NCCR North-South Dialogue No. 5

by K. Narayanan Nair, Vineetha Menon. 

Bern, NCCR North-South 2007

Against the backdrop of anxieties and optimistic anticipations about the impact of trade liberalization on agricultural in India in general and the state of Kerala in particular, this paper examines the growth performance of Kerala’s agricul-ture and the underlying factors relating to the comparative advantages and disadvantages of major agricultural commodities in the state, price fluctuations, and the implica-tions of trade liberalization for the state’s agriculture. The role of the state in ensuring food security and sustainability through various measures to improve agricultural productivity and ensure price and product advantages, and in putting a check on environmental degradation, is perceived as both onerous and crucial – despite the general impres-sion that with globalisation and liberalization the state recedes into insignificance.

It is contended that in order to face the challenges outlined in this paper, the state’s commanding role is indispensable, and that a series of reforms is inevitable. Although the task of working out the details of a reform agenda does not fall within the purview of this paper, we try to highlight some of the important elements in such an agenda as they emerged from our analysis of agriculture in Kerala. The paper departs from the usual crop-specific analyses, and instead high-lights the importance of an integrated regional perspective on agriculture, embedding a crop-specific analysis within it.

K. Narayanan Nair and Menon V. 2007. Reforming Agriculture in a Globalising World – The Road Ahead for Kerala.NCCR North-South Dialogue No 5. Bern, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.


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