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Dynamics of gender equity and household food security in rice-based farming systems

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“Dynamics of gender equity and household food security in rice-based farming systems” presented by Kamala Gurung, IRRI-Bangladesh at the ReSAKSS-Asia Conference, Nov 14-16, 2011, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

“Dynamics of gender equity and household food security in rice-based farming systems” presented by Kamala Gurung, IRRI-Bangladesh at the ReSAKSS-Asia Conference, Nov 14-16, 2011, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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  • 1. Dynamics of Gender Equity and Household Food Security in Changing Rice-based Agricultural Systems A Case Study of Nishaigunj Village in Mymensingh District of Bangladesh Dr. Kamala Gurung, Dr. Thelma Paris and Dr. Samarendu Mohanty Social Sciences Division (SSD), IRRI
  • 2. Overview of the Presentation  Introduction/Background  Research Justification  Research Goal and Research Questions  Conceptual Framework  Sites and Methods and Data Analysis  Research Findings  Way Forward-Expansion of the Study
  • 3. Introduction (Context of Bangladesh)  Rice is main staple food along with fish  The demand of rice and fish is constantly increasing  Additional 5 millions tons of food grains need to be produced by 2015  Shrinking of agricultural crop farm by estimated 0.08 million hectares per year  Non-agricultural related activities (houses, road)  Emerging of market led agro-fisheries business/industry (BRRI , 2007; Hossain, 2009)
  • 4. Debate on market led agricultural intervention: An example of agro-fisheries Alternative development strategy for the livelihoods improvement and food security Significantly increased the workload for women and also men Women are more likely to gain economic benefits (Thomas-Slayter et. al.1994;Goetz and Gupta,1996; FAO, 1999)
  • 5. Research Goal & Research Questions Assess the implications of the commercial fish farming intervention into the rice based farming for household food security and livelihoods from gender equity perspectives. 1. Have the agricultural land use practices changed over time, how these changes have affected the food security and sources of the livelihoods of the various socio-economic groups? 2. Has the commercial fish farming affected the gender roles and relations in terms their labor and resource allocation? 3. What are the driving forces of commercial fish farming conversion into the rice fields?
  • 6. Site Selection and Methodology of Research
  • 7. Why Nishaigunj village as a research site? Nishaigunj is one of the villages within the Baluka Upazilla that has been massively expanding commercial fish farming Farm land varies between low land and high land, devoted for rice and jute cultivation as well as other crops in the past Village are scattered with very rough access to road from the Bhaluka Upazilla, with no electricity connection (Group discussion, 2011)
  • 8. Data and information collection matrix for key objectives of the research study Key questions Methods of data collection Household survey Key informant interview Field observation Group discussion Wellbeing ranking Before and after method SWOT analysis Question 1 *Yes - *Yes *Yes *Yes *Yes Question 2 - *Yes *Yes - - Question 3 *Yes *Yes *Yes *Yes Note: *Yes indicates that the method has addressed the key objective of the research study
  • 9. Criteria's of socio-economic stratification identified during the group discussion Criteria’s/Indicators for socio-economic stratification Rich “Dhoni” Upper Medium “Uccha Madhabitto” Lower Medium“Nimno Madhabitto” Poor “Garib” • Own about 8 to 10 acres agricultural land •Engage as a fish dealers or large size of fish cultivators •Own brick-built house •Household members has a high educational qualifications •Engage in government services (i.e. teacher, government agencies) and also judges in village •Own about 4 to 6 acres of agricultural land •Engage in fish dealers or own medium size of fish cultivators •Involve in government or non-government organizations •Household members holds a educational qualifications Own small size of agricultural land • Involve in vegetables • Loan for household expenditure •Do their own work themselves and sometimes work for others •Have small houses with roof of corrugated iron sheets •Works for garment factories •No agricultural landholdings or own only traditional thatched cottage •Food deficit for the whole year •Livelihoods depend on wage labor activities on a daily basis (e.g. rickshaw, van pulling, catching fish) •Loan from NGOs •Earn from earthwork and catching fish • May cultivate other’s land Source: VDSA Project-IRRI & Socio-Consult office, 2010
  • 10. Distribution of survey households by gender commercial fish leased-out land rice farming landless 5 8 8 2 3 7 8 Male Female N=41 Number The main criteria’s of the household survey selection were based on: i.commercial fish farming ii.rice farming iii.lease-out household iv.landless.
