Transformation from Rice Farming to Commercial Aquaculture in Bangladesh: Implications for Gender, Food Security, and Livelihood uri icon

abstract

  • This article examines the transformation from rice farming to commercial aquaculture and its implications for gender roles and relations, women's access to and control over resources, household food security, and livelihood. Primary data collected from 400 sample households located across 10 villages in northern and southern Bangladesh were used for this study. Data were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods, namely, wealth-ranking technique, self-assessment technique, Gini coefficient, Lorenz curve, and descriptive statistics. Commercial aquaculture increased both farm income and income inequality, brought in new sources of employment, changed gender roles and relations, altered women's access to and control of resources, altered household food consumption patterns, and increased market dependence for staple food. Commercial aquaculture not only decreased the workload of women but also weakened their access to and control over agricultural products. Women became more dependent on the husband's income and had lesser control over its use. Farm mechanization reduces women farmer's drudgery and diversification of rice monoculture toward rice-based high-value crops and aquaculture improves the welfare of everyone in society. This implies that poor farmers, including women, should be provided better access to improved technologies and credit.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016