Friday, February 3, 2012

Small group-based agrarian collectives

Oscilating between large scale collectives and individual-based initiatives, a strategy that seems to workable is small-group based agrarian collectives. That exactly is the proposition of National Rural Livelihood Mission as well.

28 comments:

mayank tiwari said...

NRLM is promoting Self-Employment through organizing poor into SHGs. The strategy is quite practical as SHG have all the benefits of a collective and as their size is small, they are easily manageable too. I have a similar experience from fieldwork in Kerala where a small group of women come together to form Joint Liability Groups. These groups perform collective farming. As the size of the group is small, policy formation, implementation and monitoring is quite easy. There is greater accountability between the members as they all are well acquainted with each other and so higher probability of success.
Mayank Tiwari
32079

Sandesh N A said...

The core belief of NRLM is that the poor have innate capabilities and strong desire to come out of poverty. From my fieldwork experience I can say it is true, poor have their own plans to come out of poverty only thing they need is some social and economical support. Providing assistance will be cumbersome for individuals and it’s ineffective in large group, so small groups will be ideal. There is a lot of scope for coming up with seed/food/fertilizer/other agriculture input banks, small irrigation projects, collective farming etc, by SHGs at small level.
Sandesh N A
32090

Shipra Sharma said...

JEEViKA is a government of Bihar initiative assisted by World Bank. The project has created vibrant credit institution in the rural areas of Bihar, since 2006 through establishment of SHGs. The programme is now assisting both small and large farmers in adopting modern agricultural technologies, like SRI (System of Rice Intensification) and SWI (System of Wheat Intensification) by imparting them the required skills and inputs. This small scale collective approach has substantially changed the life of women’s and recently the GoI has decided to bring this model under NRLM to replicate it in other states as well.
Shipra
(32092)

Subhradip said...

The NRLM works towards organizing the poor, building their capacities and enabling them access to finance and other resources. The SHG model is best suited to achieve these goals. SHG provide the poor the platform for collective action. When I worked in the bank I noticed, as the SHG members are maintaining the resolution book by own and also they have to sign there, they started to learn how to read and write. It helps them to be literate and independent. As well as they get the confidence to visit different institutions and officials.
Subhradip Barman
(p32096)

a said...

Small-group agrarian collectives can provide small, marginal and female farmers access to land, lumpy inputs like farm machinery, credit & extension and higher bargaining power in market. These collectives to function properly should be based on bottom up approach, voluntariness, participatory decision making, rules & regulations to prevent free riding and appropriate sharing of benefits. The NRLM attempts to leverage upon capacity of existing SHGs, creating new SHGs, capacity building SHG members and along with support of banks. The focus is on women, adopting bottom-up approach and ensuring delivery of poverty reduction outcomes in a time bound manner.
Avinash Kumar
(32059)

HARENDRA SINGH said...

As they say the smaller the better. It has it's own unique advantages that it is easier to manage ,control a small collective action this is the core philosophy around which NRLM'strategy revolves.As NRLM aims to reach out to all the rural BPL families and link them to sustainble livelihood oppurtunities till the time they come out of pverty and enjoy a decent life,so it has taken the approach of forming self help groups so the target benificaries get the benifit that they are supposed to get.
Harendra singh rathore
P32067

Rabindra Kumar said...

Socialist collectivism (production and service) in 1960s and 1970s failed because of high level of socio-economic inequality which is common in large group. Hence collective action of small homogeneous group seems best strategy to pool the power of individuals. In NRLM, SHGs based approach has been taken for poverty alleviation through capacity building and skill development among rural poor. In village of Bihar (my Field work) JEEViKa have taken the same approach in agriculture and other small scale production activities after the success of its SHGs based micro finance model.
Rabindra Kumar (p32085)

Ritu Kashyap said...

Small is beautiful. This has been realized by our policy makers and they have focused over the bottom up approach. The Ministry of Rural Development has redesigned the SGSY into NRLM. It is a multi pronged approach emphasizing over the SHG’s. SHG involves the poorest of the poor section that are assembled in small groups for improving their condition through better livelihood opportunities. Union government supports any of such initiatives at the state level and it has come up with the partnership with the state government for mobilizing the programme further through SERP, EGMM (AP), BRLPS (Bihar) etc.
(32037)

Ritu Kashyap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kamal Rangan said...

