Feminization of Agriculture: A Dream Project
Pradeep Joliya* Shilpi, Amita Maurya and V.Kamalvanshi
Agriculture is the largest and oldest private sector enterprise initiated by women over 10,000 years ago. There is evidence to suggest that while men were hunting game in forests, women started gathering seeds and growing them in the backyard of their dwellings. Thus began the era of settled cultivation or agriculture ten to twelve thousand years ago. Agriculture, the single largest production th endeavor in India, contributing 25 per cent of GDP, is increasingly becoming a Female Activity. Agriculture sector employs 4/5 of all economically active women in the country,48% of India’s self-employed farmers are women. There are 75 million women engaged in dairying as against 15 million men and 20 million in animal husbandry as compared to 1.5 million men.But, still their contribution is not mention in GDPcalculation also. Amajor constraint to achieving gender balance in agricultural development is the lack of women among front-line staff. A look at the economic development sector indicates that, official data does not reflect the amount of work that women actually do to enable their families to survive, collecting fuel, fodder or water, keeping poultry, working as unpaid labour on family farms. One-third of agricultural workers are women and many crops depend on extensive labour provided by agricultural labour, yet when it comes to wages, on an average, their wages are 30 per cent lower than men’s wages. In this paper an attempt has been made to study the role of women in agriculture and changes in their position at micro level and gender discrimination in land, labour and wage market.