Awards, Competitions, Funding Grants

Sitaram Rao Livelihoods Case Study Competition

ACCESS Development Services with support from Oxfam India has announced the Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition 2014.

Theme: Empowering Women in Agriculture

The role of gender in agriculture is gaining growing attention among researchers, aid donors, and policymakers. While 63 per cent of India’s rural male work force is engaged in agriculture, the figure is as high as 79 per cent for women (NSS 66th Round, 2009-10). As farmers, agricultural workers and entrepreneurs, women form the backbone of agricultural rural economy in India.

sita ram rao case study 2014

Women work extensively in production of major grains and millets, in land preparation, seed selection and seedling production, sowing, applying manure, weeding, transplanting, threshing, winnowing and harvesting; in livestock production, fish processing, etc. In animal husbandry, women have multiple roles ranging from animal care, grazing, fodder collection and cleaning of animal sheds to processing of milk and livestock products.

Women work on family farms as well as paid agricultural labourers on the fields of other farmers. They also lease in land for cultivation. The majority of workers involved in collection of non-timber forest produce (NTFP) are women, particularly tribal women. Women also augment family resources through tasks such as collection of fuel, fodder, drinking  water and water for family members and domestic animals.

Inspite of their immense contribution, women in farming remain one of the most vulnerable groups. They typically lack access to education, extension services, land, and credit and are in fact, the largest group of landless labourers with little real security in case of break-up of the family owing to death or divorce. Only 9.3 per cent of rural women actually own land (Agriculture Census 2005 – 2006, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India) which is in stark contrast to the large proportion of farm labour contributed by women. Inheritance laws and customs discriminate against them.

Agricultural development programmes are usually planned by men and aimed at men. Mechanization, for example alleviates the burden of tasks that are traditionally men’s responsibility, leaving women’s burden unrelieved or even increased.  Extension workers almost exclusively aim their advice at men’s activities and crops. In some regions, this bias may depress production of subsistence food crops in favour of increased production of cash crops so that family nutrition suffers.

During 2014, and the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), the Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition would like to showcase cases of initiatives that have helped recognize the role and rights of women in farming and  identify efficient ways to support them.  The cases should cover new knowledge and experiences from programme relating to women in agriculture covering one or more of the following thematic areas among others:

  • Training, extension, input, managerial, entrepreneurial and other support services to women farmers
  • Helping women farmers move up the value chain
  • Agricultural innovations for reducing drudgery of women farmers
  • Initiatives for food and nutrition security by women farmers
  • Institutional innovations which better meet the needs of farm women
  • Initiatives that are in place to link women farmers to markets
  • Raising awareness and advocacy for women’s land rights
  • Initiatives for women farmers to adapt to climate change
  • Forest based livelihoods and women

The case study should include:

  • Socio-economic conditions and needs of the beneficiaries within which the programme was initiated and implemented
  • Nature of engagement, intervention, support and strategies of the implementing agency for reaching out to women engaged in agriculture
  • Impact of the programme in promoting sustainable livelihoods of the women engaged in agriculture
  • Factors that contributed to the success of the programme
  • Critical challenges faced
  • Issues in achieving scale and sustainability and efforts made by the programme to address them

How to Register?

  1. All participants are requested to send an abstract of maximum 800 words of their case studies by June 15th, 2014
  2. Abstracts will be reviewed and a shortlist will be announced on July 1st, 2014.
  3. The shortlisted candidates will be requested to send the full case study, not exceeding 5000 words, by August 15th, 2014.
  4. Once the final cases come in, they will be reviewed and 10 best cases would be selected.
  5. The authors of the 10 best cases will be invited for a Jury Meet where the top 3 cases will be selected (tentatively in October)
  6. The top 3 case study authors will receive cash prizes of Rs. 70,000, Rs. 60,000 and Rs. 50,000 respectively and a compendium of the 10 best cases will be released during the Livelihoods Asia Summit 2014.

Please go through the details of our competition on our website  before sending in your registrations. For any clarifications, please contact us at

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