Friday, 2 February 2018

Extending agricultural policies to women

By Hussain Bux Mallah

Women picking cotton in Sanghar
Photo credit: Collective team

Pakistan’s employment trends show a steady feminization of the agricultural sector. Almost three-fourths of the female labour force is employed in agriculture, and the proportion of women working in agriculture has increased more than 10 percent from 2001-02 to 2012-13. However, the agriculture sector is not very friendly to women, especially to pregnant and/or lactating mothers. The health status of mothers working as agricultural labour and their children is alarming. Women who work in agriculture are far more likely to be underweight and to have children who are wasted and stunted than women who do not work in agriculture.  According to DHS 2012-13, out of all mothers who are working in the agriculture sector, 29 percent are underweight, 13 percent of their children are wasted and 52 percent are stunted.

With clear data on the impact of agricultural work on women and their children, why hasn’t more been done to improve outcomes?

In Pakistan, the Agriculture Extension and the Livestock and Fisheries departments are managed as separate administrative domains and provincial subjects, and are engaged in various development projects with the help of domestic and foreign funding. However, most of these projects seem to be focused more on improving yield and productivity rather than the workers themselves. In Sindh, the Agriculture Extension department is investing in farm-level irrigation management, and improving the quality of seeds and land fertility. The Livestock department is working with foreign funders on the maintenance of veterinary hospitals for animal healthcare, breeding and maximizing milk produce.

In addition to this focus on productivity, another issue arises from gender disparities in hiring at the departmental and local field levels. Both the Agricultural Extension and the Livestock and Fisheries departments are comprised of predominantly male officers and field assistants at lower-level administrative units. In Sindh, these departments often advertise field based jobs with no preference for women’s employment. This results in agricultural policies and programmes that are often framed for the benefit of male farmers, ignoring the conditions of the female agricultural workers. 

In Pakistan’s typical customary laws, land entitlements mostly concern men, who are the authorities in handling agricultural business such as water management, decisions on types of crop planted, purchasing inputs and marketing. Women in sharecropping tenant families often do unpaid work on farm land and in caring for livestock, and women in labourer families are seldom paid directly for their paid work. It is a conspicuous fact that women farmers/agricultural workers are not even modestly recognized as stakeholders in the Agriculture Extension or Livestock and Fisheries policy realm.

I think it is time that the public Agricultural Extension and Livestock and Fisheries departments, in their advisory service capacity, engage with women farmers and workers as key stakeholders so that their provincial services can be progressively feminized. Explicit recognition of women farmers/agricultural workers as stakeholders can lead to rapid changes in the status of women at the community level, and this outcome can drive agricultural extension policy paradigm to be more gender and nutrition-sensitive. 

*This blog was first published on the Agrilinks website on 27th July 2017: 


  1. Am Lucy Morgan from Atlanta Georgia  i was suffering from genital herpes, oral herpes, shingles. Before I came in contact with dr. Kham It is no longer news that the Acquired immune deficiency syndrome Herpes Virus is increasing by the day, The fear is that many people living with the sickness are scared of saying it because of the stigma that comes along with it.I am bold enough among many others to state that there is now a potent cure to this sickness but many are unaware of it.I discovered that I was infected with the virus 3 months ago, after a medical check-up. My doctor told me and I was shocked, confused and felt like my world had crumbled. I was dying slowly due to the announcement of my medical practitioner but he assured me that I could live a normal life if I took my medications, In a bid to look for a lasting solution to my predicament, I sought for solutions from the voodoo world. I went online and searched for every powerful trado-medical practitioner that I could severe, because I heard that the African Voodoo Priests had a cure for Herpes syndrome. It was after a little time searching the web that I came across one Dr. Kham website who offered to help me, He gave me some steps to follow and I meticulously carried out all his instructions. Two days ago to be precise, I went back to the hospital to conduct another test and to my amazement, the results showed that " I am NEGATIVE" You can free yourself of this Herpes virus by consulting this great African Voodoo Priest via this EMAIL or]  WHATSAPP NUMBER +2348159922297, You can Also Visit his website to know more about him at >    


    PREGNANCY spell

    EPILEPSY cure spell












    HEPATITIS A B and C.


  2. I Want To Appreciate Dr.OYAGU for his great deeds, I Was Diagnosed With type 2 Herpes Virus Last year,And i Was Looking For Solution To Be Cured Luckily I Saw Testimonies On How Dr.OYAGU Cure Herpes Virus I Decided To Contact Dr.OYAGU I Contacted Him He Prepared A Herbal Medicine Portion And Sent It To Me,I Started The Herbal Medicine For My Health.He Gave Me Step By Step Instructions On How To Apply It, When I Applied It As Instructed, I Was Cured Of This Deadly Herpes Within 2 weeks, I Am Now Herpes Negative.My Brother And Sister I No That There Are So Many People That Have The Same Herpes Virus Please contact Dr OYAGU To Help You Too,And Help Me To Thank Dr.OYAGU For Cure Me, I’m Cured By Dr. OYAGU Herbal Medicine,His Contact
    Or Cell Whatsapp Number +2348101755322 thank you

  3. I still don’t know the right words to express my gratitude to this great man Dr. Uromi. After been diagnosed of HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2months ago, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Uromi online research and on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, I was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I'm truly grateful,i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support, You can Email him via email or for easy and fast communication you can also call or add him on whats-app with this mobile number +2349021374574 , one thing i love most about DR Uromi is honestly, and he is very polite with his patience, everything he told me was what he did, and his herbal medicine are very affordable