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Impact of migration on agriculture and gender - Case study from Northeast of Bihar in India and Nepal Terai

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Why does rural poverty persist when men migrate in S Asia? Presentation by Panchali Saikia on research conducted in Bihar and Nepal terai.

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Impact of migration on agriculture and gender - Case study from Northeast of Bihar in India and Nepal Terai

  1. 1. Impact of migration on agriculture and gender- Case study from Northeast of Bihar in India and Nepal Terai Presented by: Panchali Saikia, Scientific Officer-Social Science, IWMI Delhi Project Supervisor: Dr. Fraser Sugden Other Researchers: Niki Maskey, Anoj Kumar, Paras Pokharel OUTWARD MIGRATION AND FEMINIZATION OF AGRICULTURE IN SOUTH ASIA November 26th-27th, 2015 New Delhi
  2. 2. 11/26/2015 To identify the impact of out-migration on agricultural (decision making and investment patterns) and gender RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 2
  3. 3. 11/26/2015 METHODOLOGY  Household survey to collect Information on agricultural production, remittances and income  Focus Group Discussions to understand women’s daily household, agricultural activities, community participation and assess their perceptions and experiences of male out-migration • 3 FGDs in Bihar and 8 in Nepal  Sampling  Participants for FGD selected through field visit to represent from households with migrant wage labourers Villages/Tola in Madhubani Number of participants Naagtolia Goshala Chathra 10 10 15  Sampling  Snowball sampling  included identifying marginal farmers and cross section of households from ethnic and caste groups Field work conducted in Bihar and Nepal between January and July 2014 District VDC/Panchayat Number of women Saptari Odraha and Lalapatti VDC 41 Dhanusha Thadi Jijha VDC 44 Madhubani Rakuwari Panchayat 42 3
  4. 4. Research Findings 11/26/2015 4 1. MIGRATION TYPES 2. REASON OF MIGRATION 3. MIGRATION, REMITTANCES AND CHANGED AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES How remittances are invested, and whether migration is actually contributing to socio-economic upliftment? • Allocation of remittances according to farmer land ownership category • Investments following migration of family member • Irrigation use before and after migration • Change in land ownership 4. WORK BURDEN AND LABOUR ALLOCATION IN THE CONTEXT OF OUT- MIGRATION • Impact on agricultural productivity 5. COMMUNITY BREAKDOWN AND IMPACT ON IRRIGTATION INFRASTRUCTURES 6. GENDER EMPOWERMENT
  5. 5. 11/26/2015 MIGRATION TYPES 7 .0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% Dhanusha Saptari Madhubani Percentage of permanent and seasonal migrants across three districts Permanent Seasonal Both Districts Destinations Madhubani Permanent: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata Seasonal: Punjab, Haryana Dhanusha and Saptari Permanent: Gulf countries, Malaysia, India
  6. 6. 11/26/2015 REASON OF MIGRATION 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percent of Cases  larger percentage of respondents noted economic insecurity, and basic food needs, no cash income from agriculture as the main reason  many household members migrate primarily to repay past debts  to purchase food  paying for dowry and weddings  facilitate migration mostly in the context of overseas migration such as in Saptari and Dhanusha  Generation of wealth and long term investment is not immediately noted as a reason for migration – subsistence priority 8
  7. 7. 11/26/2015 How remittances are invested, and whether migration is actually contributing to socio-economic upliftment? Allocation of remittances according to farmer land ownership category MIGRATION, REMITTANCES AND CHANGED AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 landless labourer tenant or part-tenant owner cultivator with <0.5 hectares owner cultivator with >0.5 hectares Average%allocationofremittance Landownership category Agricultural inputs Education Food Household rennovation Debt servicing Dowry  debt servicing is maximum in all the categories, higher in landless and poorer households  majority is also being used for basic food needs  a source of cash, but not contributing to wealth ‘accumulation  in Bihar remittances are generally not large enough to improve farmers’ landholding status or to change their position in the village hierarchy 9
  8. 8. 11/26/2015 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 tenant or part- tenant owner cultivator with <0.5 hectares owner cultivator with >0.5 hectares landless labourer %ofinvestment Land ownserhip category pump set/agric machinery farm land house land new house combination none Investments following migration of family member  majority of households had made no large investments following the migration of a family member  number of respondents who had invested in agricultural machinery or pump sets was less than 10%  lowest overall levels of investment were amongst tenants/part tenants and landless labourers, with only 33% Continued …. 10
