Challenges faced in Women in Agriculture

  • Land ownership issues:
    • The biggest challenge is the powerlessness of women in terms of claiming ownership of the land they have been cultivating.
    • In Census 2015, almost 86% of women farmers are devoid of this property right in land perhaps on account of the patriarchal set up in our society.
    • Women have just a dismal 12.8% of holdings despite being crucial to the whole production chain from farm to market.
    • Despite a huge presence in farming, women in Uttar Pradesh own a little under 18% of the land, and in Kerala it is just 14%. In other words, women can labour on farms but cannot hope to own them. Since land is passed on through inheritance, it is usually handed down to male heirs.
    • Notably, a lack of ownership of land does not allow women farmers to approach banks for institutional loans as banks usually consider land as collateral.
    • As of now, women farmers have hardly any representation in society and are nowhere discernible in farmer’s organisations or in occasional protests. They are the invisible workers without which the agricultural economy is hard to grow.
    • A declining size of land holdings may act as a deterrent due to lower net returns earned and technology adoption.
  • No political will:
    • Unfortunately, the role of women in farming has got no mention at all among political parties and very little among policy-makers.
    • Not much focus on gender inclusiveness in agriculture.