Sonar Bangla? Agricultural Growth and Agrarian Change in West Bengal and Bangladesh

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After decades of stagnation, Bengali agricultural output finally began to grow faster than the population from the mid-1980s onwards. While this achievement has been widely heralded, there has been no effort to analyse in detail the reasons for and the consequences of agrarian change in the region. Providing a unique interdisciplinary synthesis, this volume which draws chiefly upon micro studies of villages in West Bengal and Bangladeshexplores the complex causality between agricultural growth, government policy and local level practice, and agrarian social change. The book is divided into three parts dealing respectively with agricultural growth, poverty and well-being, policies and practices; and changing agrarian structures. Among the issues discussed are:
The extent to which the West Bengal governments agrarian reforms were
responsible for rapid agricultural growth.
The outcomes of this growth for poverty and well-being in the state.
The liberalisation of agricultural input markets and growth trends in Bangladesh.
The impact of the recent agricultural growth on structures of land and water ownership; on caste-based ideologies, on markets for produce: and on migrant wage-workers.
The book leavens official data with extended research in rural Bengal as well as detailed archival research. The contributions represent diverse ideological and disciplinary approaches, and even provide sharply contesting interpretations which reflect the debates currently raging. around the themes covered in the volume.Representing a unique project of interdisciplinary synthesis, this timely and deliberately eclectic volume has immediate research and policy implications. It will attract the attention of a wide range of readerseconomists, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists,\ administrators, geographers and those studying political economy and development issues.

Ben Rogaly

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