Does Group Farming Empower Rural Women? India’s Experience with Bina Agarwal

SPEAKER 1: Welcome to the Women and Public Policy Program’s Seminar Series podcast at the Harvard Kennedy school SPEAKER 2: I’m going to go ahead and get us started because we have a very exciting speaker today, and I don’t want us to miss out on any time that we get to interact with her I’m Hannah Riley Bowles, codirector here at the Women and Public Policy Program, where we promote research for understanding and addressing gender inequality And then, part of the contribution of this seminar to our mission is connecting cutting-edge scholars and leading thinkers with our community of scholars and students and leaders in practice And so this is a particularly exciting seminar in our series I also want to highlight that the– are we recording today? So this seminar, so we not only have people in this seminar room, but the podcast from the seminar have actually been downloaded now tens of thousands of times So you’ll have a broader virtual community joining us And consistent with seminar norms and keeping in mind that people are tuning in from outside as well, we ask, obviously, that cell phones get turned off, and that when you ask a question, that it’s actually a question and that it relates to the speaker, which is a pretty straightforward seminar norm So now, I get to introduce our speaker today, who is professor Bina Agarwal She’s a professor of development economics and environment at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester in the UK And prior to this, she was the director and a professor of economics at the Institute of Economic Growth at Delhi University, where she continues to be affiliated And she had her education both in the UK and in India, so this has been a long-time international global collaboration And I can’t go through– professor Agarwal has 12 books and 84 academic papers, which not I’m not even going to attempt to summarize, because we want to hear from her But I want to highlight a little bit of her work She has done very important work related to gender inequality and its relationship to the environment and environmental and sustainability questions Perhaps her best known work is A Field of One’s Own– Gender and Land Rights in South Asia, which was awarded the A.K Coomaraswamy Book Prize in 1996, the Edgar Graham Book Prize in 1996, and then also, the K.H. Batheja Award, again in the same year So this is a truly esteemed scholar and thought leader, addressing very meaningful issues that are so mission-relevant to the Kennedy School and central to our Women and Public Policy Program So please join me in welcoming– [APPLAUSE] BINA AGARWAL: So I’m really delighted to be here Harvard is– this can be just familiar, as with the other [INAUDIBLE] studied And so, it’s really a pleasure to be in this wonderful WAPP seminar series And I thank Iris Bohnet, fellow traveler, colleague, and friend for this opportunity Hannah Bowles, as well, for inviting me here And it’s an opportunity to present my ongoing work on rural farming in Asia and Europe And I especially thank Ruth Reyes for her amazing logistical support She’s totally, totally amazing And so, let me start In large parts of the developing world, rural women remain embedded in the informal sector, especially in farming In India, for instance, 93.5% of women workers are in the informal sector And among rural workers– we have data from 2011– 75% of them, and relative to 59% of men, still depend mainly on agriculture Yet efforts to economically empower women rarely focus on farming, the one occupation most of them are skilled in Given this gap, two state-level experiments in India began in the early 2000s stand out, not only because they strove to enhance women’s livelihoods within agriculture itself, but also because they strove to do so in a very innovative institutional form, namely group farming Now, these initiatives– one is in Kerala and the other in Telangana– encourage rural women to lease in land collectively, pool

their labor, and capital, and to cultivate jointly Now, the initiatives are innovative, not only in promoting group farming, but especially in recognizing women as farmers outside the domain of family farms, under which most cultivation is done globally, and in which women typically remain unpaid workers with limited autonomy Now, this recognition is also important because at least 35% of agricultural workers in India are women, and the proportions are likely to grow You will see, in fact, globally, feminization of agriculture, because more men than women tend to seek non-farm jobs So one could argue that the welfare of rural families and the country’s agricultural growth could depend in notable extent on the performance of women farmers Women’s ability to deliver on production, however, is severely curtailed by limited access to land, capital, irrigation, credit, technology, and other essentials They also have limited bargaining power to the state and the markets So the question, then, is could group farming help women overcome their resource constraints? Could it enhance their economic well-being? Indeed, one might be more ambitious and ask, could they outperform individual small farms, which are typically male-managed? And could group farming also empower women socially and politically? Now, to date, barring my own recent research, there has been very little systematic empirical analysis of group farming in India or in developing countries more generally, nor have the particular questions that I posed received attention So if you ask unusual questions, you can go to standard data sets So I undertook two primary surveys in both states during 2012 to 2014 for a sample of group and individual farms And in particular, what I examined was if women’s group farms can do better than individual family farms in productivity and profits Now, what is cooperation in farming? Cooperation in farming, in fact, can have a range from– you can have single-purpose minimal– I don’t think there is [INAUDIBLE] a single-purpose minimal cooperation to multipurpose, to what I call fully integrated Now, globally, single-purpose marketing cooperatives are the most common, especially in the dairy industry You’ll find it all over Europe and in India, the Amul cooperative is a case in point In between, one could think of multipurpose cooperation, such as purchasing equipment together or crop planning, but none of these involve cooperation in production Collective farming goes much beyond these, because what it involves is joint production with the pooling of land and labor and intense cooperation on a daily basis Now, given that 84% of farmers across 111 countries cultivate under two hectares, such integration could potentially provide an alternative, more viable model of farming But is the idea of group farming new? No In fact, what you have is what I call waves of farm collectives Now, the best known, the most famous, or the infamous, if you like, are the socialist collectives, 1920s to 50s, which were formed with forced collectivization of peasant farms And this, we know today, had seriously negative effects on output in welfare The second wave was in the 1960s And these were farm cooperatives, which were promoted, again, mostly top-down in post-colonial countries In Asia, Latin America, Africa, you find that during that period, many countries became independent, and agrarian reform programs were launched And they tried group farming But they largely failed, and they had mixed effects The third example, which maybe surprises a lot of people, in part of the 1960s examples is in France, which I’m also studying and [INAUDIBLE] And then, in the 1990s, what you find is after decollectivization, post-socialist countries, when people were given little slivers of land, they pooled that land to make the farms viable And there’s research on that to overcome land and machine scarcity This happened in East Germany and Romania and Kyrgyzstan, in Nicaragua, and other countries But the farm collectives of my study in India are quite different from all of these They are voluntarily constituted, egalitarian,

and managed entirely by women Also, they are a collective of individuals and not a collective of family farms, because it is [INAUDIBLE] Now, conceptually, one could argue that group farming, if you pool your resources into joint cultivation, it could bring a number of economic benefits to small farmers in general, and especially to women farmers So for instance, group farming could enlarge farm size, because you’re pooling your own land and leasing land And this could increase the economic viability and could help create economies of scale Now, there’s been assessments, for instance, by Andrew Foster and Mark Rosenzweig, who showed that an increase in farm size from very small farms up to 10 hectares significantly increases per-hectare profits Also, groups can help you save on hired labor They can bring a larger pool of resources and funds to put as inputs You can tap on a diversity of skills than is found in one person or family You can also experiment with riskier higher value crops with higher payoffs, could spread losses among the larger number You could better deliver on contracts And you could raise bargaining power with governments and markets Now, you might argue that all these examples, all these advantages could occur irrespective of whether it’s women or men But for women farmers, these are much larger, given the nature of constraints that are embedded structurally And also, women face social restrictions on public interactions in many countries because of social norms And forming groups could provide them abilities to overcome those, to have autonomy in production decisions, potential control over output, and most importantly, an identity as a farmer This is seldom possible in male-managed family farms, where women’s contributions are often invisible Now, you might say, well, group farms can be constituted by leasing land or pooling the members own land, or a mix of both But since rather fewer women in developing countries own land– and there’s good literature on that– they may have few alternatives than the land lease model, and that has its own constraints And then, one might ask, does economic empowerment, in turn, lead to social and political empowerment? There’s a chair here, Richard But first, let’s consider the economic effects Now, prior to mine, there are two sets of studies Both of them are linked to socialist countries, which examine the question of group versus individual family farms and productivity effects First was in the 1980s and 90s, when you had a number of studies which compared smallholders with various types of state-promoted large collective farms And they typically used regional-level data, rather than farm level data And they got mixed results, because what you found was some studies found lower outputs with collective farms, some found higher outputs, and some found others had depending on context The second set of studies was the 2000s, both socialist countries, where these used farm-level data And there were four or five studies, only And they found that group farms had higher returns than individual family farms But remember, this involved pooling of family at the level of the family, and not at level of individuals My India– yes? SPEAKER 4: Can I just ask a question about these two sets? So how are these groups formed? So one is, of course, genders, but do they self-select to be part of it, or does the government, given socialist countries, kind of say, you five are now, or you 100 are a collective? BINA AGARWAL: Well, the set one is really comparing collectivized farms with after decollectivization So these collectivization in Russia and various other countries was forced SPEAKER 4: Right BINA AGARWAL: And most peasants– SPEAKER 4: But I’m just thinking might also be of interest or– BINA AGARWAL: So– SPEAKER 4: –or make a big difference to what you’re doing, because these are probably– in your study, maybe they’re self-selecting BINA AGARWAL: Well, there is a degree of self-selection, but we don’t know to what proportion In this set, it’s really post-socialist So what you find is that a range of institutional arrangements emerged Some of them pooled their land and labor, and especially, they found machine shortages And the others may have stayed back in some form of state collectives, as well So there’s work by Rachel Sabates-Wheeler at IDS, and Michael Childress, and a number of others on that I don’t think we have a world census of what proportions

did it, but it’s possible I have to revisit this now, so Now, in my examples, as I said, are in Kerala and Telangana, are like the post-socialists in that they pooled resources to overcome scarcities But they’re distinct in being constituted only of women as members in their own capacity And their origins are not located in socialist models, but in models of women’s collectives I believe this is the first study of the economic effects of these farm collectives, and the paper I based it on was “Recent Emerging Rural Development.” You had a question there? SPEAKER 5: I was wondering if the same way that in the 60s in France, people were adopting different type of technologies for farming, especially the increase in organic farming took place in these groups, if you observed different types of technologies and different types of techniques that could exist in this collective? BINA AGARWAL: So why don’t I answer that of the base of my data? Because at the moment, I’m just telling you about this, and you can talk about France during [INAUDIBLE] because that’s [INAUDIBLE] So most of you know where Kerala and Telangana are, but just in case you don’t, so here is Kerala And this is Andhra Pradesh, and now, it’s split into two states Now, these group farms in these two states were promoted in 2000 to empower women economically and socially Now, the basic model was of women leasing land, pooling capital and labor, and sharing costs and benefits And they could also work on their family farms alongside But class rotation allowed them a degree of flexibility to take up wage work in some seasons Now, this is important to understand, the genesis and structure So in Kerala, the idea of group farming actually came from village women who had experimented with leasing land in groups But the larger program was crafted by senior government officials and intellectuals, predominantly males And it was structured around this self-help group model Are you familiar with the self-help group model? It’s a bit like the microcredit grabbing model, but not exactly And that was modified in Kerala to constitute what they call village-level neighborhood groups And these are saving and credit groups This whole program was then located within a multi-level structure of governance, which I call as having three pillars So one pillar was the state poverty eradication program, the Kudumbasree Mission I just call it K. Mission The second pillar– and this is the most innovative part– was a community network, which was created as an autonomous registered body, with elected office-bearers, constituted of the neighborhood groups at the bottom tier and the community development societies at the top tier And these societies, which were at the village council level, because they were autonomously registered, had negotiating power with the local government And the third pillar were the village councils, which in Kerala, one might remember, can sometimes cover several villages Now, the group farms are constituted of women who are prior members of the neighborhood groups, the saving and credit groups So while not all NHG members take up group farming, so there is some degree of self-selection there, but on important variables, such as primary schooling, economic status, credit access, there is virtually no systematic difference between those of the women who take up group farming and those who don’t Now, the group farms can get subsidized credit under what is called the joint liability group scheme of the Agriculture Development Bank Now, this is important because they don’t need to have collateral for getting credit Now, these group farms receive support from the autonomous K. Mission They get some startup capital They get technical information and training from experts And there are some crop-specific incentives And 10% of the village council’s budget in Kerala is for women, although not necessarily for group farming So all of this, what this does is it creates a somewhat level playing field for women relative to men, but not fully In 2016, there were 62,000 such farms across Kerala, so about three [INAUDIBLE] women And I did a rough calculation They constituted between 9% to 10% of all farms in Kerala So that’s quite a large proportion The second state is Telangana And here, the group farming was launched in 2001 under a UNDP and government of India initiative with a five-year framework of support

