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Supporting Landless Women Farmers in India

Project: Grassroots Indian women leaders improving food and economic security

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Basanti Dehuri, center, with the land title she received through a Women's Support Center (Photo: New York Times)
Basanti Dehuri, center, with the land title she received through a Women’s Support Center (Photo: New York Times)

Tina Rosenberg, in her article Letting (Some of) India’s Women Own Land, addresses how little land is owned by women in India even though more than three-quarters of Indian women live as farmers.”Without [land] title,” Rosenberg, a Pulitzer Prize award winning author, says, “female farmers acting on their own don’t have access to credit, subsidies, government programs for seeds, irrigation or fertilizer.”

In the face of this reality, WEA’s 2011 partnership with Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG) provided ecological farming and climate change resilience training, appropriate technology, rights education, and seed funding to women farmers in India to improve their food and economic security, preserve the environment and traditional knowledge, and build political will. The year-long training program focused on strengthening foundations to support women leaders and farmers through asserting their rights as farmers, better managing their farms and resources, upholding their traditional knowledge systems, and encouraging the leadership of others.

Read Tina Rosenberg’s full article here.

Women with Land Boost world Agriculture Output

Project: Grassroots Indian women leaders improving food and economic security

Topics: , ,

A farmer carrying bundles of rice saplings through her farm in Khokana, Lalitpur, Nepal.  Source: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
A farmer carrying bundles of rice saplings through her farm in Khokana, Lalitpur, Nepal.
Source: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Researchers are concluding what many have known for a very long time. That women are central to the production of food across the globe, but receive drastically fewer resources than their male counterparts. In the developing world, women produce almost half of the food grown. But according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, they only receive 5% of all the agriculture services world-wide. Services like training, credit, marketing and research.

Of 143 countries surveyed by the World Bank earlier this year, 37 still have discriminatory land laws in place.

Changing this needs to “start with understanding that land rights are part of a cultural system, and that cultural systems also define gender roles,” Scalise said. “That link is critical.”

You can read the rest of the article here.