Villages, Women, and the Success of Dairy Cooperatives in India: Making Place for Rural Development

Basu, Pratyusha


India‘s cooperative dairying program is widely celebrated as an example of successful rural development, yet the meanings of this success have been understood mainly through the pronouncements of national and international development agencies. Within such official narratives, there has been relatively little engagement with the geographies of dairy development, both its place-specific productions through political contests, availabilities of labor, and distributions of agricultural resources, and the unevenness of its outcomes across rural India. This absence is even more surprising given that village-level cooperatives comprise the foundation of India‘s dairy development program, and the work of women within rural households is continuously invoked as an integral part of the dairy work. 2000 IDRF Fellow Pratyusha Basu extends and enriches current understandings of cooperative dairying in India to show both its value to rural communities as well as the limitations of its participatory structures. Combining comparative and ethnographic approaches, explanations for the diverse outcomes of cooperative dairying are provided from the perspective of the people and places directly involved in the everyday reproductions of rural development. This book contributes to existing understandings of rural development and rural geographies in many significant ways, and will be of interest to scholars in a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields, including geography, sociology, anthropology, rural studies, development studies, gender studies, and regional studies of India.  Buy it here.