Adding to what Mayank has briefed, there is a special scheme now being implemented by the government under NRLM called Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) which aims at creating sustainable agricultural opportunities for women farmers. I was fortunate enough to work for the inauguration of the scheme in my fieldwork village where Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) was a huge success. As JLGs already had the ideology of a collective, this scheme would help in increased mobilization of women for better skill development. Also self-monitoring of the members helps in easier policy implementation and monitoring thereby increasing the success rate.
Kamal Rangan (32075)

PRATEEK PARIMAL said...

Two concepts are worth mentioning here, one is that the role of rural women in agriculture has significantly increased and two is that we have to adopt methods of collective farming so that the poor farmers who are bearing the brunt of fragmented lands get benefited. My fieldwork observation in JEEViKA reflects that they are taking care of both the above points. The channelization of agri-inputs through the SHGs help the women take part actively in agriculture. GoI is well impressed with the project and has funded it through NRLM to replicate the success model in all the districts.
Prateek Parimal (32029)

Raj kamal goldi said...

The large scale collectives suffer from issues like difficult monitoring, less coherence etc. Also in a large collective, different members may have different interests involved (which can be sometimes conflicting), different reasons to participate and different degree of commitment to make the collective a success for example even if the collective fails the larger farmers may not have to suffer much. On the other hand individual based initiatives will not be able to make use of the opportunities that require coming together of a group of people. Hence, small group based collective is the way out.
Raj kamal goldi(32033)

Darshit Shah said...

Gambhira Collective farming in Gujarat is a great example of how collective farming has survived over decades. Such practice of small groups can help in freeing the members whose employment can be termed as disguised employment. They can be employed elsewhere; the labour productivity at farm increases and overall income also goes up. The article also talks about reducing caste inequalities. However, would such groups be easily formed amongst unequal castes?

Darshit Shah (32062)

sohini said...

Apart from SHG'S which is one of the best way to to organize rural people for self employement,by forming small collectives of people, i feel that there are also schemes which works solely because of large scale collectivism of the villagers.Like in my village where i went for FW, joint forest management has divided the surrounding forest area into equal parts and each households have to take care of the their assigned forest cover and in return they could get the fodder for their animals.so in this way the whole village is collectively protecting the forest by maintaining its green cover. Its because of sense of collectivism among the villagers ,the scheme was running successfully for a decade now.
SOHINI MAHAPATRA(32041)

kajal kumari said...

Large scale collectives end up becoming organisations and the initial sense of community might get diluted. Individual collectives mostly are one-man show and have less economies of scale. So the agrarian collectives seem to strike a balance where in the community feeling remains as before and economically more feasible. This also seems to serve the farmers' case.That is what NRLM aims at.

Rahul said...

The success of small groups can mainly be attributed to the way it functions and composed. It leads of better management of resources, lesser conflicts (due to small size and understanding of common problem) and quick decision making. In our village SHG are successful due to timely meetings and collective decision making. However as the group size increase a lot of problems this includes; Shirking of responsibility by the members, increased conflicts due to clashing of interest of individuals and communities, politics for power etc. Thus over a period of time they lose their common objective of upliftment..
Rahul Agrawal(32032)

Abhinav Deep Sinha said...

Small groups tend to be more successful as they are comprised of a small number of people who are connected by similar goals. It becomes easier to build consensus and execute work speedily. Small groups are more tuned into local needs and tend to be nimble. They can bring about a course correction much faster. Hence, i think that small group based agrarian collectives are the way forward.

Ajay vikram singh said...

The members in a cooperative unite to share the scarce resources, share risks, learn and gain from each other’s experience and knowledge, avail better credit and marketing opportunities etc. There is no stipulated ideal size of a cooperative, yet with large groups the transparency and monitoring becomes tough. The small sized groups, farmers would ensure more social affinity, participatory decision making, a gender neutral involvement, a closer check on free riders and fair distribution of benefits and thus small group based agrarian collectives are the best fit.
Ajay vikram singh(32053)

ANURAG said...

A word on everybody`s mouth after the field work was SHG`s and mostly with a praise of it,that itself means that NRLM `the largest poverty reduction initiative has started in a good shape with slowly building capabilities in rural masses and this scheme that works on convergence and coordination mechanism is making a mark. As what I saw in my fieldwork too that how much small amount a women is saving or even a small training program done is giving them confidence and that is needed to make them come forward for self employment.

Anurag Srivastava
32056

Himanshu Pilania said...

The Indian cooperative movement is the largest in the world but still large scale cooperatives face a number of problems like that of inadequate infrastructure, apathy towards management, low accountability, political intervention, lack of human resource development, education and training etc. Although the model is successful but I think the benchmark of satisfaction for a member is not reached. In an individual action, the returns can be diminishing in nature also. So the way out is small group collective where the members are the actual owners and share the associated benefits, risk and returns.
Himanshu Pilania
(32070)

Priyanka said...

The basic objective of NRLM is to provide a platform for collective action based on mutual cooperation, so that poor can lead the process of their development. The development and the interventions are locally relevant, which can fulfill the local needs and suit the local context as well. The institutions created under NRLM will provide timely access to credit and saving services to meet the social, individual basic priority needs.

Manas Mittal said...

Solving Problems in small groups not brings cohesivness but also facilitates people to work effectively which perhaps becomes sometimes difficult in large scale collectcives where a free rider problem can arise.A small group based collective example is from my village in UP where people had grain bank.This can be used by the members of SHG's to take the grains to feed the family in case of emergency and then these borrowers can return during the harvest season.This type of initiative needs proper controlling machanisms which can be possible only in small group based collevctives
Manas Mittal(P32020)

Antony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antony said...

As Goldi pointed out, the heterogeneity of the large collectives brings with it a dampening of efficiency due to presence of diverse interests. The individual initiative again is risk-prone. Agriculture as such is risk-prone. You have fluctuating market prices, unpredictable weather, diseases, and what not - ask a farmer and he'll tell you more.
The small group brings with itself the risk-sharing factor along with cohesion, a higher level of trust and also a higher level of participation. If these groups are women groups, all the better. It provides livelihood options, stalls the shift from food crops and also promotes women empowerment. As already pointed out by Kamal, this is exactly what MKSP tries- pull in more and more women into agriculture through JLGs.

Antony(32006)

Vineeth K N said...

The group size paradox holds well only if the collective good is private in nature. In case of a public good the effectiveness of a collective is directly proportional to the size of the collective. The small sized agrarian collectives as envisaged under the NRLM scheme will be effective in dealing with the issues of access to land and labor sharing which are more or less private in nature. But when it comes to dealing with agricultural productivity which is more of a public good, it will be less effective as the limited size of collective will constrain the ability to adopt advanced techniques in farming which a larger collective could have adopted.
Vineeth K N (32049)

Prerna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prerna said...

Most social, political and economical activities are carried out by groups and not individuals. Presumably, this is because the outcome of pooled efforts is usually larger than the sum of individual efforts. Tendency of majority to exploit minority and free riding are some of the problems faced in collective actions. Larger the group, smaller is the perceived effect of an individual's defection. Also as the benefits get divided in the group, larger the group, smaller is the individual prize. Hence, larger groups are less effective in pursuing their targets.This seems the proposition applied by NRLM as well.
Prerna Gupta (32030)

RAJKAMAL RAWAT said...

Small group based collective action had always been a common feature of our rural agrarian system. May it be the sowing season or harvesting, villagers always work together to get things done. But with advancement in technology and lesser informal interaction, the feeling of collectivism is disappearing. Also there is change in agriculture pattern, from food crops to cash crops and from multi cropping to mono cropping, due to which farmers are easily get trapped in debt. Solitary farming is one reason of farmers’ suicides. So NRLM and few other central schemes are based on collective actions of villagers.
Rajkamal Rawat
32035