Towards Greater Gender Parity in Small Holder Dairy Farms in India
Animal Husbandry provides employment and economic support to most rural households, particularly those who do not have large pieces of land to engage in agricultural activity. Dairying as an occupation has played a major part in empowering women socially and economically. It has an even more pronounced relevance in poverty stricken, resource constrained areas in the South Asian region. Battling skewed gender equations, women bear the brunt of being farm hands, undertaking laborious tasks of cleaning, milking, arranging for fodder, rearing farm animals and participating in marketing products and yet not being compensated for their efforts. This unequal scenario needs to change as women’s role in the dairying and livestock sector gets recognised, appreciated and financially rewarded.
Rapid urbanisation, sprawls and burgeoning peri-urban fringes
Urbanisation is inevitable with mounting pressure on land, dip in agricultural income and burgeoning mass of human and animal population. On one hand it symbolises development, growth and change and on the other chaos, confusion and dissonance. In the midst of this urban jungle are emerging peri-urban spaces that have acquired an appropriate synonym in the “urban fringe”. Developed and developing countries are battling the challenge of managing these spaces, with the spillover being more pronounced and hazardous in developing countries like India. Uncontrolled urbanisation is creating substandard living environments, acute shortage of services and environmental degradation in and around cities. This is leading to scenarios that are more susceptible to disease outbreaks.
Gender Equity: 10 Must Do’s to Address ‘Missing Link’ in Agriculture/Dairying
Experts at the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) have reiterated through various interactions, research findings and consultations that gender is a missing link in agriculture development, especially in market oriented agriculture development activities.
The key issues faced by women in all aspects of agriculture, including dairy farming, be it in Africa or elsewhere in the developing world are primarily the same. Inspite of playing a key role in the marketing, processing and ensuring of household nutrition, they have relatively lesser access to resources, assets, technologies and inputs as compared to their male counterparts. Often, they even lack control over the products of their own labour.
Antimicrobial Use in Food Animals and Emergence of Drug Resistant Microbes: A Ticking Time-Bomb
Use of antimicrobials in livestock, especially to maintain health and promote growth, has been an under-appreciated issue. Estimates peg upto 80% of the America’s national antimicrobial consumption to their use in livestock. The problem is expected to be of far greater intensity in countries which have a poorly regulated pharmaceutical sector, and where there is possibility of procuring antimicrobials as over-the-counter medicines.