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Women’s Participation in Bihar Agriculture: Evidences from Cost of Cultivation data

Kumari, Priyanka and Singh, K.M. and Ahmad, Nasim and Shekhar, Dinbyanshu and Atre, Santosh Kumar (2020): Women’s Participation in Bihar Agriculture: Evidences from Cost of Cultivation data. Published in: Journal of Community Mobilization and Sustainable Development , Vol. 15, No. 1 (15 April 2020): pp. 211-218.

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Abstract

Understanding the nature of rural landscape change during the urbanization process is vital to formulate more elaborate rural landscape management plans for sustainable development. According to the 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), there were 244.9 million households in India of which 179.7 million households or 833 million people were in rural areas. The SECC numbers show that 87.2 million rural households reported one of more criteria of deprivation, and 92 million households are engaged in casual manual labour and agricultural activities. In Indian agriculture, women contribute in every agricultural operation and are also active in allied sectors like cattle management, dairying, beekeeping, goat rearing mushroom production and poultry farming etc. Women participation in total workforce was assessed 27.44% as against 72.56% by male workforce in 2011. Share of women agricultural workforce in total workforce was computed to be 16.57% in 2001 which declined to 6.23% in 2011. Causes of decline may be their participation other sectors with improvement in their literacy rate which rose to 51.50% in 2011 as compared to 33.57% in 2001. The male-female sex ratio has registered a decline of 0.11% as compared to 2001 census. Women holding land account for only 13.31% as against 87.27% by men in Bihar. Share of women agricultural workforce in total agricultural workforce was estimated to be 19.32% as per census 2011. Analysis of CACP unit level data of Bihar for the year 2013-14, revealed that the contribution of women in agricultural activities was assessed to be 35.94%. Women’s contribution in agriculture is significant and plays diverse role, still their wages were found 7.04% less than their male counterparts during 2015-16. To strengthen women’s participation in agriculture and allied sectors and to improve their access to land, loan and other facilities, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has policy provisions like joint leasing for both domestic and agricultural land under National policy for farmers. The present paper tries to analyse the role women in agricultural development of Bihar and the issues confronting them.

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