  • 11. Conversion of rice farm in the commercial fish farming Labor & resource allocation: fish farming intervention Decision making process over the resources Access to and control over the resources Livelihoods pattern: Past & present On farm Off farm Non-farm Driving factors of conversion of rice farm into the commercial fish farming : Opportunities & Challenges Household Food Security? A Dynamics of gender equity and household food security With effects on B Changing land use pattern C Gender roles & relations: Intra household level With effects on Analytical FrameworkConceptual Framework
  • 12. Research Question 1. Have the agricultural land use operations changed over time, how these changes have affected the household food security and sources of the livelihoods of the various socio-economic groups?
  • 13. Cropping calendar of major crops in high-land and low-land Source: Group discussion, 2011 Baisakh Jestha Ashar Sravan Bhadra Aswin Kartik Agrahayan Poush Magh Falgun Chaitra Apr-May May-Jun Jun-Jul Jul - Aug Aug-Sep Sep-Oct Oct-Nov Nov-Dec Dec-Jan Jan-Feb Feb-Mar Mar-Apr Boro rice Boro rice Amon rice Aus. rice Legums (e.g. mustard, pulses) Jute
  • 14. Out of total cultivable land (180.95 acres), 69 percent of the total land is dominated by fish farm culture Fish farm mainly initiated in the leased-in land The land use operation Land under crop farm Land under fish farm Own land cultivation 40.20 9.68 Leased-in 3.02 87.87 Total land operation 43.22 97.55 The present land use operations of Nishaigunj village (unit: Acre) Source: VDSA project, IRRI, 2010
  • 15. Group discussion, 2011 Decreasing rice production at the village level  Loss of integrated rice-fish farming system  Decreasing livestock population mainly cattle, goat Difficulties to grow homestead gardening and also around the farm land The affects of monoculture commercial fish farming
  • 16. Distribution of the Comparison of income sources from different livelihood activities  50 percent of rich households and only 11 percent of upper medium households are engaged in the commercial fish farming  None of the lower medium and poor households are engaged/involved in commercial fish farming Rich Upper medium Lower Medium Poor 50 11 21 67 42 17 29 22 58 50 33 Landless Rice farming Leased-out land for fish farming Commercial fish farming Percentage Source: Field survey, 2011 N=41
  • 17. Comparison of different livelihoods sectors contribution for the household income and food security “before and after” commercial fish farming intervention 86 77 54 19 73 21 29 21 29 70 16 17 40 14 23 17 11 27 63 54 39 non-farm off farm on-farm “Before” “After” Percentage N=41 Source: Field survey, 2011  On-farm is the main livelihoods source shared about 77 percent and 55 percent of the total livelihood source of the upper medium and lower medium households, respectively  Presently, main sources of income are from non-farm related activities (except rich household)
  • 18. Comparison of various livelihoods activities contribution for the household income and food security “before and after” commercial fish farming intervention 79 75 52 19 10 7 17 17 8 63 14 10 4 2 3 29 70 5 30 16 13 10 14 14 11 7 10 15 13 13 9 3 12 2 3 10 13 1017 40 21 5 Income from leased-out land Garment-labor Business Services Fish-labor Crop-labor Livestock Fish Crop "Before" "After" Percentage N=41 Source: Field survey 2011  Crop farm shared more than 50 percent of the total household income and food security (rich, upper medium and lower medium households)  Presently, crop farm is dominated by fish farm as a main household income of the rich household  Non-farm is the main livelihoods sources such as income from leased out farm land, business- small shop and services/remittance (except rich household)
  • 19. Second Research Question 2. Has the commercial fish farming affected the gender roles and relations in terms of their labor allocation and access and control over household resources and decision making?
