Under: Food Sovereignty and Agroecology, India, Publications, Women

The report, drawing from a panel discussion organised on 10 July 2019, assessed the challenges faced by women in agriculture in India. After seeing a long period of feminisation, Indian agriculture is now in a phase of defeminisation. It is also staring at an unprecedented agrarian crisis, one that is hurting women farmers and agricultural workers the hardest.

The following challenges of women in agriculture are outlined: the lack of official recognition as farmers or workers and related issues such as the inability to access credit, government schemes and market linkages; the absence of formal land rights for women; the fact that enough land is not available to make farming viable for all farmers including women farmers; the conscious delinking of agriculture, food and nutrition that treats welfare as separate from production; and the emerging challenges of digitalisation and financialisation of agriculture.

The solutions proposed in the panel are explained in the report: creating land and labour cooperatives of small and marginal farmers and reserving input and output linkages for this sector; re-connecting the issues of agriculture, food and nutrition to think of creatively redesigning and expanding social protection schemes; and waging specific issue-based struggles related to women’s problems in agriculture, to create broad coalitions of actors.

[Cover image: Foundation for Agrarian Studies, Bangalore]