Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

GM crop produces massive gains for women's employment in India, study finds

Date:
July 28, 2010
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Researchers have found that the use of a particular GM crop in India produced massive benefits in the earnings and employment opportunities for rural Indian women.

Graph below shows returns to labor from Bt cotton and conventional cotton in rural India.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Warwick

Research at the UK's University of Warwick, and the University of Goettingen in Germany, has found that the use of a particular GM crop in India produced massive benefits in the earnings and employment opportunities for rural Indian women.

Related Articles


The research led by Dr Arjunan Subramanian of WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) in the University of Warwick found that the use of GM insect-resistant Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (Bt) cotton generated not only higher income for rural workers but also more employment, especially for hired female labour.

Since its commercialization in India in the year 2002, the area in which Bt cotton is cultivated increased to 7.6 million hectares in 2008. Several studies show sizable direct benefits of the technology but no study so far has analyzed the gender aspect of this technology.

The researchers found that compared with conventional cotton the Bt cotton generated additional employment, raising the total wage income by 40 US dollars per hectare. The largest increase is for hired females with a gain of 55% in average income.

This translates to about 424 million additional days of employment for female earners for the total Bt cotton area in India. The researchers found that the Increase in returns to hired female labour is mostly related to higher yields in Bt cotton leading to additional labour being employed to pick the increased production of cotton (harvesting of cotton is primarily a female activity in India).

Dr Arjunan Subramanian said: "We also found that the use of Bt cotton also improved female working conditions as the reduction in the amount of family male labour involved in scouting and spraying for pests meant that that labour was reallocated to other household economic activities, previously carried out by female family members, increasing the returns to this labour category. Overall, therefore, Bt cotton enhances the quality of life of women through increasing income and reducing 'femanual' work."

The research results come from two household survey. The first was undertaken in a study village where the team collected comprehensive data on household characteristics and interactions across various markets. The study village, Kanzara, is located in the Akola district of Maharashtra, the state with the largest area under cotton in India. Interviews with all village households and institutions were conducted in 2004, capturing all household economic activities and transactions for the 12-month period between April 2003 and March 2004. All farm households cultivate at least some cotton, mostly next to a number of food and fodder crops for subsistence consumption and for sale. The second survey used data from a farm sample survey conducted over a period of 5 years.

The research has been published in Nature Biotechnology. The full research team was Dr Arjunan Subramanian (Warwick HRI & WMG University of Warwick), Dr Kerry Kirwan (WMG, University of Warwick) and Professor David Pink (Warwick HRI, University of Warwick) & Matin Qaim (University of Goettingen). The research was funded by EPSRC (The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arjunan Subramanian, Kerry Kirwan, David Pink, Matin Qaim. GM crops and gender issues. Nature Biotechnology, 2010; 28 (5): 404 DOI: 10.1038/nbt0510-404

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "GM crop produces massive gains for women's employment in India, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728111713.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2010, July 28). GM crop produces massive gains for women's employment in India, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728111713.htm
University of Warwick. "GM crop produces massive gains for women's employment in India, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728111713.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Newsy (Dec. 22, 2014) Bitcoin's stock has tumbled significantly this year, but more companies now accept it, leading supporters and critics alike to weigh in on its future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) As falling oil prices boost Americans' spending power, the U.S. government is also gaining flexibility from savings on oil. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins