Skills to stay: Social processes in agricultural skill acquisition in rural Karnataka

Soundarya Iyer, Nitya Rao

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Skill development is considered to be critically important for the eradication of poverty and for social inclusion in the Global South. The Indian government launched broad reforms under the Skill India Mission in 2015 to train 400 million Indians by 2022. However, little is known about the social processes of skill acquisition, especially within the agricultural sector in rural India. In 2020–2021, we conducted work-life course interviews with 66 men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 in a village in southern Karnataka to better understand the informal and non-formal processes of skill acquisition in agriculture and allied activities. We argue that in the absence of formal skilling opportunities, the existing informal and non-formal skilling landscapes are filtered through the intersecting identities of gender, generation, caste and class, and are central in shaping farming futures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-697
Number of pages21
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date15 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • agriculture
  • gender
  • India
  • Karnataka
  • learning
  • Skills

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