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« Access to productive resources in agriculture »

Modified on 2015/05/22 09:22 by Sean Zheng Paths: Read in Order Categorized as Chapter 2 - Work
Note: A first draft of this subsection was prepared by FAO, Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in collaboration with the FAO Statistics Division.

Table II.8

From gender issues to gender statistics on access to productive resources in agriculture: illustrative examples


Policy-relevant questions Data needed Sources of data
Do women manage land and livestock as frequently and as much as men? Agricultural holdings/subholdings by sex of the holder/subholder.
Size of land by sex of the holder/subholder.
Size of livestock by type of livestock and sex of the holder/subholder.
Agricultural censuses or surveys.
Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS).
LSMS - Integrated Survey on Agriculture (LSMS–ISA).
Are there differences in land tenure between women and men holders?

Do women own land and livestock as frequently and as much as men?
Land tenure by sex of the holder.


Ownership of land by size of land and sex of the owner.
Ownership of livestock by type of livestock, size of livestock and sex of the owner.

Agricultural censuses and surveys.


LSMS–ISA.
LSMS or other multipurpose survey.
Do women holders use agricultural inputs and irrigation as much as men holders? Agricultural holdings using fertilizers, machinery, improved seeds, irrigation etc. by sex of the holder. Agricultural censuses or surveys.
LSMS.
LSMS–ISA.
Are there gender disparities in access to agricultural information and technology services? Persons receiving extension services by sex.

Agricultural holdings receiving extension services by sex of the holder.
LSMS-ISA.


Agricultural surveys.
LSMS.
Do women access credit for agricultural purposes as often as men? Persons applying for credit for agricultural purposes by sex.

Agricultural holdings receiving credit for agricultural purposes by sex of the holder.
LSMS–ISA.
LSMS.

Agricultural censuses or surveys.
Do women participate as much as men in agricultural work and farm labour? Employed population by sex and industry (branch of economic activity).

Farm labourers (members and non-members of the household) by sex.
Labour force surveys.
Population Censuses

Agricultural censuses or surveys

  • + Gender issues
    • Women tend to have lower access to agricultural productive resources than men owing to gender-specific constraints (FAO, 2011). Access to productive resources in agriculture involves several dimensions: (a) ownership of land, livestock or other agricultural resources; (b) management of agricultural resources; (c) use of financial services and other inputs for agriculture; (d) access to education, knowledge and skills related to agriculture; and (e) participation in agricultural labour activities. Women tend to be disadvantaged in regard to all these dimensions (FAO, 2011).

      For example, in most countries, fewer women than men own agricultural land, livestock or other agricultural resources and the resources owned by women tend to be of smaller size. Furthermore, women tend to have less control and decision-making power over productive resources in agriculture than men. The share of female agricultural holders is lower than that of male holders and women tend to keep fewer livestock and those livestock are typically smaller breeds and of less value. Moreover, women hold smaller farms than men and use fewer inputs such as fertilizers, improved seeds and mechanical equipment. They also tend to have lower access to credit and extension services than their male counterparts. Lastly, women are more likely than men to be involved in agriculture in part-time, seasonal and low-paying jobs and to receive lower wages for the same type of work, even if they have similar experience and qualifications to men (FAO, 2011).

      These inequalities not only limit women’s opportunities, but also implying high costs for the agricultural sector, food security and economic growth. It is estimated that closing the gender gap in agriculture would generate increased yields on women’s farms, raise the total agricultural output, especially in developing countries, and reduce significantly the number of people suffering from hunger in the world (FAO, 2011, 2013).

  • + Data needed
    • Data on access to productive resources in agriculture cover such dimensions as ownership, management and farm labour and refer to such resources as land, livestock and use of inputs, information technology, agricultural machinery, irrigation and financial services. Several types of data can be used. They are:

      (a) Data on ownership of agricultural resources collected at the individual level, such as:

      (i) Ownership of land by type of land use (cropland, meadows or pastures, forest land, aquaculture) and sex of the owner;

      (ii) Distribution of land size by sex of the owner;

      (iii) Ownership of livestock by type of livestock and sex of the owner;

      (iv) Distribution of livestock size by type of livestock and sex of the owner;

      (b) Data on management of agricultural holdings and subholdings. Such data provide a basic understanding of the gender gap in decision-making and in control over productive resources in agriculture and may refer to:

      (i) Holdings/subholdings by sex of the holder/subholder;

      (ii) Area of the holdings by type of land use (cropland, meadows or pastures, forest land, aquaculture) and sex of the holder;

      (iii) Land tenure type (legal ownership, non-legal ownership, rented, other) of the holding by sex of the holder/subholder;

      (iv) Livestock (including poultry) by type of livestock (species) and sex of the holder/subholder;

      (c) Data on use of irrigation and agricultural inputs, such as:

      (i) Holdings/subholdings with irrigated land by method of irrigation and sex of the holder/subholder;

      (ii) Holdings using chemical inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides) by type of chemical and sex of the holder;

      (d) Data on access to agricultural information and technology, such as:

      (i) Holdings receiving agricultural extension services by sex of the holder;

      (ii) Holdings using selected machinery and equipment by ownership of machinery and sex of the holder;

      (e) Data on access to financial services, such as:

      (i) Holdings receiving credit for agricultural purposes by sex of the holder. When possible, information on the size of credit and individual-level information on the demographic characteristics of the actual applicant for credit should also be obtained;

      (f) Data on employment in agriculture and farm labour, such as:

      (i) Labour force participation and employment by sex of the employed population and industry (branch of economic activity);

      (ii) Labourers (paid in cash or in exchange) working on the holding by sex, age and time worked and by sex of the holder;

      (iii) Household members working on the holding by sex, age and time worked and by sex of the holder;

      (iv) When possible information on the type of contract (permanent, seasonal, occasional labour, labour support groups) and the type of payment (in cash, in kind or in exchange) should also be obtained. Information on household members working on other agricultural holdings or on non-agricultural activities on and off the holding should also be considered.

