DBT FUNDED PROJECT : The Rural-Urban Interface of Bangalore: A Space of Transitions in Agriculture, Economics, and Society

Scientific Setup

  • The proposed projects will investigate and analyse the complex transitions in agriculture, economics, and society that are associated with urbanisation processes in the rural-urban interface of Bangalore. The guiding questions for both, the Indian and the German consortium are:
  • How do agricultural production systems and household structures change at different Stages of urbanisation?
  • How does urban expansion affect the ability of regional ecosystems to provide food and other ecosystem services? How do exchange processes between agroecosystems, producers and consumers, or different social groups change as urbanisation advances?
  • How do social and ecological systems interact where rural and urban livelihoods, traditions, aspirations, and forms of land use clash?

The Indian projects developed in this framework have been clustered into three distinct categories. Projects in Cluster-Address research topics pertaining to intensification and efficiency of resource use in production systems as influenced by urbanisation pervading the region surrounding Bangalore´s urban conglomerate. The major focus here is on agricultural production systems, resource use (water, land, plant nutrients etc.), and their efficiencies that have a strong bearing on the livelihoods of the farming community.

Cluster B encompasses individual projects related to topics of ecology, economy, and service exchanges. These projects address thediversity of agriculturally important flora and fauna such as bees, plants, and insects besides considering the importance of animal (livestock) activities for the livelihoods of households. In addition, economic issues and service exchanges are also part of this section.

In the Cluster C projects tackle patterns of landuse, social fabric, and consumption dimensions. These projects investigate spatio-temporal variations in crop and tree growth and related economic issues.

Complex processes, such as urbanisation and its effects on surrounding land and society must be tackled by a comprehensive research approach, in order to gain new insights into the processes governing the underlaying bio-physical and societal changes. A collaborative research network able to compile a large cohesive data set is therefore better suited to meet this challenge than any single project or case study could be. The proposed research aims, on a first level, at the quantitative and qualitative description of systems in the rural-urban interface, such as farms, households, biotopes, markets, or stakeholder groups. Based on this, it aims to analyse system dynamics and interactions, in order to understand drivers and transition processes, and to develop models for simulating different scenarios. At a higher integrative level, the German partners aim to advance the theory of social-ecological systems (SES) in agriculture, whereas the Indian partners will focus on potential applications towards the advice of farmers and policy makers. Both, the theoretical insights and the utilization of results for extension, will contribute to shaping a more sustainable rural-urban interface.