The role of women in traditional farming systems as practiced in homegardens: a case study in Sylhet Sadar Upazila, Bangladesh [ 17-30 ]Sayma Akhter, Mohammed Alamgir, Md. Shawkat Islam Sohel, Parvez Rana, S. J. Monjurul Ahmed, Mohammad Shaheed Hossain Chowdhury
Forests cover only 6 to 8 percent of the total land area of Bangladesh. While agricultural expansion continues to massively deplete the natural forests, a well-managed homegarden practice is vital for reversing the existing trend and promoting the ecological balance of the country. An understanding of the role of women in homegarden management within a traditional farming system is important in expanding and improving the practice. This paper seeks to explore the participation of women in homegarden management activities, understanding the impact of homegardens on women’s income and livelihoods and assessing women’s awareness of homegarden-oriented activities that support forest conservation. The study demonstrates a number of important conclusions: (1) women are mostly involved in homegarden management-related activities (2) women are interested in conserving homegardens because they obtain such substantial benefits as food security, income, health care, and environmental benefits (3) women were found to be aware of home-garden conservation and tuned to motivating husbands, children, and neighbors to conserve the agro-biodiversity of homegardens. Findings suggest that increased involvement of women in a broad range of homegarden management activities is not only beneficial for their own socio-economic well-being, but also imperative for sustaining the livelihoods of their communities and for preserving the agro-biodiversity in homegardens.
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Español: Akgter et al investigan en valor de las huertas familiares en Bangladesh como focos de conservación de la agro-biodiversidad, ya que estos conservan recursos vitales y aportan beneficios económicos y nutricionales a la población rural. Los autores basan sus argumentos en un estudio de cuatro aldeas em Sylhet Sadar, Bangladesh, y señalan además que las mujeres juegan un papel vital en el manejo de las huertas familiares, que les proveen de leña, forraje, medicinas, fruta y madera, entre otros. Los autores mantienen que en Bangladesh, en donde la cubierta forestal es de menos del 10%, las huertas familiares son el sustento de cerca de 20 millones de hogares, representando así una estrategia importante para la conservación de la biodiversidad local.
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Tropical Conservation Science is an open-access e-journal that publishes research relating to conservation of tropical forests and other tropical ecosystems.
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