Contract farming and McKinsey's plan for transforming agriculture into agribusiness in West Bengal

Sarkar, Swagato (2014) Contract farming and McKinsey's plan for transforming agriculture into agribusiness in West Bengal. Journal of South Asian Development, 9 (3). pp. 235-251. ISSN 9731741

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Agriculture has been the target of modernization for a long time. The earlier interventions of deploying ‘green revolution’ technologies were a statist project and aimed at increasing productivity. The focus of public policy has shifted from increasing productivity to finding and servicing consumer markets. It is in this context that contract farming and linkages with formal retail sector have been proposed. The erstwhile Left Front government in West Bengal, India, had drafted the management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company to strategize a rejuvenation plan for the state’s agriculture. McKinsey suggested that the government should encourage farmers to enter into contract farming, which would allow them to access market, especially international and domestic metropolitan markets. The documents produced by McKinsey were confidential, but have recently been leaked. In this article, I analyze these confidential documents and the proposal to transform agriculture into agribusiness. I try to locate such a proposal at the global level to understand the dynamics of (global) agribusiness and why global agri-capital advocates contract farming. Thereafter, I try to critically evaluate the prospect of contract farming in Bengal and India.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Contract Farming | Agribusiness | Global Agriculture | Agrarian Crisis
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2022 09:48
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2022 09:48
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