It was implemented by a quasi-NGO, the Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samatha Society, APMSS And this society was really formed in 1993, not for economic purpose, but to empower women for education What APMSS did was it set up women’s collectives, one per village, federated at the district level And these pre-existing collectives took up group farming in 500 villages Now, typically all [INAUDIBLE] members in the project villagers joined, so there was very little self-selection Each group, as in Kerala, got a seed grant It got some implements and training But government support was limited to the project And then, it disappeared after five years, in 2005, when the UNDP funding ended What was very interesting was that when I first visited Telangana, then in Andhra Pradesh in 2011, 50% of these groups have continued to farm, despite the fact that the private funding had ended That was overseen by APMSS So what I wanted to compare was group farms in each state with small individual farms– I’ve already told you this– of two hectares or less in the same state And the question was, are group farms more productive and profitable than small individual family farms, as we might expect, conceptually Yes, Megan? SPEAKER 6: So I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about if that was a long-term system, as in the microcredit programs So was there any kind of social networks that were activated to overturn these little farms, or you was it– BINA AGARWAL: Why don’t I come back? SPEAKER 6: –they were productive? BINA AGARWAL: That’s a question I– SPEAKER 6: Oh, OK BINA AGARWAL: That’s a question I will answer, so why don’t you hold on to it? And I’ll answer it SPEAKER 6: All right BINA AGARWAL: So the data I collected during 2012-2013, and gap filled in 2013 and 2014 was in two districts of Kerala and three districts of Telangana In Kerala, the two districts– those who are familiar– were Alappuzha and Thrissur Alappuzha is a district that is dominated by food crops, particularly paddy And Thrissur is dominated by commercial cultivation of banana And both districts, they grow vegetables And this, I proactively chose these two districts in order to also provide some sense of relatively subsistence crop versus [INAUDIBLE] crop My Kerala sample consists of 250 farms, 69 all women groups, and 181 individual family farms The individual farms are the family farms of the women members that selected randomly from among them In Telangana, there are three districts This is a relatively semiarid area You end up with– there were 770 farms And there were some which didn’t complete the survey, so 763 farms in three districts And I ended up with a sample of 70 group farms and 693 individual farms Now, these individual farms are of two types in Telangana One is non-group members who are cultivating five acres or less And they were selected on the randomly on the basis of a census of every village And then, you have women’s family farms, which are women members, again from among them, randomly selected There are two types here Now, in both states– this is important– 95% of the individual family farms in the sample are male managed So essentially, what you’re really comparing is all women groups leasing in land versus male-managed farms The data I collect in this survey was collected for weekly data for every input and output for each crop and plot used by the farms for an entire year If you were to ask me, don’t do it, ever again In addition, I did focus group discussions to get the history, to get farm characteristics and farmer characteristics And then, I interviewed all the major figures in the two states who had actually established this, to understand the kinds of ideas that brought it about Now, there are some important differences in the Kerala and Telangana farms Kerala’s farms have an average of six members, each farm The women are all literate 2/3 have completed secondary school and above And only 9% are 60 years or over What is very important is that these groups are heterogeneous

across caste and religious lines and poor and less poor households 80% are Hindus, as you can see, but most belong to other backward castes, and a fair proportion of Christians Now, you might ask, why heterogeneity? Because it goes against the common assumption made by NGOs and by collective action theory, that homogeneity helps cooperation But it was proactively promoted for several reasons Firstly, to root the groups in neighborhoods which are themselves heterogeneous and diverse Secondly, to what they called ensure leadership So the logic of the K. Mission was that local women’s leadership does not come from the poorest, but those who are just above the poverty line Moreover, as I found, heterogeneity also provides a wider base of social capital and social networks for accessing land So you’ll say, well, what about caste divides? Well, they dealt with that by rotating weekly meetings in each woman’s house The tea was served, and that was a method of trying to get them to overcome their own mental restrictions around caste The Telangana groups are much larger, 22 members an average Some had 54 members Remember this was the original [INAUDIBLE] onto which the group farming project was drafted Most are scheduled caste Hindus 38% are illiterate And 17% are 60 years and above But notably, they are still more literate The degree of illiteracy is less than in the individual family farms All the group farms, now, all of them come from small land-holding families in both states Now, what’s important is that in Kerala in particular, people cultivate little slivers of land, very small plots And therefore, in both states, you find that the group farms are at least twice or more in size than the individual family farms in both cases, in Kerala as well as in Telangana All of them lease in land, mostly from outside the group, on a cash rent basis Individual farmers, by contrast, own the land that they cultivate, either wholly or least partly This is pretty important because you’re comparing a land lease model, with insecurity of tenure, with a model where the men own the land that they cultivate, at least in part Yes? SPEAKER 7: I just understand– so if the group farms are more or less twice the size, or a little bit more, actually, I guess, of the– are they pooling smaller slices than the individual? Like is that an indication that you’ve got people with less land access? Is there– BINA AGARWAL: If you’re pooling land, and you’re not depending only on what you own, then you have the possibility of leasing from several– within the group and outside the group And that’s one of the advantages of being able to be a group, which is that you can enhance your concepts SPEAKER 7: I’m just doing this really simple math So let’s say there’s five people with less material resources They each have two units or wherever they are– BINA AGARWAL: OK SPEAKER 7: And then they’re– but whereas the individual farms each have, on average, five units Do you know what I mean? And then, therefore, the group farms come up with 10, but actually, the individual contributors are less wealthy than the individual farm Or is this– that’s not relevant BINA AGARWAL: Well, there are two things to what’s relevant, is that they’re leasing it entirely SPEAKER 7: OK BINA AGARWAL: And these are individual [INAUDIBLE] only Now, in terms of number of fragments, if you like– SPEAKER 7: Yeah BINA AGARWAL: –number of plots, except in one or two cases, where there’s like six plots, we usually have two plots or maybe three, often one plot And that’s part of what they would like, is a consolidated plot, because of huge transaction cost moving from plot to plot and so on So that’s what they– and I’m coming to that, is really– so here, what’s also interesting is in Kerala , they are leasing from non-group landlords SPEAKER 7: OK BINA AGARWAL: And here, the Telangana women are leasing predominantly from within the group SPEAKER 7: From within the group BINA AGARWAL: So if you have a group of, let’s say, 22, if two of them have bits of land– and why is it the case? Because it limits them It’s because it’s very difficult to lease in land, and particularly difficult for the Telangana groups So land access is the biggest hurdle,

