How recognizing Women farmers can boost India’s economy?

Agriculture is a major part of India’s economy. This sector contributes around 17-18 % in the gross domestic product of the country and more than 50 % of the population is dependent on agriculture. And like everything else, this is a gender-neutral profession. A lot of women farmers are also part of this contribution while the acknowledgment or the facilities they have are limited. 

One of the more shocking parts of it is women contributing to the labor force in only 33% and even though they have a large presence along the field, they are not as equipped as their counterparts and have a very less success ratio. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture organization; if access to productive resources for women is similar to that for men, they can increase yields on their farms by up to 30%. This can raise the total agricultural output of developing countries by 4% which means that it can reduce the number of hungry people by 12-17%, which is almost 100 million people.

There is no grassroots level of knowledge impartation to the women who want to take care of farming. The problem is that even after over 70% of the rural women work in the agriculture sector or farming for that matter and according to money control, only close to 13% of them own the land. Apart from the land issue, they own less livestock and have less access to inputs (seeds, fertilizer, labor, finance) and critical services (training, insurance) when compared to their male counterparts.

Some serious consideration needs to be given when it comes to the livestock, which contributes up to 27% in India’s GDP. This sector is majorly handled by women and even then the knowledge they have regarding livestock management is inadequate. Nothing is under their control. If looked upon a little, women can benefit the nation as well they can be uplifted as well if this sector promises them the knowledge and better incentives. Even though the government of India celebrates 15th October as a women farmers’ day, which has helped to provide a legitimate identity to female farmers, this acknowledgment does not translate into the agricultural lands. It is time that they don’t just help their families in farming but own these lands to contribute enough to the economy and have a sense of freedom These unpaid methods of working are nothing but a waste of resources.

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