The impact of agricultural modernization on women's activities
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This work is based on the data from a research project: The Population Consequences of Agricultural Modernization, funded by the International Develop¬ment Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. I wish to express my gratitude to this organization. The prime concern of this study is to investigate the impact of agricultural modernization on women's workload. Most studies such as those of Mabeza (1977), Muntemba (1979), Achola (1976) have concluded that improvements in agriculture lead to the displacement of women from farm work into almost entirely domestic tasks. The present study, on the other hand shows that agricultural modernization places more demand on female labour.Agricultural modernization makes it possible to open up more land due to the use of ploughs and tractors. This means more time and labour is needed for hoeing, planting, cultivation and harvesting of large fields. In the absence of hired labour, this places more work on women who provide much of the labour needed for these tasks. The study further shows that women under farms that have experienced agricultural modernization perform additional tasks such as ploughing, application of fertilizers and pesticides, shelling, bagging and transporting the crop to the markets.This study, therefore, concludes that agricultural modernization leads to an increased involvement of women in agriculture. Finally, the study also shows that agricultural modernization, in the absence of outside labour favours high fertility, as children assist in performing the increased workload.