especially in Telangana, because here, the groups are constituted of scheduled caste women And if you think of scheduled caste communities, they’re themselves disadvantaged So if they depend on their own community for leasing in land, then they have limited access So here’s a citation from one of the women’s group in Medak District in Telangana They say, the landlords in the village think that since all our members belong to the scheduled caste community, if they lease to us, we will get the land title in the group’s name So none are prepared to lease land to us In the Kerala context, the heterogeneity actually, therefore, helps, because they can then draw upon their social networks to lease in land from across caste groups And so it increases your access Does that– SPEAKER 7: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to– so they’re disadvantaged not only by virtue of gender, but also– BINA AGARWAL: Also, the– SPEAKER 7: –economically, socially That what I was trying to– SPEAKER 8: Caste SPEAKER 7: Yeah BINA AGARWAL: Yeah, caste, but there’s also the lease model, that they don’t own the land SPEAKER 7: That they don’t own it, on top of that that– BINA AGARWAL: Yeah, exactly That’s– SPEAKER 7: –which would be associated with those other forms of– BINA AGARWAL: Which is associated with gender SPEAKER 7: Yeah, with gender BINA AGARWAL: Gender, directly SPEAKER 7: OK OK BINA AGARWAL: In both states, they have oral leases They lack proof that they are farmers This has to do with the tenancy laws in the country, that if you have fixed leases, then the tenant establishes rights in two or three years And that means if you can prove you’re a farmer, you can actually get access to subsidies So what I’m trying to show is that there are several disadvantages that the women’s group farms have, dependence on leased land and insecurity of tenure The second is oral leases The third is structurally embedded gender bias and access to land inputs, extension services, and markets Extension services will talk to your husband, even if he’s doing carpentry, rather than to you And that’s well-established I mean, there’s a lot of work on that FAO, World Bank, and so on, and mine and others’ And then, this is something that we don’t think about, is that these women have not had prior experience in farm management So if your husband is managing the farm, then he is negotiating with markets on a variety of counts So to become farm managers with very little experience is itself also a standing disadvantage Yeah, Lilia? SPEAKER 9: So in the leasing, do they end up paying interest on the lease or– BINA AGARWAL: Yes SPEAKER 9: –were they completely subsidized? BINA AGARWAL: No, no Nobody subsidizes them SPEAKER 9: No subsidy BINA AGARWAL: So it’s all cash leases, predominantly There’s a few sharecropping in that case of Kerala There are different mechanisms It will take me a bit of time Why don’t I come back to that? But if you lease from within the group, then they can lease below market rent But if you lease from the landlords, they have to pay market rent SPEAKER 9: I see So– BINA AGARWAL: And nobody helps them SPEAKER 9: –it’s very high, probably BINA AGARWAL: It’s not very high, but it’s– SPEAKER 9: It’s not very high BINA AGARWAL: I mean it’s what the male farmers would also encounter SPEAKER 9: What’s the [INAUDIBLE] on that? BINA AGARWAL: The difference– I mean, I have the data, but I don’t have it right now But it’s a good question Importantly, most were housewives or workers on family farms before they became group farmers Now, some of these disadvantages can be overcome with state support So for instance, some of them get incentives, and the groups of course, but not all of them And the groups deal with collective action problems in a variety of ways Somebody not turning up for work, they have replacement labor, fines, and so on Now, despite these challenges, how did the women’s collectives perform vis-a-vis largely male-managed individual family farms? Now, I just ran this I won’t spend time on this It’s a basic model So you have Y is the value of output And then, I look at farm types, inputs, of various kinds, irrigation, cropping pattern, and demographic variables, and then, district So I control for that And here are some So how did they perform? Well Kerala did strikingly well in most– OK, yes? SPEAKER 10: I was wondering, who owned the land, state or [INAUDIBLE]? BINA AGARWAL: Individuals SPEAKER 10: Individuals Can a woman have a large land, and can she possibly buy her own independent land, group land that she owns? BINA AGARWAL: So technically, you can Some women do own land, but given the gender bias in inheritance, not in the law, but in practice, rather small proportions of women own land But it’s all individuals, not the state

So first, let me share some crosstabs, because there’s a striking figure So Kerala does particularly well, Telangana less so So here’s the value of output per hectare, taking all crops over the year And then, I have crop-specific So this is the value of output for group farms and then, the individual farms And as you can see, there’s a difference It’s 1.8 times average value of output per hectare in the group farms relative to the individual farms Also, what’s quite striking is in a major commercial crop, like banana, they do extremely well And their average value by hectare is 1.6 times that of individual farms In paddy, however, although the P value is not significant, they do less well And I think this is an important thing to think about, which I’ll come back to So if you look at the regressions, basically, this is just reiterating that, the farm type It’s individual farm is one Group farms are zero And therefore, you can see that is significant in terms of– so if you actually calculate what would a shift from individual to group farms is likely to be associated with an increase in annual output by 30% In banana, a shift from individual to group farms is associated with an increase in output of 348% Now, this banana story is both interesting and important, because although all farmers, group or individual, men or women, try and fine-tune their harvest and sales to take advantage of high prices during festival seasons, but the women’s groups are able to work the market especially well Some have negotiated contracts with local temples for special banana varieties and as a group, they’re able to ensure delivery much better than small individual farms Now, in both the annual value of output in banana yields, the most important input driving output is labor So in the first case, a 1% increase in labor per hectare is associated with 0.57 increase in output So you have a positive, both farm size productivity relationship, and a positive labor, which you would expect And I think the farm size productivity relationship is important Now, let’s look at Telangana Now, you might ask, well, why is it that the groups perform less well– I’ll come back to this– in paddy? And an important reason is that they are unable to lease good quality paddy land, because farmers who own the particular kind of paddy land that is needed for high yields, they self-cultivate and refuse to lease out So in Telangana, however, we get the opposite We find group farms, in annual value of output, perform much worse than individual farms if you take all crops together and if you take food grains Interestingly, though, if you look at cotton, they don’t do so badly In fact, group farms do rather well And what is also important to recognize is that the quasi-NGO, APMSS, encouraged the women to concentrate particularly on food grains, with the idea that if you grow your own food, you’re going to have better food security I think this is just a general understanding, whereas in a semi-arid area with less irrigation, in fact, it’s much better if you’re doing commercial cotton cultivation, for instance Here’s my regressions, which show the same thing I can come back to if anybody wants to see this again And then, you have the crop-specific ones, where you can see that for cotton, it’s not significant But for food grains, the group farms do worse than individual family farms So basically, three points stand out with the productivity results First, overall, Kerala’s group farms do substantially better than its individual farms, while Telangana’s do much worse than individual farms Secondly, in both states, women’s groups do much better when growing commercial crops, like banana in Kerala, cotton in Telangana, than traditional food grains, where land quality and experience matter more And then, we have the positive land productivity and labor productivity relationships, which underlie the advantage groups in general enjoy over individual farms by pooling land and labor because it increases farm size, and it helps you overcome seasonal labor shortages Then, we come to profits And basically, the way I’ve calculated it, net returns, is by deducting all paid out costs

