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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Mainstreaming gender for sustainable soil management

Rengalakshmi Raj
Rengalakshmi RajM.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation India

Dear sir/madam,

In the pre green revolution period women and men have a more or less equal role in soil and land management especially in the post-harvest and non-cropping seasons like removal of perennial weeds and stones, strengthening the bunds, application of FYM and tank silts etc along with a selection of crops and cropping system in the main sowing season. The associated traditional knowledge of soil properties was also rich and gendered. However, after the introduction of chemical fertilizers and intensive farming, the role of women in soil health management has been changing with lesser roles and decision-making power. This is the prevailing scenario irrespective of the ownership of land. Even though women have access to land, adoption of improved technologies is largely constrained by the limited access to recent technologies, institutional linkages to avail inputs and services, social norms that restricts her interaction with outside male service providers and restricted mobility. But this inequality continues now in the context of feminization of labour forces and management in farming in the context of men moving to non-farm livelihoods. This has implications on soil fertility and overall health.