"Farmers are the Back Bone of our Country ", is the common saying .The food with out which we cannot survive cannot be produced in the modern industries but is produced in a factory called farm by the farmers . Only after the sweat of the cultivator touches the soil will the seed that has been sown , germinate and grow into a plant to finally feed the hunger of the growing population of the world , so it is true that farmers are the back bone our country. But when it comes to Agriculture , it is a common assumption that men form the most part of the farming community but if we look into the reality , the contribution of Women in the field of Agriculture is more than that of Men especially in India.
Hidden Hands of Agriculture
"Women Feed the World" is a famous saying which indicates the responsibility that women hold when it comes to Agriculture.Rural women form the major work force in Indian Agriculture industry, they are the major contributors towards the progress of Agriculture particularly in India .
In India about 80 percent of the total population engaged in Agriculture are women , women take active part from the minor Agricultural operation like sowing till the final harvest of the crop , if we look at the percentage of contribution in all the operations , we can observe the women are at the upper end.
According to the recent Indian Statistics 84 percent of total population engaged in Agriculture are women and 33 percent of them are cultivators and 47 percent of them are Agricultural laborers and these statistics does not include the percentage of women engaged in other Agriculture allied sectors like fisheries , Animal Husbandry etc .
In 2009, 94% of the female agricultural labor force in crop cultivation were in cereal production, while 1.4% worked in vegetable production, and 3.72% were engaged in fruits, nuts, beverages, and spice crops.Women's participation rate in the agricultural sectors is about 47% in tea plantations, 46.84% in cotton cultivation, 45.43% growing oil seeds and 39.13% in vegetable production.
Apart from these women hold up to 24 percent contribution in Indian fisheries activities (according to FAO).
Not only in India but women form 43 percent of the Global farming work force taking active role in all the Agricultural activities from the minor sowing till the final harvesting of the crop.
In Africa 80 percent of farming community are women and , 30 percent in Europe and 50 percent in South Asia.
In many regions women are taking the upper lead in farming , we can observe a gradual increase in the number of farm women who are tuning into principal producers and decision makers of the farm.
We can categorize Farm Women into Four groups :
1. Independent Producers : Women who are the Principal producers and decision makers on the field.
2. Agricultural Partners : Women who are active partners on the field .
3. Agricultural laborers : Women those who assist in Farming.
4. Farm Home women : Women who are engaged both in farm activities and house hold management.
Even though farm women are the major contributors in Agriculture industry , they are facing many problems like lack of recognition , Low wages and the work done by them are always considered as unskilled and besides from working on the Farm , they also have to bear the burden of the household responsibilities. Though Women Make significant contribution and hold major share in all the Agricultural operations , their share of the total production is not considered or always neglected and their work is always considered as unskilled and seasonal , it is a known fact that women are always paid less then men even if it is for the same work , particularly in India and Sub - African regions.
Few of the major reasons why farm women are not recognized :
- Weeding , sowing and other minor agricultural are considered as unskilled work hence women are always left to do these works.
- Men are the owners of the most of the Land.
- Farm women are always paid less than Men even if it is for the same work.
- The work done by women are considered minor and neglected.
- No provision of any farm training for women.
- Most women Especially in India are not recognized on farm because the are facing the problem of Malnutrition.
Hence we must stop not recognizing and neglecting the works of women and encourage the growth of women in all fields mainly in the field of Agriculture.
This can be done by , Setting up farm training for rural women , encouraging rural women to attend and take active part in the farm training activities, educating them about the present day agricultural scenario , treating them equal to men . By doing these we can certainly achieve the progress both agriculturally and economically because , " A Nation's progress can be indicated by the progress of the Women of that Nation".