This paper analyses the impact of commercial cardamom farming on the livelihoods of women, revisiting the concept of the “feminization of poverty”. For the analysis of cash crop farming in Eastern Nepal, both quantitative and qualitative approaches have been used. A quantitative survey was conducted in 513 households in Ilam district between November and December 2015 followed by qualitative data collection. A literature review on the feminization of poverty and cash crop farming has also been included. A descriptive data analysis has been conducted from the perspective of the feminization of poverty against the background of cash crop farming. The paper concludes that women of different ethnic backgrounds engaged in commercial cardamom farming have been able to improve their livelihoods, spend on their children’s education, their family’s health and invest in savings. For marginalized communities the impact is even more pronounced, as women have been able to step out of poverty. The high return from cardamom farming has changed the livelihood trajectories of these women. Engagement in cash crop farming has empowered women financially and socially through their visible participation in savings and community groups. This study also opens up pathways for further studies on issues of sustainable cardamom farming and its impact on women’s livelihoods, particularly focusing on women and poverty. This study addresses that in developing or under-developed countries reliant on agriculture, their economic development can be improved if women’s economic and social conditions are understood and facilitated through policies inline with sustainable cash crop farming.
KC, Sony; Upreti, Bishnu Raj; and Subedi, Bashu Prasad
“We know the taste of sugar because of cardamom production”: Links among Commercial Cardamom Farming, Women’s Involvement in Production and the Feminization of Poverty.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 18(1), 181-207.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol18/iss1/13