HomeAgricultureA Comprehensive Guide to Women in Agriculture in India

A Comprehensive Guide to Women in Agriculture in India

A Comprehensive Guide to Women in Agriculture in India

world population has apprised itself of the fact that agriculture can be an engine of growth, with a great potential to expedite the poverty reduction process in nations where it is the main profession of the poor section of the society. And when it comes to India, agriculture has been the backbone of our nation’s economy ever since it came into being. Talking about the role of women in agriculture, it has been the backbone of the Indian economy ever since it came into existence. As women farmers have played a crucial role that one cannot ignore. 

Multifaceted Role of Women

  • Agricultural Deeds: Sowing, relocating, weeding, irrigation, fertiliser application, plant protection, harvesting, winnowing, stockpiling etc.
  • Domestic Deeds: Cooking, child rearing, water collection, fuel wood gathering, household upkeep etc.
  • Allied Deeds: Cattle supervision, fodder gathering, milking etc. 

Even though India is recognized as a digital economy across the globe this remains a fact and rather an irony that the visible role of women in agriculture has provided them with less access to modern technology (in the context of agriculture) in comparison to their male counterparts. And because of this, their job on farms remains labour-intensive and offers meagre economic returns. 

Aim Of Old Age Women Centred Agriculture Programs

Government Of India Women Oriented Programs

Furthermore, a major share of the development projects meant for rural women in the 1976-85 time span offered them training in conventional and not modern training skills. Like crafts, cooking and sewing, credit programs for microenterprises, and income-generation programs to bring rural women into the market economy.

Read more: Usage of Water in Agriculture: Importance & Sustainability

Required Aim Of Women Centred Agriculture Programs 

Instead, agricultural extension programs should aim to help female farmers improve their food production skills. Simultaneously motivate them to migrate more of their labour to export production. In the same context, there should be ground-level changes in educational, legal and financial systems with the ultimate aim to help women farmers increase their economic and social contributions to the nation’s rural development over a long time. 

Challenges Faced By Women In Agriculture

It is the law of nature and reality that humanity requires the female section of society to flourish ultimately. But still male part of the human population uses different contexts like religion and old age customs to downgrade their(female) involvement in society. That is why, when it comes to challenges faced by women in agriculture they are at a specific disadvantage due to gender-specific barriers.

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3 Pictures Of Women on Farms for each point

1. Labor Force That Is Both Unpaid And Invisible

According to a recently released public report, when it comes to women in agriculture. They do a hard work of nearly 3,300 hours per crop season (when farm fields are sown and harvested), comparatively twice their male counterparts who put in just 1860 hours. And taking no note of these facts, governments (both state and central government) to date continue to underestimate and ignore their hard efforts.  

Not only that, a major share of women farmers work without any pay on their family home farms. In addition to that, the former own only 13 percent (approximate value) of the land in India. 

2. No Money, No Title

Besides, female farmers who possess strong inheritance and property rights have been shown to make nearly four times the money as compared to their male counterparts. Also, when it comes to agricultural problems in India the situation is worth a lot of worries. As suicide rate amongst women farmers is rising at an astonishing rate. To be precise, nearly one female farmer takes her life every month (national figures). 

3. Unequal Market Access

Additionally, the newly proposed farm regulations could have different effects on women than on men in one particular area. The Union government claims that a free market concept when realised in Indian agriculture will enable farmers to buy or sell their agricultural produce on a national scale. But this is a reality too that inherent gender discrimination in Indian society as a whole makes women in agriculture less mobile in comparison to their male counterparts. Which in turn has a considerable potential to limit their access to agricultural markets present across the nation.

Some Inspiring Stories Of Famous Indian Women   

Below is the story of one notable agricultural activist cum dynamic female farmer who is encouraging equal growth. Let’s begin:

Trinity Saio: Leading the People of Jaintia To Atma Nirbharta

Trinity Saio Leading the People of Jaintia To Atma Nirbharta

In the Jaintia Hill area of Meghalaya, a Padma Shri award recipient gave a new shape to the lives of more than 800 farmers on her own. Trinity Saio is credited with both unearthing and popularising this less well-known variety of the crop i.e. Lakadong turmeric along with guiding a drive to cultivate a traditional kind of turmeric. 


In all, agricultural services in India to date continue to give little attention to reaching out to female farmers or working towards enhancing the role of women in agriculture in India. Because policymakers both at the local scale and sitting at the top are of the idea that males are the real farmers and when it comes to women’s role in agriculture it is just of an assisting nature i.e. farmer’s better half. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Que. What is the name of Padma Shree Award Recipient from Meghalaya who played a crucial role in Lakadong turmeric revolution?

Ans. Trinity Saio was that Meghalaya resident hailing from its Jaintia Hill area who changed the lives of countless female farmers with the help of the Lakadong turmeric revolution. 

Que. How many labour hours do female farmers put in, compared to their male counterparts? 

Ans. When we are talking about the number of labour hours that female farmers put in, in comparison to their female counterparts, the national figure is nearly twice.  

Que. How much money do women farmers make compared to their male counterparts? 

Ans. Talking about the earnings comparison between women and men farmers, the former makes nearly four times. 

Que. What is the average female farmer suicide rate per month in India?

Ans. It is sad to say but on a national basis, nearly one female farmer commits suicide every month. 

Que. In which region of Meghalaya does Trinity Saio operate with her female counterparts?

Ans. Padma Shree Award Recipient: Trinity Saio and her counterparts operate from Jaintia Hill area of Meghalaya and in the process brought about Lakadong turmeric revolution. 

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