|The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies
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This dissertation deals with the question whether organic farming in India can really live up to its promise of actor-oriented, bottom-up decision making and a participatory development approach where local farmers are encouraged to not only resort to their very own reservoir of agricultural resources and methods but also to actively share information and take part in their own ´empowerment`. Based on the much acclaimed fundamental orientation towards the inclusion of locality - be it resources, genetic material, livelihood strategies or local knowledge on agricultural techniques - does it have the potential to really make a fruitful contribution to the overall situation of India`s marginal farmers in that it goes beyond the prospect of merely providing marginal households with more purchasing power? Is it rather going to provide for a broader and more sustainable basis of rural livelihood, where the crucial linkage between ecological and socio-economic discourses is seriously taken into account on the basis of reinforcing and stabilizing India`s rural farmers and their communities by means of culturally sensitive empowerment from below? Therefore, both the scientific merit as well as the practical relevance of this study are based on a high degree of correlation between theoretical analysis and empirical research, promising a valuable approach to sustainable development while at the same time making an important contribution to overcoming the misplaced constrasting of traditional and modern forms of agriculture which are still all too prevalent.