With more women entering the agriculture sector due to growing migration of men from rural to urban areas, the Economic Survey 2017-18 called for gender-specific interventions to support them.
The Survey called for an ‘inclusive transformative agricultural policy’ that should aim at gender-specific interventions to raise productivity of small farm holdings, integrate women as active agents in rural transformation, and engage men and women in extension services with gender expertise.
“With growing rural to urban migration by men, there is ‘feminisation’ of agriculture sector, with increasing number of women in multiple roles as cultivators, entrepreneurs, and labourers,” the survey noted. Women play a significant and crucial role in agricultural development and allied fields “is a fact long taken for granted,” the survey observed.
“This requires that women farmers should have enhanced access to resources like land, water, credit, technology and training which warrants critical analysis in the context of India,” the Survey pointed out. In addition, the entitlements of women farmers will be the key to improve agriculture productivity. The differential access of women to resources like land, credit, water, seeds and markets needs to be addressed, it said.
For sustainable development of the agriculture and rural economy, the contribution of women to agriculture and food production cannot be ignored, it said.