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Think Indian Farmers, Think Women: Here’s Why

Many of us usually picture a rural farmer as a rugged, bare-chested man covered in dirt, ploughing his field under the scorching sun. But the real picture features women knee-deep in muddy waters transplanting rice, carrying piles of hay on their heads while expertly balancing earthen pots, or hand picking cotton with babies wrapped on their backs. Farming in India is a women-led industry. As per the Annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) Report 2021-22, agriculture had the highest distribution of female workers, i.e. 62.9 %. This statistic is a testament to the critical role women play in this sector. Reasons Behind Women's Dominance in Agriculture

Migration of Men to Urban Areas: One of the primary reasons for the high participation of women in agriculture is the migration of men to cities in search of better employment opportunities. This exodus leaves a void in the rural workforce, which is filled by women.

Cultural and Social Dynamics: In many rural communities, women are traditionally involved in agricultural activities.Women are responsible for the integrated management and use of diverse natural resources to meet the daily household needs. This cultural norm has perpetuated the involvement of women in farming activities, from sowing seeds to harvesting crops.

Economic Necessity: For many families, especially in impoverished rural areas, the involvement of women in agriculture is a matter of economic survival. Their contribution supplements the family's income and is crucial for their sustenance. The Nature of Women's Work in Agriculture

Manual Labour: Women are predominantly involved in manual labour-intensive tasks such as sowing, weeding, transplantation, winnowing, harvesting, threshing and storing. These tasks require precision and patience, qualities that women excel in. They enjoy working in groups, singing folklore and songs. Listen to over 100,000 grindmill songs documented by PARI.

Post-Harvest Processes: Women are also involved in post-harvest processes, which include drying, storing, and processing of crops. These activities are vital for ensuring food security and the quality of agricultural produce.

Livestock Management: Livestock is the primary livelihood activity used to meet household food needs as well as supplement farm incomes. It is a common practice in the rural areas to give an animal as part of a women's dowry. Mostly women are engaged in cattle management activities such as Cleaning of animal and sheds,

Milking the animals, Fodder collection, Preparing dung cakes etc.

Except for grazing, all other livestock management activities are predominantly performed by women. Men, however, share the responsibility of taking care of sick animals. It is evident that the women are playing a dominant role in the livestock production and management activities.

The Challenges and the Road Ahead

Despite their significant contribution, women face numerous challenges in agriculture. These include lack of access to credit, land ownership rights, and modern farming technologies. Their work is often undervalued and goes unrecognised in official statistics.

Empowering women in agriculture involves acknowledging their contributions and addressing these challenges. Providing education, training in modern agricultural practices, and ensuring their representation in local agricultural bodies are crucial steps. Additionally, policies that recognize women's rights to land ownership and access to credit can transform the landscape of Indian agriculture. At Rang De, we feel proud to share that 13,313 out of the 19,555 loans disbursed till date have gone towards women Investees. Out of which, 71% have been towards farming and related activities.

Rang De Social Investors have backed women investees across India by investing a staggering ₹42.7 crores in their ventures. You can ensure rural women have access to credit by investing at today!

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2 bình luận

Meenal Mamdani
Meenal Mamdani
30 thg 11, 2023

Another brilliant and moving post from Mr Seemon.

The hyperlink to the PARI collection of songs is a treasure that will stay in my Keep folder to allow me to listen and understand and feel what the women are trying to tell us.

Thank you Mr Seemon.

Leslin K Seemon
Leslin K Seemon
07 thg 12, 2023
Phản hồi lại

Thankyou for your kind words.🙂

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