Farm Women Participation in Dry Chilli Post-Harvest Handling Practices at Fields


Agriculture plays an important role in India and it is also known as the backbone of Indian economy. In India, large majority of the farming families depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Women’s presence in agriculture and post-harvest activities has been considered important since ancient time. Women participation in agriculture and post-harvest activities differs widely between regions.

Generally, post-harvesting activities, which are simple and less laborious, are done exclusively by women and some activities, which are more laborious and need more physical strength, are done exclusively by men. Especially in developing nations including India, farm women play an important role in agricultural and post-harvest operations. In post-harvest activities of dry chilli, women involvement is seen in harvesting, drying, grading, trampling process, marketing, processing, and labeling. Women’s role and contribution is no longer a matter of contention because, in rural India, the percentage of women who depend for their livelihood on agriculture and allied activities is more than 80%. Women participation is seen in almost all the agricultural and post-harvest activities. Their involvement differs based on the crop and region. In chilli post-harvest activities, farm women involvement is seen high, either individually, or alone with men. They play numerous intensive jobs in post-harvesting operations, especially in threshing, dehusking, cleaning, drying, storage, grading, processing, and marketing as reported by Sidhu, (2007).


Study helps to understand the list of post-harvest activities in which women involvement is seen

Feminization of Indian Agriculture:

According to food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), feminization of agriculture refers to the measurable increase of women’s participation in the agricultural sector.

List of post harvest activities of dry chilli

  • Harvesting ( Manual harvesting, Mechanical harvesting)

  • Traditional Sun drying (Solar drying, mechanical drying)

  • Spreading dry chillis to get uniform drying

  • Grading ( Manual grading, Mechanical grading)

  • Trampling process of dry chilli

  • Weighting and Bagging

  • Storage (Cold storage, Central/State warehouse)

  • Transportation (loading and unloading of dry chillis)

  • Marketing

  • Processing

  • Labelling

Role of women in post-harvest activities of dry chilli

  • Harvesting: In India, manual harvesting is the most widely followed method and most of the women farmers are involved in this activity. A total of four pickings are done to complete harvesting process. In this harvesting activity, women involvement is seen very high.

  • Traditional sun drying: There are different types of drying methods, such as traditional sun drying, mechanical drying, and solar drying. In India, traditional sun drying method is the most common method to dry chillis near fields soon after harvesting. Both men and women are involved in traditional sun drying activity.

  • Spreading dry chillis to get uniform drying: Women pick dry chillis from the fields and spread uniformly for perfect drying.

  • Grading: Grading is the process to separate good quality chillis. Grading is done based on criteria of color and size. Most commonly, dry chillis are graded by women after drying.

  • Trampling process: Chillis are inserted into gunny bags by women. Men are involved to press dry chillis tightly into the gunny bag by applying physical strength. After pressing the dry chills, women are involved in sewing the gunny bags to close them perfectly. Hence, both men and women involvement is seen in this activity.

  • Weighting and Bagging: This activity is more laborious and requires lots of strength. Hence, mostly, men involvement is seen in weighting and bagging activity.

  • Marketing: In marketing activity, men involvement is seen high when compared with women.

  • Processing: In processing activity, both men and women are involved.

  • Transporting: Transportation activity is more laborious and it requires more physical strength; so, men involvement is seen more.

  • Storage: Most of the men are involved in storage activity.

  • Labeling: Labeling is done individually by women or it is done combined by both men and women.


In Indian agriculture, women play multiple roles right from sowing to harvesting. She also plays crucial role in post-harvesting operations. Equal to men, women are also involving in various agricultural activities. Large majority of the farm women in India depend on agriculture for their livelihood. In post-harvest activities also, farm women involvement is seen high. Especially in dry chilli post-harvest activities, women involvement is seen in harvesting, drying, grading, bagging and processing, etc.

About Authors:

1. Bojjagani Jhansi - Ph.D. scholar, Department of Extension and Communication Management, College of Community Science, UAS, Dharwad. Mail.id: jhansibrp@gmail.com

2. Dr. Annapurna N Kalal - Professor and Head, Department of Extension and Communication Management, College of Community Science, UAS, Dharwad. Mail.id: pujarac@uasd.in


 Hada, V. and Bansal, V., 2017, Participation of rural women in processing and preservation of    fruits. International Journal of Science, Environment and Technology., 6 (1): 33 – 39.

Jadhav,V.D., Thombre, B.M. and Mande, J.V., 2010, Knowledge level of farm women regarding mango post harvest technology in Latur district. Int. J. Agric Sci., 6 (1):69-71.

Kiranjot Sidhu, 2007, Participation of farm women in post harvesting. Stud. Home Comm. Sci., 1(1): 45-49.

Patil, S., 2015, Gender contribution in chilli (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivation: An assessment of women empowerment. M.H.Sc. Thesis, Univ. Agric.Sci. Dharwad.


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