  9. 9. 11/26/2015 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 tenant or part-tenant Land owner with <0.5 hectares Land owner with >0.5 hectares Useofirrigation% Land ownership categorydecline in irrigation pump set/STW used on land only cultivated since migration pump set/STW now used on land which was previously unirrigated no change Irrigation use before and after migration  for majority of farmers there has been no change  18% of tenants and 14% of smaller owner cultivators there is a decline due to the tendency for farmers to reduce the cultivable area in the dry season due to labour shortages  only 10% of tenants increase in irrigation area whereas it is higher for small owner it is 24% and 28% of larger owner  highlights constraints faced by those without land Continued …. 11
  10. 10. 11/26/2015 Percentage of households who had purchased or bought land after migration according to land ownership category Continued …. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 tenant or part- tenant owner cultivator with <0.5 hectares owner cultivator with >0.5 hectares landless labourer increased ownership of land after migration decreased ownership of land after migration no change  for majority of farmers there has been no change  increase in landholding is largest amongst small owner cultivators with less than 0.5ha  low among tenants or part tenants given the burden of debt and high rents 12 Change in land ownership
  11. 11. PRESSING ISSUES 11/26/2015 13
  12. 12. 11/26/2015  agrarian stress and challenges in investing in land and agricultural inputs  increased work burden on women  more significant for WHH  60% of WHH who were tenants or owned less than 0.5ha noted high workload  comparatively much lessor concern for better off WHH. Also as in the case of MHH  Other challenges faced by the women • availability and access to resources. • challenges in handling conflicts over irrigation water distributions • challenges faced in repayment of loans on time. Harassments by local money lenders WORK BURDEN AND LABOUR ALLOCATION IN THE CONTEXT OF OUT- MIGRATION 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Women headed household (tenant or owning <0.5ha) Women headed household (owning >0.5ha) Male headed household (tenant or owning <0.5ha) Male headed household (owning >0.5ha) High workload key challenge of agricultural work High workload key challenge of household/reproductive work 14
  13. 13. 11/26/2015 15 Gender of the Household head and land ownership Average productivity of paddy(kg/ha) Average productivity of wheat(kg/ha) WHH (tenant or owns <0.5ha) 1571.27 714.09 WHH (owns>0.5ha) 1293.48 414.55 MHH (tenant or owns <0.5ha) 1304.23 737.07 MHH (owns >0.5ha) 2650.81 1176.74  productivity is significantly higher for male headed households with more than 0.5ha. • capacity to invest on the land is highest • labour shortages are less likely to negatively affect agricultural yields.  comparatively low in WHH  labour shortage  lack of knowledge about seeds, fertilizers, and implementing innovative agricultural methods  access to government programmes and services Continued …. Impact on agricultural productivity
  14. 14. 11/26/2015 COMMUNITY BREAKDOWN AND IMPACT ON IRRIGTATION INFRASTRUCTURES  stress on community participation; such as decreasing male members in irrigation canal management and pond management committees  women are not taking over from men in the leadership positions in any of these committees • time constraints • cultural norms restriction and perception on women’s lack of ability to lead any such activities Gender of Household Head Person responsible Who collects remittances (%) Who decides how remittances are used (%) Women headed households no remittances received yet 1.6 1.6 herself 68.9 63.9 Joint NA 32.8 in law 19.7 1.6 husband 1.6 .0 Other 8.2 .0 Male headed households no remittances received yet 0 .0 herself 31.8 .0 Joint NA 45.5 in law 31.8 28.8 Other 19.7 .0 husband 12.1 21.2  responsibilities and key decision making in agriculture is transferred to women but restricted to women headed households  Majority, nearly 68% of those from WHH collect the remittance money themselves, while 64% also decide how they are used GENDER EMPOWERMENT 16
  15. 15. 11/26/2015 • The positive impact migration has on livelihoods is often restricted to better off households who have access to land and capital( particularly MHH) • Most of the labourers migrating are engaged in unskilled jobs, casual and low paid jobs due to which they are not able to send money regularly • A major challenge for poor farmers, remittances not enough and people left behind still rely on loans. • Training women on agricultural inputs(seeds, fertilizers, herbicides applications, irrigation water, improving access to markets such as forming market groups/centres to collect the produces, access to government services and information, other livelihood opportunities such as homestead vegetable cultivation, livestock etc. FURTHER RESEARCH: • How do agricultural practices change following male out-migration? • What is the impact on the development of agriculture labour forces? • To what degree does the remittance income change agricultural investment patterns, or is it invested into other productive sectors? • What are the impact of out-migration and feminization on the management and maintenance of existing irrigation infrastructure-such as community management of canals, ponds etc? CONCLUSION 17
  16. 16. 11/26/2015 THANK YOU 18

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