WOMEN'S INVOLVEMENT IN FARM ACTIVITIES AND THEIR PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING IN JAMMU & KASHMIR, INDIATara Gupta, R.K. Gupta and K.K. Raina
The livestock farming is one of the important component of rural economy in the hills. Increased livestock population has necessitated continuous search for fodder throughout the year. Under these circumstances it has been observed that farm women are bearing the brunt of general scarcity of fuel and fodder at household level. In lean periods, women are required to spend more time to collect increasingly scare resources from far distant locations. An attempt has, therefore, been made to analyse fodder deficit and how it plays a role in farm women activities. Multistage Random Sampling Technique was used for the sample selection. The average livestock holding of the sample farmers were 6.97 of which bovine and ovine were 83.86 and 16.14 per cent respectively. The fodder balance analysis by fodder types indicated fodder scarcity for the sample households. Deficit for grass, straw and tree leaf fodder were estimated to he 26.21, 58.78 and 16.15 per cent of the total requirement. The overall situation in Jammu & Kashmir projects a 40.30 per cent deficit of total fodder requirement. The women spent about 14-18 hours per day in different activities viz, collection of fuel/ fodder, animal husbandry, agricultural and household activities. Illiterate, below and above middle educated farm women spent 31.39, 31.69 and 29.80 per cent of total time for collection of fuel/fodder where as they spent 17.35, 16.30 and 14.98 per cent for animal husbandry activities. The percentage time spent for animal husbandry by farm women was 14.62, 18.06 and 15.95 where as for collection of fuel/fodder it was found to be 31.73, 30.18 and 31.23 per cent respectively for the age groups <25, 25-50 and >50 years respectively. The analysis of age of the women and their participation in decision making process for different practices indicated that older women were more involved. It is recommended to cultivate tree and fodder species in nearby areas, so that the farm women can use their time in other productive activities.
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