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Contract Farming in Odisha: Prospects & Constraints
Author Bikash Rath
Year 2011
Organization Regional Centre for Development Co-operation
Contract farming is one of the illustrated examples of the impact of globalization and liberalized economic policy in the agriculture sector. While the farm sector is facing an identity crisis amidst growing dominance of the industrial sector, contract farming helped to create a new hope in this scenario. It established a link between the farm sector and the corporate sector too. This way it created new prospects for the agricultural sector, and added to the dignity of the farmer. However, the actual practice was often not so farmer-friendly. Rather it was an arrangement to best exploit the farmers’ lands in the interest of the contracting agency. Innocence and ignorance of the farmers, absence of a strong farmer-security mechanism, and tactfully drafted legal papers favoured the other side very much. And the result was quite obvious; farmers suffering in many ways, long-term socioeconomic and environmental threats perceived, and marginality of farmers getting increased.While hybridization & genetic modification impose a kind of passive ownership over the farmer, contract farming can impose a more direct ownership/control. Unfortunately, the present situation often puts the farmer in a rather contradictory position since he/she may find contract farming and all other liberalized systems of modern farming much more promising and convenient without realizing much the long term impacts. This is obviously because the policy in this country does not support much the conventional systems of livelihood including agriculture. Moreover, there has been differential attitude of the government for different regions of the country, often due to political reasons; and this is why Punjab, UP, and Maharastra receive more attention than Odisha, Tripura, or Chhattisgarh. A brainstorming exercise for effecting a sustainable and farmer friendly policy as well as implementation mechanism is therefore needed to take steps before it is too late; and the present report is but one of the initiatives of RCDC contributing in that direction. We take this opportunity to announce that findings of this study will be published soon in the local language of out state so that the rural mass, particularly the farmers can understand the issues and make themselves alert.
Publisher Regional Centre for Development Co-operation
Keywords Contract farming, Odisha
Country India