  • +List II.8

    Examples of indicators derived from gender statistics on access to productive resources in agriculture:
    • Share of agricultural holdings that are female headed

      Average size of agricultural land by sex of the holder/subholder

      Average size of livestock by type of livestock and sex of the holder/subholder

      Proportion of agricultural land owners in the population by sex

      Average size of agricultural land by sex of the owner

      Proportion of agricultural holdings using irrigation by sex of the holder

      Proportion of users of agricultural credit by sex (or by sex of the holder)


  • + Sources of data
    • Agricultural censuses and surveys are the main sources of data on agricultural holdings and subholdings and can serve as a vehicle for collecting data on the type and amount of work contributed by women and men to agricultural production. Among others, they provide data on agricultural productivity, the characteristics of agricultural holdings, the socioeconomic characteristics of the holder and of household members, the use of agricultural inputs and services in the holding, and farm labour. The unit of enumeration in agricultural censuses and surveys is the agricultural holding and most of the data are collected at this level. Therefore, the information provided can be used to conduct an analysis of access to productive resources at the level of female- and male-headed holdings. In some countries, some of the data are also collected at the level of subholdings. However, other sources of data, such as the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Survey on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) or thematic agricultural surveys, should be considered in order to obtain more finely disaggregated data at the individual level of household members.

      Agricultural censuses and surveys have a distinctive perspective on agricultural labour compared to other data sources. The information collected refers not only to the person’s main job (as in labour force surveys and population censuses), but also to secondary and tertiary economic activities. Agricultural censuses and surveys may also favour a “usual activity” approach when collecting data on the economic activity of persons living in agricultural households, as opposed to the ”current activity” approach commonly used in labour force surveys and population censuses. The “usual activity” approach is expected to better capture the subtleties of seasonal and intermittent economic activity in agriculture.

      LSMS surveys often integrate in their data collection aspects related to access to agricultural resources, including data on ownership, decision-making, access to financial services, and labour. In particular, LSMS-ISA surveys are designed to have a strong focus on agriculture: Detailed data are collected on basic crop production, storage/sales, productivity of main crops, land holdings, farming practices, input use and technology adoption, access to and use of services, infrastructure and natural resources, and livestock and fishery. Households are the units of enumeration and most of the data are collected at the household level. Nevertheless, some of the data on access to productive resources in agriculture are collected at the individual level or disaggregated at the level of subholdings, such as by plots of land and types of livestock.

      Labour force surveys are the main sources of data on labour force participation, employment and unemployment by industry (branch of economic activity). Data by industry, which are usually collected only with regard to a person’s main job and classified according to the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities, are the basis for obtaining statistics on the labour force in agriculture. A person’s main job is defined as the job where he/she spends most time working or, sometimes, as the job that provides the highest income from employment. However, many women and men are involved in agricultural work as a secondary or tertiary economic activity, either on their own agricultural holding or for an employer. Data on these types of farm labourer are captured in other sources, such as agricultural censuses and surveys.

      Time-use surveys are useful in achieving a better understanding of the duration and type of labour invested by women, men, girls and boys in family farming in the general context of household production.

  • + Conceptual and measurement issues
    • The exclusion of small agricultural holdings from agricultural censuses or surveys induces a gender bias in the statistics obtained, as women holders tend to concentrate in this subsector. The unit of enumeration in agricultural censuses and surveys is the agricultural holding. An agricultural holding is an economic unit of agricultural production under single management, comprising all livestock kept and all land used wholly or partly for agricultural production purposes, without regard to title, legal form or size (FAO, 2007). There are two types of agricultural holding: (a) holdings in the household sector, that is, operated by household members; and (b) holdings in the non-household sector, for example, corporations and Government institutions. In most countries, the majority of agricultural production is in the household sector (FAO, 2007). Proper coverage of the household sector is extremely important from the perspective of generating gender statistics and the inclusion of all types of unit needs to be carefully considered when preparing the frame for censuses and surveys.

      Comprehensive coverage of gender issues in access to productive resources in agriculture requires use of units of data collection and data analysis that are disaggregated beyond the holding level. More finely disaggregated data may be collected and analysed at the subholding level. A subholding is defined as a single agricultural activity or group of activities managed by a particular person or group of persons (subholders) in the holder’s household on behalf of the agricultural holder (FAO, 2007). A subholding may be a single plot, a whole field, a livestock operation associated with a plot, field or parcel or a livestock operation without any land. What is commonly reported as a male-headed agricultural holding may comprise various subholdings where women are the main decision-makers. When data are collected at the subholding level, the role of women in agriculture becomes more visible.

      More finely disaggregated data can also be obtained at the individual level, especially with regard to ownership, farm labour, time use (including for agricultural activities) and access to formal financial services, informal credit or support groups. Such data provide a more nuanced picture of gender differences in access to productive resources in agriculture, including within the household.

      Many “male-headed” agricultural holdings are in fact holdings headed jointly by women and men that are incorrectly recorded owing to omissions and gender bias on the part of interviewers and/or respondents. The role of women as decision-makers in agriculture should be adequately measured by clear identifying the agricultural holder. By definition, the agricultural holding is under single management; however, there may be cases where more than one person – for example, husband and wife - is involved in major decisions regarding resource use and management control over the operations of the agricultural holding. Such persons can be classified as joint holders. This concept should help to better reflect the realities of farm management practices, especially those related to the role of women.

      For further information on improving data collection in agricultural censuses and surveys from a gender perspective, see the section entitled “Agricultural censuses and surveys” in chapter III.


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