from the total value of output, but without imputing values to owned land or family labor In Kerala most farmers have a positive net returns, but for group farms, the average net returns for farms are strikingly higher, as you can see, than individual farms And these are statistically significant after we control for fixed effects for districts In fact, the mean net return, as you can see, one lakh, 21,000, for groups is five times higher than the 23,500, roughly, of small individual farms And it’s three times higher than the state’s average for that year, which was 45,000 SPEAKER 7: A question for clarification, but do we have to think about five times higher return, also, as in now, I have to divide this by five women? BINA AGARWAL: Yes So you can divide both You have an average family of five, let’s say– SPEAKER 7: Yep BINA AGARWAL: –in Kerala– husband, wife, three children That would be– SPEAKER 7: Yeah BINA AGARWAL: And you’d divide it by the same, because the average group size is five to six SPEAKER 7: Yeah But do the women also have families to feed or children? BINA AGARWAL: They have families to feed, but they’re not dependent only on this SPEAKER 7: OK BINA AGARWAL: Their husbands have their own livelihood sources SPEAKER 7: OK Yes That’s right BINA AGARWAL: What’s also interesting is 38% of Kerala’s farms earn over 50,000 net returns, which is 38% earn higher than the state average for rural farms And so what these results demonstrate for Kerala is that despite difficulties in leasing land, women’s group farms are notably– can outperform individual male farmers in small-scale commercial farming Whereas Kerala performs poorly, as we know, what is interesting– Telangana– what is interesting in Telangana is that despite doing poorly productively, they make up the difference in net returns So there is, for instance, this is not significant, and the reason is that they save hugely on hired labor 40% of the total cost of production there is on hired labor And individual family farms pay a huge amount on hired labor So why does Kerala do so well and Telangana not? Well, several factors are likely to be First is there is no real logic, too You can’t actually attribute what proportion, but you get a sense I think state support and institutional structure, absolutely key, discontinued state support Remember these were often housewives or non-managerial roles And so technical training for them as farmers, and training for them as master farmers and so on, was extremely important, something that is ignored, normally, by government services In the Telangana case, this only lasted for five years It was sporadic, scatty, and not very well done The second is the three-pillar structure in Kerala By creating an autonomous pillar of the women’s neighborhood groups at the bottom, and the community development societies in the top tier, what you create is a bargaining pillar, if you like, which can bargain with the village council on the one hand, and with the state for its services on the other And I think that’s one of the most innovative things I’ve seen in terms of institutional structures Then, you get subsidized credit for groups by NABARD Now, NABARD was set up for this purpose And it introduced a scheme by which if anybody, women or men, formed a joint liability group, they could then get credit linkages without collateral What is interesting is it’s an all-India scheme, but the Kerala groups were able to tap into it much more, less in Telangana, because the scheme was introduced later than after the UNDP funding ended The second factor, I think, group composition is something that we talk about in collective action theory In social composition, Kerala went against the grain by having heterogeneous groups The women are younger, educated, and have wide social networks Telangana’s groups are largely scheduled caste poor women with limited social base and [INAUDIBLE] The third is, linked to composition, is group size So Kerala’s farms are small Average is six, anything between four and 10 It enables high per-capita returns, the point you raised, Iris– and easier coordination Telangana’s groups are 22 on average, so even if you rotate, average– and some farms have 50– and so I think that there is an issue here Then, one needs to look at production conditions, so cropping patterns We need to move away from this idea that women are the food securers of the family, that you have to grow your own food grains to have good security

They are as good at making profits And in fact, if you have commercial farming with market demand, then they are more likely to succeed Local ecology matters This is something which is not Telangana’s fault It’s semi-arid, unirrigated And Kerala has high rainfall It has irrigation So the difference between family farms and group farms on that count is less And then, of course, the obstacles to land access And finally, I put in this about conceptualization The groups in Telangana were conceptualized as social empowerment groups, in which large numbers might matter You want to empower the poorest and the most disadvantaged And the economic program was then added on In Kerala, it’s the opposite It was conceptualized as an economic program with social empowerment to emerge from that Nevertheless, one could say that in both states, catalyzed by extending dimensions, it has provided women farmers with an important alternative to unpaid workers on family farms Have a little more to go Something that is not captured in statistics, so you need qualitative data, capability enhancement The first is that it’s established strong identities as farmers rather than as farm wives And there are lots of quotes, but here’s one “The group farming has enriched my farming experience Through the group, I realized that I have good leadership qualities and could also manage the technical aspects of farming Other group members now listen to me carefully. ” It’s familiarized women with a wide range of public institutions and services, something their husbands or sons may have dealt with So they say clearly before joining the group, they had no contacts at bank offices, agricultural offices, government officials After registering as a group, they started a bank account, training classes, and have developed a good rapport with these officials And they’ve learned to negotiate in multiple markets There’s land markets, so they understand they have to know the quality of land, the levels of leases In input markets, in terms of prices, and very interestingly, in the case of Telangana, they have been able to negotiate market yards So if you have a crop like cotton, then you have to actually store it, because you harvest it over a period of time And what they manage to do is that they are now very visible, where they were invisible in market yards, negotiating with buyers and for physical space I don’t know how many of you read Far From the Madding Crowd Some of you had? It’s a young woman farmer in southern England, who inherited her uncle’s farm And the first time she goes into the corn exchange, every single eye is on her because there are only men there, and she was the first woman to enter So are these Anyway, most importantly, they’ve learned to make production decisions and manage the farm Now, very quickly, this social empowerment, the variety– I won’t read all this out, but there’s the caste question, which we find in many cases, but this idea that we didn’t have our own identity, our nicknames, and now, we are not asked to sit on the floor And we are given respect Now, this is a big deal for scheduled cast women Then, the question of gender, that everybody said women couldn’t work, but we proved them wrong We were early daily wage workers, and now we are farming So they actually feel they are farmers, the question of identity And this is very interesting You know, we think of Kerala, all these educated women and so on And yet many of them, as the labor force participation rates also shows, that I was just a housewife before joining the group Nobody knew me by my own name Everybody used to call me by my husband’s name, and the situation has changed I must also mention that many of these women have stood for local elections and won And in fact, in Kerala, every party now wants [INAUDIBLE] women as candidates I don’t have time to go into that very much So broad reflections, what are the lessons of– I think we have lessons of what we should do and what we should not do So the first is state commitment and governance, administrative, institutional, technical, financial, which we find was embedded in the Kerala model but not in the Telangana one The question of group autonomy, the issue of heterogeneity, and farm size, the group size, which I’ve already mentioned, commercial cropping with good local markets, and doing something about land access Now, land access, of course, is a very complicated issue,

