BHUBANESWAR: Tribals are believed to never shy away from hard work. But it does not always happen in the case of tribal men.
A study by National Research Centre for Women in Agriculture (NRCWA) has found women’s contribution to agriculture in Orissa’s Kandhmal district is more than that of their male counterparts. The study was based on a sample of 80 households of which majority of about 68.75 per cent were dependent on wage earning in agriculture. “Women contribute more to rice farming and agriculture as a whole than men. Except land preparation, women have been dominant force in agriculture production,” senior scientist with NRCWA H. K Dash said.
He said a woman got engaged for an average 92 days a year in agriculture both as family and wage labourer of which 64 days were in rice farming activities while the corresponding figure for men was 68 days and 39 days respectively.
“A male member remained addicted to alcohol, wasted his time in gossiping and in unproductive pursuits, women had to take the responsibility of looking after their families.,” Mr. Dash said.
In Koraput district, the NRCWA found, women took part in farm activities like Jhola land preparation (75 per cent), transplanting (82.5 per cent), weeding (72.5 per cent), harvesting (82.5 per cent), transportation (60 per cent), threshing (52.5 per cent) and processing (80 per cent).
Training for women farmers was found be inadequate. “However, tribal women were very receptive to changes suggested to them unlike women in coastal districts even though tribal women have little or no awareness of the very purpose of change,” B. N. Sadangi, principal scientist with agriculture extension of the NRCWA, said.