With a Little Help : Young women farmer experiences in India

Author: Sharada Srinivasan and Sudha Narayanan

Title: With a Little Help : Young women farmer experiences in India

Abstract: Despite the substantial body of work focused on women farmers in India, the generational aspects of women farmers are often under-researched. Young women farmers (YWF) often get lost in discussions of youth in agriculture or women farmers more generally. In this paper, we present four case studies of young women farmers and discuss qualitative material from interviews with 22 women farmers from the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Through detailed qualitative interviews, we map the trajectories of these women into farming and map the challenges they face in becoming and being farmers. The four case studies highlight several similarities and differences. While young women farmers in this study demonstrate that they take farming seriously, are knowledgeable and passionate about farming, they also face formidable constraints in accessing land and other resources, training, markets and so on and often lack agency and autonomy as farmers. Their experiences highlight the crucial role of family, social networks, community and state support in their efforts to become successful farmers.

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

JEL Code: Q19; J13; J16

Weblink: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2020-042.pdf