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Friday, September 6, 2013

Go for change.....go through agriculture....

                   Role of women in Agriculture Development.

Women collecting agriculture product from wetland, Ghale gaun, Lamjung

Nepal being agriculture oriented country most of population is depended on agricultural resources and agricultural products to operate the living. Even though some population has shifted towards other sectors, agriculture is profession adopted by most Nepalese. And every member in a society are involved in it, both male, female, children, youngsters and old ages.
Talking about the gender and agriculture, women in Nepal directly depend on natural and agricultural resources to meet the environmental, nutritional and socio-cultural needs for their own and those of their families and communities. The gender, women are equally responsible for their different roles in community influenced by agriculture. Greater responsibility for securing water, food, seeds, medicines, forages, fuel wood and many more, makes women to take part in agricultural practices, and their knowledge, science and skills are crucial for sustainable agriculture. Women in Nepal have more responsibility than men for securing the food, utilization of natural products and animal husbandry and therefore have a stronger interest and role in conserving biodiversity.
                         If a single women can play these multiple role in utilization of agricultural products and management of resources, then it can be assured that if they are allowed to get involved in vital decision making process in community agriculture based programs, agriculture in Nepal would take a great leap. It can be highlighted that women are crucial actors in biodiversity utilization and conservation in their multiple roles as farmers, selectors, managers, harvesters and distributors. These skills are much more important in agriculture development.
But it’s not enough when these skills and sciences within women in agriculture are limited within a family or shadowed under vital decision making processes. And it is mostly prevalent in remote areas of Nepal and urban as well.  Most women do not get opportunity to get participated in vital decision making programs. Their experiences and knowledge do not get exposed neither are taken in concern by the society. If all the members of society feed on same agricultural products, depend equally upon the resources, then of course, both the genders ie. men and women, should be equally mobilized to contribute for agriculture.

Apart from this  tragic conditions there are best example of Nepalese women who are able to stand a step ahead in the community and have occupied a different position in the society, due to their different practices and agriculture strategies for the utilization, management, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity that also have deep cultural, spiritual  meanings. The functional role of women in Community Forest Development programs, Village Agriculture Development programs other small and medium level agriculture programs such as establishment of kitchen gardens, terrace gardening and animal husbandry are getting more beneficial as the decisions and ideas of women are getting spotlight in community.
 Talking about women empowerment in Uttarkanya - VDC Ghale Gaun, Lamjung, and the condition is satisfactory. The out migration of most of male members of society, the responsibility has been found handed over to the female members. They decide every management practices such as selection of crop variety, methods of irrigation and methods to harvest. And they distribute the benefits among community members for development works. Wetland resources utility and conservation are also the secondary practices of women there. Not only agriculture, they equally contribute for the tourism development too.

Hence, women as primary users and managers of resources they play key role in agriculture development and distribution of benefits. The exposure and decision making opportunities provided to women is one of the most awaited need in agriculture sector today.