The Dynamics and Status of Feminisation in Indian Agriculture


  • Pragya Sharma Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow
  • Sanatan Nayak Professor, Department of Economics, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow



Feminisation of Agriculture, Unpaid Family Worker, Ownership Rights, Productivity, Poverty.


This paper tries to explore the extent and dimension of the rising phenomenon of feminisation in Indian agriculture using unit level NSSO data (70th round) and Agriculture Census for 2005-06, 2010-11. The paper revolves around the trend of women participation in agriculture, determinant factors behind increased incidence of feminisation on farms, low recognition and symbiotic association between property rights, productivity and poverty. As per NSSO estimates, 49.79 per cent females in the working age (15-49) operated land during 2013 while their share has grown marginally i.e., 1.08 per cent from 2005 to 2011. This rising trend of feminisation in terms of operated holders has been predominant only in few States, viz. Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Uttarakhand, and has been more significant in case of small/marginal landholdings. The data analysis further concluded that majority of the females who operated land served merely as unpaid family worker (28.27 per cent), depicting that their contribution is significant but they are not being acknowledged accordingly. Lack of recognition, ownership rights, socio-economic set-up and certain other factors restrict them in achieving high productivity at farm level. The study confirms that assuring property rights to women farmers would aid in increasing productivity and reduce poverty level. Considering policy recommendations, it suggests for asset control to women and promoting cooperative farming which may improvise socio-economic conditions and generate higher farming returns.


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How to Cite

Sharma, P., & Nayak, S. (2019). The Dynamics and Status of Feminisation in Indian Agriculture. Journal of Rural Development, 38(2), 363–380.


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