Local Produce; A peri urban perspective.
Peri-urban areas are an interesting setting for research studies. the mix match of occupation, lifestyle, work habits reflect an area which is neither purely rural, or purely urban. in Gurgaon, farming for commercial purposes is declining. Land acquisition, changing climate, lack of water avalibility due to the falling grounwater tables is a major reason for people shifting to jobs in secondary and tertiary sectors. Here what is interesting is that, although urbane in their job profile, these people also wish to be rooted in a traditional rural setting and ethos. Modernity and tradition have a perfect blend in these peri-urban areas.
Traditionally these people were all employeed by farming or allied activities like animal husbandry etc. changing needs and times have forced many to take up jobs in and around urban areas as guards, auto drivers etc. The fall in commercial agriculture has been due to various reasons that have been already discussed, but the emotional connect with local produce has not let subsitence farming die. Subsistence farming according to my understanding of the field , is one the most important aspects of peri-urban life.
A lady proudly told me that my Six year old daughter refuses to drink packaged milk. we only drink from our own buffalo. other than that various encounters have led to the understanding that vegetables are either grown or bought from nearby villages, where the farmers have some solidarity. Peri-urban agriculture is seen to have many positive effects, it can primarily be used as a sink for organic wastes of urban areas.it is interesting to see how emotion is the tie between modernity and tradition. although surviving at the present, peri-urban agriculture needs to be given incentives, if it has to have long term sustainability, because regardless of emotional connect, the land price escalation caused by growing commerce, will make peri-urban agriculture a losing sum game. hence eventually farmers will end up selling thier land. Despite such possible outcomes, in todays peri-urban gurgaon, local produce is most relished and serves as a connect for the people with thier ancestrol roots.