peppers, mushrooms, and seasonal fruits and vegetables; and ii) diversification through change of land use from agriculture to agro-based industries. Moreover, nature of women participation changes with the change in agricultural practices: women farmers are mostly recognised as labourers in industrial agriculture producing high-value and exotic crops, while they are acknowledged as active contributors in sustainable farming practices. This is likely to have an impact on their social position within household and community. Lastly, there is an emerging trend of how migrated population are now contributing to the spread of organic farming methods in cereal production in the villages.