RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016

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17 Geographies of migration, gender and agrarian change in the Global South (1)
Convenor(s) Fraser Sugden (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Stephanie Leder (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Chair(s) Stephanie Leder (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Timetable Wednesday 31 August 2016, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Session abstract There are an estimated 214 million international labour migrants and 740 million internal labour migrants worldwide. The impact of migration on receiving countries and regions has received unprecedented public and policy interest in recent years. However, migration also has a far reaching impact on rural economies and the trajectory of change in agriculture within the Global South. Understanding the relationship between migration and agrarian change is a classic ‘nexus’ challenge. The out-migration of men and youth in particular, can result in transformations in gender relations in agriculture, changes in how natural resources are managed, new patterns of investment, and reconfigured power relations and geographies of inequality. However, the character of these agrarian transformations over time and place are mediated by larger scale processes such as climate change and regional or global political economy – the same processes which drive migration in the first place. The dynamics of these relationships are not well understood, and neither is the complex experience of households negotiating migration induced demographic change in the Global South. The International Water Management Institute, as part of the CGIAR research programme on Water Land and Ecosystems (WLE), will bring together case study research on migration and rural change in the Global South to generate dialogue and debate on rural transformation in migrant sending regions and countries, to identify a research and policy agenda. Sponsored by International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Linked Sessions Geographies of migration, gender and agrarian change in the Global South (2)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2016@rgs.org
Introduction: The migration-agriculture nexus in the Global South
Fraser Sugden (International Water Management Institute, Nepal)
Migration today represents one of the most critical issues facing rural communities in the Global South, and the unprecedented outflow of men, women and youth from rural areas has transformed agriculture and rural social relations, while creating new patterns of vulnerability and inequality. This introduction briefly sets the context of the migration-agriculture nexus, and shapes the agenda for the session.
Moving in and out of vulnerability: migration as an adaptation strategy along a rural urban continuum in Karnataka
Chandni Singh (Indian Institute for Human Settlements, India)
Ritwika Basu (Indian Institute for Human Settlements, India)
Rural livelihoods in semi-arid regions negotiate multiple climatic and non-climatic risks. Migration has emerged as a key livelihood strategy to diversify incomes, reduce risks associated with rainfed agriculture, and meet personal aspirations. Drawing on life histories of migrant and non-migrant families, this research explores the role of migration and commuting in addressing livelihood vulnerability along a rural-urban continuum in Karnataka, India. In-depth life histories across two districts are used to explore livelihood trajectories in rural households and understand how households negotiate their fast-changing environmental, social, and institutional landscape through migration and commuting, among other strategies. Preliminary findings suggest that labelling migration as an adaptive strategy does not necessarily capture the breadth of experiences and implications for livelihoods that migrants and their families face. At an intra-household level, migration and commuting can alleviate vulnerability for some family members while exacerbate vulnerability of those left behind. At a larger scale, migration that is adaptive at a household scale can be maladaptive at a system-scale where cities are unable to provide for or absorb migrants who often live in highly vulnerable conditions. Finally, on a temporal scale, migration and commuting affect livelihood trajectories and choices beyond the migrants alone and understanding how these strategies affect household vulnerability over time is crucial for adaptation research. The paper also presents life histories as a powerful methodological tool to complement current econometric methodological approaches exploring migration and demonstrates a more nuanced, in-depth and temporally-sensitive inquiry into the drivers and consequences of migration.
Feminization of crop-livestock systems in South Asia: A case from Uttarakhand India
Sushrut Chauhan (Freelance Consultant)
Sapna Jarial (ICRISAT, Niger)
Uttarakhand is primarily a mountainous state with only about ten percent of its total geographical area in the plains, the economy of Uttarakhand is predominantly dependent on mountain agriculture. However, the scope for agricultural policies based on modern input-intensive agriculture is severely constrained in the hilly regions because of various physical, geographical and environmental problems. This has resulted in the majority of the rural population in the hills either surviving on subsistence agriculture or migrating to other parts of the country for employment. Who does the animal agriculture in such a backdrop? What are gender roles, constraints and opportunities of in crop-livestock farming? Using quantitative and participatory qualitative tools an investigation was conducted in year 2011-12, in two blocks namely, Jhakhanidhar (altitude 1500-1700 above mean sea level) and Gangolihat (altitude 1600-1750 amsl) of districts TehriGarhwal and Pithoragarh respectively and was confined to (lactating) buffaloes considering their prevalence in the area. Relevant information was collected from 20 women farmers (10 from block Jhakhanidhar and 10 from Gangolihaat) in three consecutive seasons (summer, rainy and winter).
Unravelling rural migration networks: Land-tenure arrangements among Bugis migrant communities in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia
Elok Ponco Mulyoutami (World Agroforestry Centre, Indonesia)
Ekawati Sri Wahyuni (Bogor Agricultural Institute, Indonesia)
Lala M Kolopaking (Bogor Agricultural Institute, Indonesia)
James Michael Roshetko (World Agroforestry Centre, Indonesia)
Spontaneous rural-to-rural migration has many impacts on every dimension of human life. Migration driven by the hunger for land has been stimulated by the development of high economic value crops. The study of migration networks will contribute to a better portrait of continuing migration and the related actors: their influence on the decision to migrate and their role in facilitating the migration. This study focussed on Bugis migrant communities— famous as great wanderers—in Southeast Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. In the province, smallholders' cocoa plantations are dominated by Bugis migrants, contributing two-thirds of the total 137 833 tonnes of cocoa production in 2010. Research was conducted at the migrants' destination (Konawae District) and origin (Sinjai District). The study showed that the main motivation for Bugis to migrate was to obtain land. The three main waves of migration to Southeast Sulawesi are characterized by development of a major commodity in each time period: 1) the 'green revolution' with paddy-rice development in the 1970s–80s; 2) the cocoa boom in early (1980s–2000s); and 3) late phases (2000s until present). Four migration network patterns were deliberately or unintentionally developed by the Bugis migrant community: 1) kinship network; 2) patron–client relationship; 3) migration owing to work displacement; and 4) the pioneer migration: early migrants who have lived in Southeast Sulawesi for a long time. In each wave, the central actor in the migration is the land broker, linking different villages and families.