Practicing Food Sovereignty: Indigenous Peoples and Agroecological Relationships in the Eastern Himalayas
The Himalayan region is well-known as a biodiversity hotspot with several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. It is also home to many indigenous communities who continue to practice subsistence farming and depend on the land and forest for their sustenance. Practicing Food Sovereignty focuses on indigenous communities and agricultural practices in four countries of the Eastern Himalaya region: Bhutan, Chittagong Hill Tracks of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Northeast India.
Drawing on food sovereignty both as a conceptual and a methodological framework, we explore emerging trends relating to food production and agricultural practices among the upland indigenous communities. Introduced by the transnational social movement La Via Campesina in 1996, the food sovereignty framework considers agriculture as a value system practice founded on culture and social justice. In a similar fashion, indigenous upland communities in the eastern Himalayan region are re-valuing and reviving aspects of their traditional modes of agriculture – knowledge, heritage plants, and cuisines – to cope with sustainability and contemporary environmental risks. The broad question we seek to explore in the project concerns indigenous livelihood practices and food security in the context of present climate change.
This project is supported by Swedish Research Council.
Bengt G. Karlsson
Beppe is a professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University. He is a working member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. He has studied anthropology, development and economics at Uppsala University. He received his PhD in Social Anthropology from Lund University in 1997.
Sanjay is a professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Guwahati campus). He is affiliated to the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and also teaches core papers at the Centre for Sociology and Social Anthropology. He completed his PhD in Sociology from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong.
Dolly is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies and Anthropology at the School of Social and Political Sciences. She has a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University.
Meenal is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the project and based at North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC), Guwahati. She received her PhD in Gender Studies from the University of Hyderabad in 2016. Previously, she was involved in the study Gender, Land Rights and Labour in the Context of Socio Economic Transformations in Northeast India at NESRC as Project Director. She draws on anthropological and historical approaches to explore the politics of gender and community in India.
Dixita is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the project and based at North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC), Guwahati. She completed her PhD in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in 2021. She has received the Zubaan-Sasakawa Peace Foundation Grant for Young Researchers from Northeast India (2019), the Annual VMMF-IAWS Young Research Scholars Award 2020. Currently, she is also writing a monograph under the South Asia Speaks mentorship program 2022.
Joel works as a research assistant with the project. He has a masters degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.