• Mahima Gotame Mahendra Ratna Multiple Campus, Department of Horticulture, Tribhuwan University
  • B K Santosh Agriculture Knowledge Center, Sankhuwasabha



Agriculture, Cardamom, Participation, Women


Participation of women in the agricultural sector has been increasing recently, though the situation is still challenging. Although women are key players in the agricultural production of developing nations, situational analysis of rural women should be more emphasized. The study aimed to analyze women's roles, the challenges they confront, and the factors that influence women's engagement in cardamom production and their access to productive assets. 102 cardamom growers from Ilam district were chosen purposively and interviewed using questionnaires from November to December 2021. The result showed that more than half percent of women had a significant role in the labor force in cardamom production, whereas 42.2% acted as helpers and 5.9% were entrepreneurs. Women's engagement in cardamom production is limited most prior to primary processing and intercultural operations. They are actively involved in various tasks in the value chain of large cardamom, but their sole role is least prioritized. Although 46.1% participated in various organizations, they had limited access to productive assets, technology, and innovation. Women's Decision in farm and non-farm activities has increased. Only 15% of women were actively involved in farm decisions, and 29% had taken decisions similar to men and women. Involvement of women in marketing was actively found in 19% of growers, while 14% practiced together. Women's participation played a crucial role in the care and maintenance of orchards and the quality of cardamom. Both men and women play a significant role in specific tasks; however, they are working together. Work burden, age, nature of farming, and farming experiences significantly impacted women's participation in large cardamom production. Agricultural awareness, technical skills, and a women-friendly agricultural production system would be supportive of enhancing the participation of women in the production of large cardamom.


Acharya, S., Subedi, B. P., & Upreti, B. R. (2020). Changing gender dynamics through high-value agriculture: a case of Ilam district, Nepal. Nepalese Journal of Agricultural Sciences 2020, 19, 97.

Adhikari, R. (2008). Economic dimension of empowerment: Effects of commercialization and feminization of vegetable farming on social status of women in an urban fringe of Western Nepal. Himalayan Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 3, 86-105.

Ambani, A. O., Olubandwa, A., & Openda, N. O. (2015). The influence of selected factors of motivation on women’s participation in contract sugar cane farming in Mumias Division, Kakamega County, Kenya. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, 6, 14.

Arshad, S., Muhammad, S., & Ashraf, I. (2013). WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN LIVESTOCK FARMING ACTIVITIES. International Journal of Animal and Plant Science, 23(1).

Balayar, R. B. (2018). Women's empowerment in high value cash crop activities in the rural hills of Nepal. Iowa State University.

Borah, S., Talukdar, R., Soren, S., Gogoi, J., Chandra Barman, K., & Ramtamuli, U. (2020). Participation of women in traditional pig farming in North bank plain zone of Assam. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 19(2).

Bonis-Profumo, G., Stacey, N., & Brimblecombe, J. (2021). Measuring women's empowerment in agriculture, food production, and child and maternal dietary diversity in Timor-Leste. Food Policy, 102, 102102.

Damisa, M., Samndi, R., & Yohanna, M. (2007). Women participation in agricultural production: A probit analysis. Journal of Applied sciences, 7(3), 412-416.

Doss, C. R. (2018). Women and agricultural productivity: Reframing the Issues. Development Policy Review, 36(1), 35–50.

Durr, J. (2018). Women in agricultural value chains: unrecognized work and contributions to the Guatemalan economy. Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security (Agri-Gender), 3(302-2019-3653), 20-35.

Eranza, D. R. D., Alin, J. M., Bahron, A., & Mahmud, R. (2015). Determinants of Women’s Participation in Seaweed Farming in the Regency of Jeneponto, South Sulawesi, Indonesia1. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(5 S5), 43.

FAO. (2019). Country gender assessment of agriculture and the rural sector in Nepal. Kathmandu.76 pp. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

Gill, J., Dhillon, M., & Sidhu, M. (2007). Women in agriculture: Impact of their participation on the home environment. International Journal of Rural Studies, 14(1), 1-7.

Hill, V.R., & Vigneri, M. (2014). Mainstreaming gender sensitivity in cash crop market supply chains Mainstreaming gender sensitivity in cash crop market supply chains. Gender in Agriculture: Closing the Knowledge Gap, 315– 341.

Holmelin, N.B.(2021). National specialization policy versus farmers priorities: Balancing subsistence farming and cash cropping in Nepal. Journal of Rural Studies, (83), 71-80.

Jaim, W., & Hossain, M. (2011). Women’s participation in agriculture in Bangladesh 1988–2008: Changes and determinants. Paper presented at the Preconference event on dynamics of rural livelihoods and poverty in South Asia, 7th Asian society of agricultural economists (ASAE) international conference, Hanoi, Vietnam.


Joshi, P., Gautam, P., wagle, P. (2021). Growth and instability analysis of major crops in Nepal. Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, (6).

Kelkar, G. (2007). The feminization of agriculture in Asia: Implications for women's agency and productivity. Taipei: ASPAC Food & Fertilizer Technology Center.

