New cultural innovations that have proved to be profitable even as they go against the grain of globalisation induced inequalities are explored in this panel.
This panel seeks to study processes of social and cultural hybridisation that contemporary global forces have unleashed in the field of agriculture. Some instances of such hybridisation that I have witnessed are of small farmers in north Karnataka becoming successful plant breeders who are avidly sought after by big agribusiness firms; of horticulturists in a small town in south Karnataka catering to the growing market for a special variety of heritage banana by combining traditional horticultural knowledge with modern technologies, of enterprising farmers and traders influenced by export oriented floriculture introducing non traditional flower varieties in local markets and initiating changes that seamlessly combine the traditional culture of plucked flowers and garlands with the culture of cut flowers and their bouquets. There are also instances of the proponents of organic farming evolving innovative practices to ensure that marginal and small farmers could convert their uneconomic holdings into productive assets. Such innovative solutions have given rise to new sensibilities of aesthetics and asceticism. This panel invites papers that offer thick descriptions of such social and cultural changes witnessed in the rural/agricultural sector.