No country for young women farmers: A situation analysis for India

Author: Sudha Narayanan and Sharada Srinivasan

Title: No country for young women farmers: A situation analysis for India

Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the state of young women farmers in India as they navigate livelihoods in a sector that faces severe challenges. Discussions of young women farmers in India often get lost in those focused on women farmers more generally and of youth in agriculture, whereas they are a distinct analytical and empirical category who merit attention. Besides being discriminated against compared to male youth, young women farmers are further likely more disadvantaged than their older female counterparts (in addition to their male peers) in terms of access to productive resources and are relatively more constrained as economic actors, even though they tend to have more formal schooling and access to information. We argue that knowledge of their challenges and circumstance is vital for the visibility and recognition of young women farmers as well as for sound, inclusive policies to support them. This is especially relevant in a context where non-farm opportunities for young men outstrip those available for young women. Towards this end, we draw on existing data and review literature to map the participation and situation of young women in agriculture in India.

Keywords: young women farmers, youth, agriculture, farming, gender, India

JEL Code: Q19; J13; J16