because if you have a land lease model, then we need tenancy reform And this is a big issue in India and in South Asia The question is what do you do about it? Can we promote women being able to buy land? And what’s very interesting is that some of the groups who were doing commercial farming in Kerala actually pooled their profits to buy land in some cases But it’s not generalizable, because there has to be state support And there’s an example in Andhra Pradesh in the 1990s, where the government was having a low-income grant scheme, where scheduled caste women, if they formed a group, they could jointly buy land And they had 50% was a loan, but 50% was a grant And the loan was repayable in 20 years So there are examples of that Also, very interestingly, in Kerala, men’s groups have started to emerge So I specifically asked, look, are there men’s groups? We’ve found some– not enough in number to make a comparison, but perhaps now, in seeing that the women are doing well, there could be a potential for applicability among men, as well And I’ll end with this last slide, with some thoughts, broader reflections that institutional innovations can prove key to economic gains, that farm collectives can reduce the effect of state failure and market failure, which economists constantly talk about for the disadvantaged Groups alone cannot overcome major gender disadvantages They can alleviate them They can reduce them But I think the most important is the access to land ownership And finally– and this is something I’m working on– that collective action theory needs to be worked on, because we know that there’s a huge amount of work that was done in protecting the commons, and in Austin’s work, my work, and other people’s work But when you’re looking at different levels of cooperation and you’re talking about private property, then the same principles of what works in protecting the commons are not likely to be identical So there is scope here So thank you [APPLAUSE] Yes? [INAUDIBLE] SPEAKER 11: Oh Yeah, so it’s– this was wonderful Thank you There’s going to be so many questions So I’ll just limit to two One was so of course, most of us are familiar with Kerala But I’m not so familiar with Telangana What are the social-cultural differences that could explain the broader cut? Do you think that had a impact on this? The other thing is when you have a diverse group composition, so caste, religious identity, and class differences, were there intragroup conflicts? You mentioned it briefly BINA AGARWAL: Yeah OK Good question Shall I take two questions at a time? SPEAKER 7: Whatever is your preference Yeah If you want to take a couple questions, then we can– BINA AGARWAL: Yeah SPEAKER 7: –have a conversation That sounds lovely Any other– yeah? SPEAKER 12: Thank you very much So I’m really interested in if you can say a little bit more about the existing tenure arrangements that were in place in these different regions before these groups formed, and whether or not this matters, do you think, in terms of how groups are able to collectively ask for land Are the fundamental social systems of leasing land different, and does that help us to understand– BINA AGARWAL: OK [INTERPOSING VOICES] BINA AGARWAL: Yes, I can answer this SPEAKER 13: One smaller and one bigger question One is you had mentioned, I think the acronym was CSDs, and I– BINA AGARWAL: Community development societies SPEAKER 13: Yeah So I didn’t get a sense You talked about the state and the group farms, but what was happening through– BINA AGARWAL: OK SPEAKER 13: –those community and the bigger question is, as you and I had talked the other evening, is that part of this is a bigger question of, is there an alternative between big commercial farms and small whole farmer in collective farming? So kind of just sitting back, is this experience beginning to gain traction in discussions on small holder versus big commercial as sort of an alternative? BINA AGARWAL: Shall I? SPEAKER 7: That’s a lot Yeah, go [INTERPOSING VOICES] BINA AGARWAL: So this is a big debate The debate is that you have– remember the figure I gave you 84% of farms across 111 countries are cultivating farms with two hectares or less So it’s not just India or Bangladesh or Pakistan, South Asia It’s really much more global

