This book addresses the rising disempowerment of village communities wrought by three centuries of colonial rule, followed by half a century of chemical-industrial agriculture.
M. G. Jackson is an Indian agricultural scientist who participated in the introduction of the green revolution in the 1960s and 70s. He was one of the first to perceive the fallout from this type of farming, and spent the next thirty years formulating an alternative conceptual model of rural development that envisages individuals and communities that define their own future, rather than submitting helplessly the forces of an increasingly globalised national economy. To do this he has critically surveyed traditional forms of agriculture, modern chemical-industrial agriculture, and the numerous, diverse spontaneous initiatives by rural families and communities across the country, and the scientific rationale for all these. He has also drawn inspiration from personal contact with numerous rural people and communities, and from his own experience as an environmental educator in rural India.
This alternative model envisages rural families and communities rehabilitating their land, and then managing it sustainably. The means to achieving this vision are appropriate education and redressing the social and gender inequalities within the village community, and between village communities and the urban-industrial-corporate sector.
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'... this book is mainly about Indian agriculture, ... However, if you are interested in sustainability issues, localisation, natural farming methods and community building, and how these connect to Systems Theory ... you may enjoy this little gem as much as I did.'
- From the review of the first edition in 'Resurgence', September-October, 2005