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Accepted Paper:

Farmers, farming and farms: construing risk, precarity and new technologies for food futures in India  
Sita Venkateswar (Massey University, Palmerston North)

Paper short abstract:

The United Nations declared the years 2014,2015 and 2016 as the International Year of Family Farms,International Year of Soils and International Year of Pulses.What are the implications of these announcements?

Paper long abstract:

The series of announcements by the United Nations in 2014, 2015 and 2016 are designated to raise public awareness of global issues and is significant in its sequential attention to various domains that are perceived as in crisis in India and elsewhere in the world, yet are critical to contemporary food production. This paper juxtaposes these announcements with attention to some farming contexts drawn from across India that speak to the risks associated with farming in the face of unpredictable weather events associated with climate change and the precarious situations of many small farmers. At the same time, other initiatives emphasise the resilience and entrepreneurial bent demonstrated by different sets of small farmers, who are able to harness new technologies to inform their decision-making and cultivation practices to mitigate risk, or successfully harvest and find a market for their produce. How might the global importance attributed to small farms, to the nourishing of fertile soils (with its attendant populations of microorganisms) and the cultivation of pulses flow through to what happens at various localities across India? What might this signify for the shift in scale at which food production will have to occur and a variant set of logics apply to farms and farming now and in the future? How might these shifts ameliorate the conditions of risk prevalent across the farming sector and its associated precarity for small farmers?

Panel P082
Food futures and agroecologies in damaged environments: entangled species, sustainable livelihoods, contested knowledge
  Session 1