KC, S. & Upreti, B. R. (2017) The Political Economy of Cardamom Farming in Eastern Nepal: Crop Disease, Coping Strategies, and Institutional Innovation. SAGE Open. pp 1-15

KC, S. (2019) Agricultural Transition in the Hills of Nepal: The Interlink between Commercial Farming, Women’s Livelihood & Empowerment. PhD Dissertation (Unpublished) submitted to Kathmandu University, Kathmandu.

KC, S., Upreti, B. R., & Subedi, B. (2016) 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:

Khan, M., Sajjad, M., Hameed, B., Niamatullah Khan, M., Ullah Jan, A., & -Pakistan, P. (2012). PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE ACTIVITIES IN DISTRICT PESHAWAR. Sarhad J. Agric. 28(1), `Q121-127.

Mahat, I. (2003). Women’s development in Nepal: The myth of empowerment. PRAXIS The Fletcher Journal of International Development, 18(2003), 67-72.

MOALD (2021). Statistical information on Nepalese agriculture 2077/78 [2020/21].

NoorMemon, M. I., Noonari, S., Kalroo, M. A., Pathan, Z. M. A., Manzoor, A., & Pathan22, M. (2015). Women labour participation of agricultural production in Sindh Pakistan. Journal of Resources Development and Management, 10, 87-9.

Prartap, U., Sharma, G., Gurung, M.B., Chettri, N., and Sharma., E. (2014) Large Cardamom Farming in Changing Climatic and Socioeconomic Conditions in the Sikkim Himalayas. ICIMOD Working Paper 2014/2. Kathmandu: ICIMOD.

Pettersen, L. T., & Alsos, G. (2007). Change and stability: the role of women in Norwegian fish farming. Marit Stud, 5(2), 93-121.

Poudel, G., & Pokharel, B. (2017). Women’s Empowerment Through Small Farmers’ Cooperatives: A Case Study from Eastern Nepal. Journal of Advanced Academic Research, 4(2), 68-78.

Ranely, T., Anríquez, G., Croppenstedt, A., Gerosa, S., Lowder, S. K., Matuschke, I., & Skoet, J. (2011). The role of women in agriculture.ESA Working Paper No. 11-02.

Sitachew, M., Mansingh Jeyabalasingh, P., & Debela, M. (2018). Determinants of Rural Women’s Participation in Agricultural Extension Services: Case of Irrigable Vegetable Production in Oromia Region, Ethiopia. JOURNAL OF EXTENSION EDUCATION, 30(3), 6092.

Singh, K. M., Kumari, P., & Ahmad, N. (2020). An Analysis of Women’s Participation in Agriculture in Bihar. Available at SSRN 3517153.

Shrestha, J., Prasai, H. K., Timsina, K. P., Shrestha, K. P., Pokhrel, D., Poudel, K., & Yadav, M. (2018). Large cardamom in Nepal: Production practice and economics, processing and marketing.

Shrestha, K.P., (2018) Marketing of Large Cardamom in Mechi Hills, Nepal. International Journal of Graduate Research and Review, 4(4), 134-143.

Subedi, R. (2008). Women farmers' participation in agriculture training: In Kavre district of Nepal. Larenstein university of applied sciences.

Tamang, S., Paudel, K. P., & Shrestha, K. P. (2014). Feminization of agriculture and its implications for food security in rural Nepal. Journal of Forest and Livelihood, 12, 20-32.

Thagwana, M. S. (2010). Trends in women’s participation in agriculture at Tshiombo Irrigation Scheme, Limpopo province.

Tharani, G., Akther, M. S. R., & Ananthini, N. (2016). Assessment of Women participation in Agriculture in Vavuniya district, Sri Lanka. International Journal of Social Sciences and Management, 3(3), 159–162.

The World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization & International Fund for Agricultural Development. 2009. Gender in Agriculture: Sourcebook. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Publications.

Tripathi, R., Chung, Y. B., Deering, K., Saracini, N., Willoughby, R., Wills, O., & Churm, M. (2012). What Works for Women: Proven approaches for empowering women smallholders and achieving food security.

Upadhyay, B. (2004). Gender aspects of smallholder irrigation technology: Insights from Nepal. Journal of Applied Irrigation Science, 39, 315-327.

Upreti, B., Ghale, Y., Shivakoti, S., Acharya, S. (2018). Feminization of Agriculture in the Eastern Hills of Nepal: A study of Women in Cardamom and Ginger Farming. SAGE open vol. 8(4), pages 21582440188

Zahoor, A., Fakher, A., Ali, S., & Sarwar, F. (2013). Participation of rural women in crop and livestock activities: a case study of tehsil Tounsa Sharif of southern Punjab (Pakistan). Int. J. Adv. Res. Manage. Soc. Sci, 2(12), 98-121.

Zewdu, A., Zenebe, G., Abraha, B., Abadi, T., and Gidey, N. (2016). Assessment of the Gender Role in Agricultural Activities at Damota Kebele of Haramaya District, Eastern Hararghe Zone, Ethiopia. Journal of Culture, Society




How to Cite

Gotame, M., & Santosh, B. K. (2023). ASSESSING THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN THE PRODUCTION OF LARGE CARDAMOM IN THE ILAM DISTRICT OF NEPAL. Agricultural Socio-Economics Journal, 23(3), 373–383.