I now recognize that this common approach fails to consider one of the most important factors related to land: who owns the land.
This became clear to me in 2004, when I was working as a development professional in a faraway village in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, East India. The goal of my project in the village of Gotia was working to introduce a high-yielding variety of pigeon pea and encourage villagers to plant it on fallow land to improve their income.
When I arrived and explained my plans to villagers, women were eager to try. The men said it was too risky and too much additional work and announced they would not contribute their labor.
They stuck to their words. There was no sight of men in the field throughout the cultivation season.
Women procured a tractor to do the plowing; 18 women from the village sowed the seeds and did the weeding. This was in addition to their regular work on the family’s rice field, cooking, fetching water and childcare."
Read article by Sabita Parida from Next Billion.