Agricultural Livelihoods in Contemporary India: Critical Perspectives

Who are the people involved in India’s largest occupation and who is a farmer? 

The Census of India 2011 tells us that half or more of India’s workforce relies on agriculture and allied activities as its main’ occupation. Eighty per cent of the rural female workforce is also employed in agriculture in the country. This course will help you understand the nuances of agriculture by looking at the people and communities who are engaged in its activities. Who is considered a farmer and what are the difference between large farmers, small farmers, livestock keepers and agricultural labourers? What is the profile of a typical farming household in terms of landholding, crops, horticulture, livestock and income? You will learn of the history of policies and institutions that have shaped the course of agricultural production and value chains, and the ways in which farmers face exclusions and vulnerability due to their social location and shocks from the weather, health and prices. Finally, we take a look at the dire circumstances that lead to agrarian distress, including exodus from farming work and the scenario of farmer suicides. What can be done for the future of agriculture and its related livelihoods?