November 26, 2012

2012: Highlight # 52

Sneha Lamba presents four instances where small farmers turned prosperous by shifting to high value crops and developing linkages with the market. Can these be mainstreamed? How...?

From Small Farmers towards Prosperous Farmers

Four case studies from Gujarat

Sneha Lamba

Research and discussions centred on the smallholder have rarely attempted to study clusters of small and prosperous farmers (SPFs) who have managed to forge ahead and earn high profits in spite of land constraints. In this Highlight, we study specific case studies of such SPFs in Eastern Gujarat, focusing in particular on smallholders who are integrators in the poultry and processed potato industries, peri-urban vegetable cultivators, and beneficiaries of large scale NGO interventions. We expect SPF clusters to emerge, where farmers have water control, linkages to the market and shift from the production of cereals and millets to high value horticultural crops, meat, milk, fish etc. In our case studies we observe that while water control, proximity and connectivity to markets are necessary, SPF Cluster often emerge where large farmers actively create synergies, invest in backward and forward linkages and demonstrate profitability to small farmers. We also find that thinking about social capital, bonds and networks may be very important when thinking about smallholder prosperity.

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