Exchange Relations and Poverty in Dryland Agriculture: Studies of South India

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  • Author :Barbara Harriss
  • Year of Publication :1984
  • ISBN: :0000000175
  • Language: :English
  • Binding: :Hard Bound
  • No of Pages: XII, 301
  • Size: 23 cms
  • Categories: Agriculture, Economics

About the Book :

Dryland agriculture has only recently begun to be redeemed from a global neglect. This study is based on data provided by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research's Dryland Project with which the author collaborated as part of the effort to improve knowledge of dryland agriculture. Comprehensive data on 261 farming households from 4 districts of South India in the late seventies were used. Farmers were classified according to the way in which labour was organised in production. Then the relation between the marketed surplus and the ability of rural classes to reproduce themselves socially was analysed. The research explains the nature of commercialisation in different social classes and confirms the existence of superficial or compulsive commercialisation among the labouring peasantry, with deleterious effects on their nutritional status. The analysis of exchange relations (the quantity, price, timing and market linkages of sales and purchases of 14 dryland products) is developed from an analysis of agrarian structure where themes such as holding and size, productivity relations, and the complexity and diversity of production are explored. Marketed surplus and participation, and market purchases and dependence are examined in depth. The consequences of existing patterns of exchange relations upon poverty, nutrition and technological change are pursued and some reforms in public policy for dryland agriculture are suggested. This book is the result of team work and incorporates a number of methodological and analytical innovations. It will be of value to students and practitioners, of administration, political economy, agricultural economics, rural development, agronomy and human nutrition.

About Author :

Barbara Harriss is trained in geography, agriculture and agricultural economies. She has been interested in South Asian agrarian development since 1969. Her field work has had two focuses. One, agricultural marketing, has given rise to two books published by Concept in 1984; 'State and Market' and "Exchange Relations and Poverty in Dry and Agriculture" and to three other books. The other, nutrition, is exemplified in this book and has been inspired both by a fruitful association of seven years standing with the Department of Human Nutrition of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and by her own experience with two daughters in India. Since 1987 she has held a lectureship in agricultural economics at the International Development Centre, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University, and is a Fellow of Wolfson College. He is also an affiliate of the Madras Institute of Development Studies. Over the years she has been a research consultant for eight UN agencies.