Promoting small farmer cooperation for sustainable livelihoods in India and Nepal

Impact: Societal impacts, Cultural impacts, Political impacts


Bina Agarwal’s research led an international organisation and several NGOs to introduce an unusual institutional innovation – group farming – in India and Nepal. As a result:
• In Bihar, West Bengal (eastern India) and eastern Nepal, 140 poor farmers formed 20 collectives, which: (1) increased their bargaining power vis-à-vis landlords; (2) improved the efficiency of land and machine use; (3) enabled access to government subsidies; (4) reduced input costs; and (5) enhanced yields and livelihoods.
• In Gujarat (western India), 92 tribal women formed 16 collectives, opening a pathway to greater food security.

Moreover, Agarwal’s research in Kerala (south India), led an extant programme of 68,000 women’s group farms (with 300,000 members) to incorporate more caste-disadvantaged women.

In all regions, the group farming model is continuing and has proved effective in protecting livelihoods and food security during the coronavirus pandemic.
Impact date20152020
Category of impactSocietal impacts, Cultural impacts, Political impacts

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute