Recent laws for privatizing agricultural produce markets in India are just one prominent example of long-running efforts to liberalize agriculture across South Asia. These legacies of state withdrawal from agriculture and the growing role of private intermediaries in both input and output markets have precipitated simultaneous crises of reproduction and accumulation in the countryside. However, such trajectories of liberalization are both context-specific and politically contested. Drawing from two cases—the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad’s efforts to build a broad political coalition among differentiated agrarian producers to contest the place of farmers in agricultural markets and the Northern Sri Lanka co-operative movement’s autonomous initiatives for post-war rural reconstruction—this article argues that rural movements are providing new and alternative visions for how farmers can engage with liberalizing agricultural markets on more equitable terms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Dr. Barbara Harris-White and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. We also acknowledge support from the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), SOAS and the Northern Cooperative Development Bank (NCDB) for our collaborative dialogue.
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