Two Work in Progress Workshops - Resources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Technology and Work In Production & Distribution Systema: Rice in India




Two Work in Progress Workshops*

November, 2012

NIRD and Oxford University at NIRD, Hyderabad - - and  MSE and Oxford University at MSE, Chennai

All over the world societies are starting to wrestle with the problems of adaptation to anthropogenic climate change and the need to make reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases. Our research project conceives an economy as a system of capital (including technology) and labour, generating commodities and waste. However, when production and distribution takes place in and out of the informal economy it is out of direct control of the state and policy. The implications of informality are little discussed in debates on development, let alone on climate change. Our research is developing methods to study the production of material burdens in the informal economy. When we have identified stages of maximum profligacy and poorest quality work we will attempt to discover the social weightings of a range of criteria for selected technological alternatives.

We focus on water and carbon dioxide as indicators of materiality. Rice has been selected for case study not as a big polluter so much as for its complexity. Four technologies of production are being researched along with five channels of marketing/distribution. The fieldwork is taking place in several Indian states.

Towards the end of the field work stage of our research, we wish to bring together people interested in the questions raised by integrating the concerns of seven academic fields:       1.Climate change        2. Science and technology        3.Informal economy    4.Labour studies     5. Policy studies       6. Life cycle analysis      7.Supply/value chain analysis     with (8) the paddy-rice system as our case study.

Along with scientists/social scientists (we are happy to involve young researchers), we also wish to invite stakeholders (policy makers / sector associations/ trade unions/ inventors-innovators/ financiers) and disseminators (journalists and media professionals).

The purpose of the work in progress workshops at different centres is to present our methods, to present and discuss preliminary results, to stimulate learning among people potentially interested in new applications of the methods.

We will also have to re-examine and discuss how technology diffuses in the informal economy beyond state regulation, how policies affect economic activity outside the bounds of their enforcement capacities, how informal workers are able to improve the terms and conditions of their work and whether technological changes have been or could be involved.

Team members operate as a network: Prof D N Reddy (NIRD Hyderabad and IHD, New Delhi); Prof Hema (MSE); Prof Deepak Mishra (JNU); Gautam Mody, Mohan  Mani and their team (Centre for Workers’ Management, B’lore and New Delhi); Dr Aseem Prakash (Jindal GU, Sonipat, Ha); Dr Alfred Gathorne-Hardy and Prof Barbara Harriss-White (Oxford)

Work-in-Progress Workshop Programme

On the Project “Measuring Materiality in Information Production-Distribution Systems – With Particular Reference to Rice in India”[1]

November 16, 2012

Conference Hall IV

National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad


9.30 – 10.00                Registration     

10.00 – 10.15              Welcome – Introduction

10.15 – 10.30              About the Workshop: Prof Barbara Harriss-White

10.30 – 13.00              Session I: METHODS

1. Prof Hema – “On the Value Chain approach to the Informal Economy (of Rice)”

2. Dr Gathorne-Hardy – “On Life Cycle Analysis: baselines and boundaries”

Tea Break

11.30 11.45

3. Dr Gathorne Hardy and Prof Hema – “On fusing the two approaches: LCA and VCA”

4. Prof Barbara Harriss-White – “On scoping technological alternatives: Multi-criteria Mapping (MCM)”

5. Dr Aseem Prakash – “On researching Policy and the Informal Economy”


13.00 – 14.00

14.00 – 17.00              Session II: Context and Initial Results

1. Prof D N Reddy and M Venkatanarayana – “On SRI in Andhra Pradesh”

2. Dr. Deepak Mishra – “On Rainfed Rice in Odisha”

3. Dr. Alfred Gathorne Hardy – “On GHG emissions from Rice”

4. Dr. Alfred Gathorne Hardy – “On Bullocks versus Tractors; Manures versus Urea

– GHG insights”

Tea Break

15.30 – 17.00

5. Dr. Gautam Mody, Mr. Mohan Mani and Ms Meghna. Sukumar – “On Labour in the Food Supply System”

6. Prof Barbara Harriss-White and Dr ValentinaProsperi – “On what’s known about how unorganised labour makes gains”

7. Prof Barbara Harriss-White and Mr Gilbert Rodrigo – “On innovation in the informal economy”

[1] Organised jointly by the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford and S R Sankaran Chair, NIRD, Hyderabad.

* Organised jointly by the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford and Madras School of Economics~