The marginalisation and resurgence of traditional knowledge systems in India: agro-ecological ‘islands of success’ or a wave of change?

Lachlan Gregory, Jagjit Plahe, Sandra Cockfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


India is in the grip of an agrarian crisis. Economic, social, environmental and political forces have adversely affected the relationship between the small-scale primary producer and the production process. In the context of this crisis, traditional knowledge-inspired food systems have given rise to ‘islands of success’ that have allowed small and marginal farmers to reclaim their livelihoods across the country. In this paper, we analyse three different islands of success using an agro-ecological framework, arguing that such islands of success based on traditional knowledge are becoming an increasingly necessary approach to agriculture. However, political will, political engagement and effective policies that support traditional knowledge in agriculture are required for these islands of success to become waves of change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-599
Number of pages18
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Agroecology
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • food regime analysis
  • food security
  • India
  • Maharashtra
  • Sikkim
  • Telangana
  • traditional knowledge

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