January 25, 2003

2003: Highlight # 8

Can tribal communities take up farming profitably? Mukherji and others discuss evidence from south Gujarat where AKRSP has managed to transform migrants into enterprising farmers... 

Agrarian Transformation Among Tribals

From Migrants to Farmer Irrigators

Aditi Mukherji, Shilp Verma and Prabhat Rath

Irrigated agriculture has been at the heart of changing tribal lifestyle in South Gujarat from one of seasonal migrant to that of a full time farmer.

The tribals have not only adopted irrigated agriculture but are able to get yields comparable to patidars, known for their excellence in farming. Learning from AKRSP (I)'s work in neighbouring villages, they have also taken up management of canal systems on their own. This shows that far from being indolent and unenterprising, the tribals are as good farmers as any other farming community. The role played by AKRSP (I) as facilitators has been crucial in transforming tribal livelihoods in the region; from one of migrant labour to settled farmer.

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