Edited By: Amitava Mukherjee
This text is an exercise in learning from the voices of the communities living in Indian villages near urban areas. It is a concerned, primarily, with learning what these communities have to say on their well-being and livelihoods and is, therefore, an attempt to record and register as much as possible of what these communities say. The data and information provided have been written as a transliteration of the language they were originally spoken and presented in; the analysis is that of the editors. Agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh plays an important role not only as a source of livelihood but also in supplying food grains, vegetables, pulses, milk, frutis and other agricultural produce to urban and peri-urban communities and markets. It constitutes a major source of income and livelihood both for those who own land in and around such areas and for those offering their labour for employment. The range of food grains, pulses, cereals, vegetables and milk produced by farmers in such areas are in part for self-consumption and in part for sale in the market. This helps not only in supplying esential commodities, but also in stabilizing prices and markets and in maintaining stocks. The study, then, looks at the relationship between agriculture and urban and peri-urban areas, and the phenomenon of industrialization/urbanization - particularly air pollution as perceived and viewed by the farmers. In presenting these perspectives, the farmers gave insights into some related issues such as the role of agriculture in their livelihoods, the nature of agricultural constraints, the impact of air pollution on health status and quality of life, and the support systems for addressing the problems of the farmers.
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