  • 20.  Changes in the gender roles and relations at the intra household level  The commercial fish farming has substantially decreased the labor requirement of both men and women compared to rice farming; – Men labor for rice cultivation is much more higher than women (e.g., land preparation, plantation, weeding and harvesting – Women mainly involved in post-harvested related activities and also preparing food for hired laborer Gender Labor Allocation
  • 21.  Although the labor allocation has been decreased, women are concerned over the access to the crop related products for the daily household consumption – More dependent to the market based and to their husband to purchase the food (rice) – Women are not aware of the benefits from the fish farming since their husbands deal selling fish and receiving money  Women have more access to the resources over the consumption based crop production systems than the large scale market oriented agricultural production systems Gender Involvement in Resource Allocation
  • 22. Illustrations of the SWOT analysis of commercial fish farming intervention SWOT Analysis N=16 Men (N=9) Women (N=7) Internal Strength • High investment and high benefits (9) • Far less workload compared to rice cultivation (9) • Needed few number of laborers compared to rice farm (9) • Save money and invest other activities (2) • Less workload compared to rice cultivation (7) • High benefits (7) Weakness • Unable to secure food directly from farm (7) • Mental tension from loan debt (6) •Highly effected by the high rice price of the market (7) • Unable to secure food directly from farm (7) • Highly effected by the high rice price of the market (6) • Increasing dependent on the market based and their husband for daily household consumption (7) • Tension of securing food for daily consumption (e.g. rice, vegetables) (7) External Opportunity • Created other businesses outside the village such as hatchery, feed factory (3) • Provides nutrition (6) • Able to send children in school due to the less work (3) Threat •Loss of soil fertility (8) • Existing land erosion (3) • High risk of fish related disease (5) •Problem for crops cultivation in the future (7)
  • 23. Third Research Question What are the driving factors of conversion of rice fields into the commercial fish farming?
  • 24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ranking 30 20 16 11 3 4 2 21 12 32 20 8 60 20 2 3 8 34 26 5 7 5 38 34 7 8 4 13 30 44 2 2 33 36 lack of extension services lack of quality fertilizer unavailable improved rice varieties high labor cost less benefits unavaible labor low production Percentage N=41 Ranking the farmers views on conversion of rice farm into commercial fish farming The initiation of the commercial fish farming into the existing crop fields mainly because of following reasons: Less profits from rice cultivation (ranked highest) High labor cost (ranked second) unavailable of improved rice varieties (ranked third)
  • 25. Way Forward  The study findings is inconclusive  The study is further expanded with additional nine villages  Provide comprehensive understanding and evidence-based of dynamics of gender equity and household food security at the micro-level  Economic aspect mainly cost return comparison between the rice and commercial fish farming systems  Improve research methodology and data analysis
  • 26. Sample villages Number of Sample Village Sample Household Information gathered Remark Fish/Shrimp farming (monoculture) 6 villages 40 HHs X 6 villages=240 Gender concerns in fish productivity, cost benefits, effects on the soil and water condition, These total villages is excluding Nishaigunj village Rice farming (monoculture) 3 villages 40 HHs X 3villages= 120 sample HHs gender concerns in rice productivity, cost benefits, Productivity constraints, 9 villages Total Sample HHs 360 Selection of the sample villages
  • 27. Southern region Northern region Khulna district Satkhira district Mymensingh district Non-control village (commercial fish/shrimp farming) Control village (rice farming) Non-control Village (commercial fish/shrimp farming) Control village (rice farming) Non-control village (commercial fish/shrimp farming) Control village (rice farming) 2 villages 1 village 2 villages 1 village 2 villages 1 village •Surkhali village from Botiaghatta Upazilla • Sarappur village Dhumaria Upazilla Govindakati village from Dhumaria upazilla •Chalitaghatta village from Shyamnagar Upazilla •Baserhat village from Asasuni Upazilla Kaligunj Upazilla: Bharasimla village •Haluwaghat Upazilla •Gauripur Upazilla Bhaluka Upazilla Research districts and villages
  • 28. Looking forward for your suggestions and advice! THANK YOU