The case study like this are important because they help to see the micro effects can some macro policies have in the life of a poor farmer; how the environment and economics, the global and the local are interconnected with the survival.
2003 Urban Fellow
Research Topic: Urban Agriculture
Faculty Advisor: William Burch
Rural Urban Agriculture Market System: Challenges and Opportunities, A Case Study: Eastern Nepal
For Nepal, still surviving on agrarian economy, agriculture market between rural and urban areas serves as the main linkage that shapes socio economic and ecological dynamics of the nation. Addressing the rural urban linkages is necessary because the phenomenon of urbanization in the third world like Nepal has been inevitable but unplanned. Since 80% of people in Nepal are farmers, it is impossible to analyze the nature of socioeconomic processes of Nepal without linking these processes to the rural – urban interactions between these farmers and the urban population. Detailed analysis of rural urban market mechanisms showed that urban markets show the potentials for the development of rural areas in Nepal. Agriculture market is the main source of agriculture income for the farmers and provides a resort even to the marginal farmers when they need cash. However local, national and transnational forces like unequal landholding distribution, governmental policies that do not provide any economic incentives and competition with subsidized products from India do not support the benefit for small farmers. Due to high investment and low returns, the agriculture market with the urban areas alone is not able to sustain farmers and compels them to look for the non-farm jobs and migrate in the urban areas, changing the ecological and sociological dynamics of both rural and urban areas. The phenomenon like migration exerts a pressure on the natural resource of the urban areas and the villages become dependent on the remittance economy of the migrants. These rural urban mechanisms are accelerated by adverse state policies and transnational trade agreements.