Social Scientist. v 6, no. 61 (Aug 1977) p. 48.


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7 he "Green Revolution^ in South India and North Vietnam

Kathleen Gough

IN 1976 I spent ten months in Thanjavur district in south-east India, re-studying two villages after an absence of twenty-five years. I had gone back to find out what had happened to the village people, especially with respect to their standard of livings their relations of production and their integration into the world economy. I was particularly interested in the effects of land reforms passed between 1952 and 1974, and of the introduction of te green revolution" technology since 1965.

When my work in Thanjavur was finished, I spent ten days in North Vietnam as a guest of the Vietnam Women's Union. During my visit I concentrated on agricultural relations and methods in the Red River delta. Luckily., I left Thanjavur in late October soon after the beginning of the autumn rice harvest, and arrived in Vietnam during the same harvest in mid-November, so I was able to do a fair comparison of harvesting methods and of yields. I wish to compare the two regions with respect to changing agricultural relations over the past quarter century.

The quality of my data from Vietnam is of course much poorer than that from India. I have spent a total of two years and a half in Thanjavur, and several more years in other parts of south India; I know people and families well and have been able to live freely among them,. untrammelled by government supervision. In Vietnam I had only ten days, and was on a guided tour by members of the ruling party. However objective they might try to be, they naturally wanted to show me the best in their country. I know, for example, that Vu Thang cooperative in North Vietnam, where I gained most of my information, is exceptionally successful and that a number of foreign visitors have been taken there, whereas the two villages I studied in Thanjavur were ordinary ones that I had chosen. Even so I did see other villages in Vietnam. My interpreter and I worked hard to obtain information, and I had planned in advance the questions I wanted answered. Although there are many gaps in my information, I think I found out enough for a comparison to be of value.



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