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University of New Hampshire Durham

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

India: Sustainable Development and Social Change


In the Earth’s changing ecological and economic climates, traditional, ecosystem-specific, culture-specific systems of agriculture has more value than ever before for rural India. Children’s involvement in agricultural work is an important variable in the preservation of such systems. With urban migration of young people and increases in formal education leading to non-farm employment, detailed agricultural knowledge such as soil and water conservation, non-chemical methods of pest control, and are rapidly fading with each generation. This descriptive study aimed to explore and understand the ways in which youth participation in farm work contributes to the preservation of traditional agricultural knowledge in rural village communities of Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh. Key questions to answer were: What is the overall picture of agriculture/food production in the community? How exactly are youth involved? What are the community perspectives in the value of youth’s contribution? How is this contribution crucial in preserving and practicing, specifically, traditional agricultural techniques? Results of the study were extensive; while traditional knowledge is transferred largely through an intergenerational learning chain, it was found that traditional knowledge is not an end goal in itself, rather a tool, among many, which can be used to maintain economically, culturally, and environmentally sustainable agricultural systems.


Agricultural Education | Agriculture | Family, Life Course, and Society | Rural Sociology


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