Some parts of Europe, as well So the debate is that these farms are so small, they’re non-viable They don’t have much political clout And these guys should just leave and find jobs elsewhere, because it’s not efficient And in another paper that I had of where I looked at an all-India survey of 50,000 farmers, they were asked a question, do you like farming? And 40% said they don’t Women were much more likely to say they don’t like farming Understandably, nobody had asked them before So people will say, OK, they don’t like farming Why don’t they just go elsewhere, and we’ll organize them into large commercial farms That’s particularly pushing the African countries, Paul Collier’s work, for instance They are doing that The question is twofold So is there a middle? Because there are no jobs for large numbers of people to leave small-scale farming, small holders, to go to urban areas There’s a lot of work on poverty, as you know, where people are saying if you’re going to move people from villages to large cities, you’ll just create poverty What you need is a missing middle, people who are able to really rejuvenate agriculture and perhaps to somehow find jobs So many of these families– we looked at individuals who their families are not all in farming, especially in Kerala They have other occupations So I think, Maddie, the thing is, my take from this would be that you’ll need alternatives, and you need cooperative forms of alternatives And the negative response that we have on farm collectives goes back to our thinking on socialist collectives, which had disastrous effects Or it goes back to the 1960s experience of post-colonial countries, where actually, how can you have an entire village having a cooperative farm? I mean, think of the Tanzania experiment, of [INAUDIBLE] You have in India, I’ve been reading in Punjab, they say let the whole village come together We didn’t know enough about collective action then We know much more, and I think the self-help group model has really provided an alternative way of thinking about it, which also deals with Woodson’s theory of collective action Small groups matter Much more likely to be able to cooperate So I’m hoping that this would be an alternative It’s too early I’m hoping that these results, which I just got off the press, if you like, could become a mechanism by which one could talk about it So just as a small thing which might appeal to you, Kerala had huge floods recently Entirely, all these farms had disappeared So I wrote a piece in the Indian Express, just sharing these results and saying, we need to see how they are going to fare after this And I’m really saying that, look, government has to think of how to revive this back And I got a feedback from the state administration, saying, your article is so useful for us that we will attach it to the loans that the [INAUDIBLE] women doing group farming will make now, because it actually shows that they can be so productive So it’s very early days And I think there is a lot of resistance, but the Kerala example, I think is, because it’s statewide and provides a basis for making the document The pillar structure, the three pillars– there is a state poverty eradication program, which is state government The village council, which is a franchise around institutions, is the third pillar The middle pillar is really the neighborhood groups, which are saving and credit groups, at the village level Then, you have the slightly higher level And then, the third is at the village council level, which is the CDS Now, they are elected They are people’s representatives, elected And then, each of them in each– there are dozens and dozens of them– each is a separate registered body And they then negotiate with the state government and with the [INAUDIBLE] So for instance, if you need agriculture universities to provide them training, there’s a lot of cooperation going on They actually– officers second it from the first pillar to the second pillar, as well, [INAUDIBLE] I know I’m going backwards [INAUDIBLE] arrangements before group farms I don’t have a sense of the entire state And partly, it’s very difficult in terms of the data, because leasing is banned in Kerala It’s partly allowed in Telangana So it’s not open leasing, so you don’t have a really good picture But an interesting question which

could arise from what you said was, if so many numbers enter the land lease market, will the prices go up? I mean, that’s the obvious question that an economist would ask, for instance And I think what’s helping in both states, but particularly in Kerala, is that because some of the men have other occupations, except in the paddy areas, where they don’t want to lease out the land easily, that helps because there is land And [INAUDIBLE] has become a brand name So they are more able, I think, to lease in land And the social networks really help So that’s all I can say right now The most recent agriculture census has just been released So I might be able to answer your question better once I’ve looked at the data This always comes up Is Kerala different? Yes, it’s different, like every state is different And Kerala is different because there’s high levels of literacy, the social indicators are more positive, and so on But remember, I’m not comparing Kerala women with Telangana women in terms of productivity I’m comparing group farms in Kerala with individual farms in Kerala So that’s what you have to see, that the others are values that wouldn’t be viable, really Education obviously will help, because you absorb training more, so that’s without doubt, would be a major goal But interestingly the Telangana women, the level of illiteracy was much lower among the members of the group farms and individual farms So they had some advantage They had an advantage of farm size, but that was not enough to overcome the other aspects of disadvantage Yeah? SPEAKER 1: Yes, at the back Thank you SPEAKER 14: I wanted to ask, so I’m doing a study for a class on a program– BINA AGARWAL: Give me your name, kind of very– SPEAKER 14: I’m sorry BINA AGARWAL: Just for me to get to know where the question is coming from, what’s your name, and what’s your discipline? SPEAKER 14: Oh, Anna And I’m a second year masters of public policy [INAUDIBLE] BINA AGARWAL: OK SPEAKER 14: And so what I’m looking at for that is this program that looked at a kind of empowerment within the household on kind of household decision-making questions, to see if women have having more power within their relationships kind of impacts their ability to be productive in farming, in terms of if they’re able to negotiate with their husbands for their support or access to resources or kind of decision making over how income– BINA AGARWAL: OK SPEAKER 14: –is eventually spent So I’m wondering kind of in your study, if you saw any effects either of sort of economic empowerment on women’s empowerment in the household, or vice versa, if you saw an impact of household relationships on kind of women’s ability to be productive– BINA AGARWAL: Yes, OK SPEAKER 14: –in the group farming BINA AGARWAL: Yeah, I’ll answer that And then, [INAUDIBLE] SPEAKER 15: So I had to delete the question the sense that in agricultural societies, one of the constraints we will have is that even though they work in agriculture, a lot of the income they produce, they don’t ever create The husband or partner seize the income So to what extent did this group farming enable women to– you said that they could open bank accounts, so maybe it allowed more financial control of their own income, which is obviously very important for the farm BINA AGARWAL: Yes SPEAKER 15: The second one, you mentioned one of the findings by Andrew Holster about this relationship between productivity and– BINA AGARWAL: Profits and [INAUDIBLE] SPEAKER 15: It’s essentially a U-shape, right? So they show that it increases as you go from very small farms to bigger farms Productivity generally goes up But at some point, it turns downward As the size goes up and up, productivity comes down [INAUDIBLE] So I guess you’re finally speaking to this initial range of the distribution, where you go from very, very small– BINA AGARWAL: That’s right SPEAKER 15: –to where it’s medium size, so you also have probably– so [INAUDIBLE] I was wondering, you show the results for output But did you look at output per work, which can be more important as an indicator of productivity [INAUDIBLE] my graph because it’s human resources, but it’s more important to look at this amount per worker And finally, I think as a follow up to this study, it can be important to look at this as a kind of solid If you can follow these farmers all the time, then you can make sure they– [INTERPOSING VOICES] SPEAKER 16: She said never again BINA AGARWAL: No, but they’re all under flood at the moment, so– SPEAKER 15: If there are agricultural surveys that are available, came out, because you knew– BINA AGARWAL: Yeah SPEAKER 15: –is kind of comparing, because their selection is not randomized, right– BINA AGARWAL: No SPEAKER 15: –their selection, so into group farms,

