by Paris, T. R., A. Singh, M. Hossain and J. Luis
This chapter uses gender analysis in characterizing and understanding farm household systems in typical rainfed lowland rice villages in Faizabad district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. It uses different methods of data collection such as household surveys (structured and unstructured interviews), the participatory rural appraisal, and focused group interviews. Results of the study reveal that small farming households from the lower caste tend to exploit their female family members to meet competing labor demands between farm and home-based activities. Women from the lower caste provide 60% to 80% of the total labor input in rice production. They participate in almost all rice operations except in land preparation and application of chemicals. When valued, the labor contributions of female members on their own farms and through exchange arrangements make up about 20% of the total labor costs in rice production per hectare. Women’s labor is also crucial to nonrice crops and livestock, which are integral in rainfed rice farming systems. Because of the significant contributions of poor women in farming, their roles and needs should be considered in technology development and dissemination. Efforts are now being made to provide women farmers with access to new information and new seeds by involving them in the early evaluation of rice genotypes through participatory rice varietal selection in drought and submergence rice environments in eastern India.
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