ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Ronald J HerringSubscribe to Ronald J Herring

Reconstructing Facts in Bt Cotton

The case that the "triumph narrative" of Bt cotton in India comes mainly from economists, the biotech industry and their academic allies is a difficult one to sustain when dozens of studies show the positive effects of insect resistance in Bt cotton. Yields are driven by numerous factors, and there will be variance - field-to-field, season-to-season. Despite this, Bt cotton has been agro-economically successful because of the lower cost of production per unit and thus higher net returns - facts that are consistent with the near universal adoption of Bt technology by farmers.

On the 'Failure of Bt Cotton': Analysing a Decade of Experience

Given that the controversy over success and failure of Bt technology still exists, this paper discusses the available field studies that have addressed agro-economic questions of Bt cotton cultivation in India. Since a meta-analysis of studies can give only partial conclusions, owing to differences across study methodologies and coverage, this paper takes a different strategy, i e, looking not simply at differences between Bt farms and non-Bt farms, but at the experience of farmers before growing Bt and after switching to Bt. It also examines the more general problem of comparing field studies and suggests ways to use farmer behaviour as a proxy for settling different interpretations of agro-economic effects of the new technology. The study explains why there has been so much controversy given virtually universal adoption of Bt technology in cotton and concludes that in the battle of numbers around Bt cotton, those of the farmers have been curiously missing.

Abolition of Landlordism in Kerala- A Redistribution of Privilege

A Redistribution of Privilege Ronald J Herring The Kerala land reforms which came into effect on the first day of 1970 have been virtually com- pleted during the decade. Widely hailed as a model, the reforms have in fact been relatively well implemented and effect a substantial redistribution of privilege, but stop considerably short of establishing 'land to the tiller', as is often claimed.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Eradication of Feudalism in Pakistan

Feudalism' in Pakistan Ronald J Herring It is possible to identify social formations and relations in Pakistan's agrarian sector historically which fall near the 'feudal' end of a spectrum of agrarian societies. Such formations and relations have presented persistent problems to ruling elites seeking the consolidation of a modern bourgeois economy and centralised State. Land reforms and other measures in the Bhutto period did not seek to eradicate the 'feudals', as in a classic bourgeois revolution, nor abdicate power to them, as in 'indirect rule' or some forms of patron-client political systems, but rather sought selective accommodation and transformation to facilitate concentration of political power and rationalisation of the agricultural economy, The significant limitations apparent in the attack on feudalism must be understood in terms of the strategic and tactical imperatives operative during the period of Bhutto's rule.

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