Output value per acre: Female SL farmers more productive – WB
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Female Sri Lankan farmers have a higher productivity as measured by output value per acre which is mainly explained by their smaller plot size and a crop mix that consists of higher-value crops, the World Bank (WB) in a report dated 1 October 2021 said. The publication titled ‘Agricultural Productivity, Diversification and Gender’ said policies to equalise access to resources like land and agricultural inputs as well as interventions that could free up women’s household responsibilities are likely to help increase women’s access to land and generate more crop income.
“With regard to land ownership, there are some long-standing issues that may warrant attention,” the WB said.For example, the land law can discriminate against women who opt to be governed by personal laws. Women who marry under the Thesavalamai Law cannot gain control of property without their husband’s consent, the WB said.
Another constraint is that under the Land Development Ordinance of 1935 and its subsequent amendments, the grant of State land in agricultural settlement schemes continues to favour men over women because grants are generally made to the male head of the household, it said. It would also be important to understand the constraints that lead to unequal access to agricultural resources. An analysis shows that male productivity advantage persists even after adjusting for agricultural resources and other characteristics, possibly reflecting remaining unequal patterns driven by gender and social norms, the WB said.