With growing rural to urban migration of men, there is widespread feminisation of the agriculture sector.
Women are increasingly donning multiple roles as cultivators, entrepreneurs and labourers, according to the Economic Survey 2017-18 released here on Monday.
The survey said that world over there was empirical evidence that women have a decisive role in ensuring food security and preserving local agro-biodiversity.
“Rural women are responsible for the integrated management and use of diverse natural resources to meet the daily household needs”. The survey goes on to say that this requires that women farmers should have enhanced access to resources like land, water, credit, technology and training which warrants critical analysis in the context of India.
Apart from this, the differential access of women to resources like land, credit, water, seeds and markets needs to be addressed.
Towards this, the government has been implementing various schemes which help improve the entitlements of women farmers, which will prove to be advantageous in bridging the policy gaps which exits in the sector.
The Economic Survey also said that climate change could adversely affect farmers income by up to 20-25 per cent in the medium term.
It warned of the need for “dramatic” improvement in irrigation, use of new technologies and better targeting of power and fertiliser subsidies.
It has also asked the government to take radical follow-up action to achieve its objective of addressing agricultural stress and doubling farmers’ income.
Since agriculture is a state subject and an open political economy question, the survey strongly advocated a mechanism similar to the GST Council to bring more reforms in the agriculture sector and boost farmers income.