there are different type testing standard [INAUDIBLE] so what you need is actually kind of labor to give and so [INAUDIBLE] BINA AGARWAL: OK, I’ll come back I’ll take two more, and then I’ll do another round if we– SPEAKER 7: That’s good BINA AGARWAL: –have time I’ll take one more, and then I’ll do– SPEAKER 17: Hi I’m Terti Narinandas, and I’m from the Philippines And I’m on my third year– BINA AGARWAL: Yeah SPEAKER 17: –MP here And I’m also quite familiar with small group farms, but in the Philippines BINA AGARWAL: OK SPEAKER 17: My question is were there as set of interventions, particularly on capacity-building for improving production or market access for either of them or for both? And in the second question is, I know you compared individual family farms to small group farms, of purely women Is there also a case where you can compare small group farms that are mixed, male and female to just purely women and it’s one group farm? BINA AGARWAL: And that’s the second, but what is the first question? SPEAKER 17: The first question is were there a set of capacity-building interventions that were given on either the production or the– BINA AGARWAL: OK Thank you All very excellent questions I did ask, well, what you do with the incomes, and do you have to ask your husbands or not? You didn’t always get an answer So I haven’t put up that slide because the range of responses was limited But in Kerala, most of the women said that they use the incomes without having to ask their husbands But then, I asked them, what do you use them for? And most of it is for household needs, children’s education, the health needs, household goods What was interesting and different between Kerala and Telangana was that in Kerala they, were also saving, whereas in the Telangana case, it was at such a subsistence level that it really went into their own needs And it wasn’t a huge amount of income once you divided it among 22-plus women But the Kerala case is interesting because that does give you something substantial to look at, and it does make a difference The empowerment question is linked to that Yes, they do talk about it There’s little time, but there’s another separate paper which looks at social and political empowerment And one of the questions I raise– you haven’t asked it, but it’s a worthy question to ask, which is that how is it different? Suppose everybody who does social empowerment will say it may have political empowerment implications What is special about economic empowerment? So I addressed that proactively And so here’s my take on it, that in economic empowerment, the range of institutions with which you deal is much larger than if you’re a group which is just doing agitations against the domestic violence or something else And that has implications both for how the community looks at you and how political actors look at your parties, because now you know the bank offices There’s a very wide range of people that you are in touch with So I think if you did ask that question, never mind anyway I did answer it So who takes in the income, maybe I already answered The Foster and Rosenzweig have two papers One is a 211 paper which is basically an all-India representative NCR sample, in which they show that very small farms, as you increase, it increases profits by something like 1,300 to 1,400 rupees for every acre And for me, those are the results which are really important, because what you are talking about is very small farms and how far you go I mean, what proportion have 10 hectare farms anyway? The second paper looks at a slightly different set of issues, which is just this– I heard it presented in June It’s just out And that paper is based on [INAUDIBLE] data So just last night, I wrote to Foster, saying my result different, and he answered me this one, so they are fresh on my email That data is slightly different And they are looking for optimal farm size So there, you have a different U-shape And they’re looking at machinery and so on And they’re not looking at the entire annual output They’re looking at caliph So here’s the test So I asked him, look, isn’t the 2011 the more relevant revenue

increase? So I can say that to you OK But both papers are there if you’re interested I don’t know I think if you have a situation of surplus labor, you look at land as a scarce resource You look at land productivity Labor productivity is important, but in this instance, I think land production is literally more important There could be differences As you have scarcities in the labor market, we might go with that prediction If you, go to France, for instance, that’s what their mission is OK We’ll talk about it later on your panel data stuff And finally on the Philippines, you know, there aren’t These groups are all women’s groups That’s how the sample was There are all-men’s groups coming up What’s very interesting is that I’d written a 2010 paper, just conceptualized, and a group of people who were experimenting in India and Nepal read it And they wrote to me last year, saying that we’re actually doing this experiment Would you visit us? And I did So it’s in West Bengal, [INAUDIBLE] and Nepal And they were experimenting with mixed groups, and it wasn’t really working that well Plus, you had landless woman with six men I said you can’t have one landless woman with six men She not going to even be able to speak And so, it’s a experiment in progress, if you like, with inputs from me, as well So in that paper, we look at the range of possibilities in rural farms Good answer to that question Yes? Yes, and there was one here and then– SPEAKER 18: Thank you so much I’m so happy that I actually attended this, because I’m from south India, Bangalore, and I come from a farming background So– BINA AGARWAL: OK SPEAKER 18: –whatever you mention, I can so completely connect to it And I think this is really reflecting what it is And it’s awesome that many women are coming together to do this I see this quite a lot, even in the microfinance, which I think everybody will spend [INAUDIBLE] So it’s just two questions Are there more states that you see this trend, or is it just down south? Second thing, is government doing anything about this? Because I’m sure government already knows that this is what is really– they see this trend quite a lot in India, so are they doing certain– BINA AGARWAL: You say the government In government, we have a federated structure Every state government is different in what it experiments with The Andhra study, mine was the first and last of it, because the state was split into two And I don’t know if any of these groups– the NDMSS was also disbanded, more or less So other states, I’ve done a workshop with 20 NGOs across India just in August to discuss this You have examples of one or two cases here and there There’s an interest, and I think civil society really needs to– that intervention is more likely If that emerges, then you might be able to influence the state government within which they are located I don’t see the government– if you read reports in Maharashtra, you’ll say, well, we should have group farming But what that means is not really clear And how important it is to do it carefully because you can’t just play with people’s lives and say, well, let’s have these experiments, so it has to be very carefully structured And I think that’s a fair warning But I hope, as I said that this is– let’s see in another year’s time whether there’s some more influence as these results are disseminated Yes? SPEAKER 19: Just a related question [INAUDIBLE] program If you want to comment on the political transactionization around it, you said one was economic The other [INAUDIBLE] But were they in political [INAUDIBLE] election? BINA AGARWAL: OK And there was a third one Yes SPEAKER 20: And I’m wondering about the internal dynamics– BINA AGARWAL: Oh, yes, somebody else asked that SPEAKER 20: –of the collectives Having worked in many collectives myself, I know how challenging it can be I don’t know if the incentives of the land and the productivity is enough, or what

about in terms of the diversity or caste stayed played out in the structure, et cetera? BINA AGARWAL: I didn’t write down the middle question You had asked that No You had just asked– SPEAKER 20: Political buying BINA AGARWAL: Yeah, political You see, as I said, at the political level, at the [INAUDIBLE] level, many more women are standing for elections And there is a demand for them to be candidates in local elections There’s a larger question about the– it links with the institutional structure How did this come about? How were these three pillars created? I have not talked about it because I’ve actually elaborated in a paper, but there were three people, Isaac Thomas, who was heading the People’s Supply campaign He’s currently the finance minister of Kerala There was Vidia Annan, who was rural development secretary And there was Bakshi, who was [INAUDIBLE] head These three men, in interaction with intellectuals and others, came up with this idea of structure Every element was discussed Should we have all women’s too? Should we have heterogeneous groups? And because I asked them these questions in detail, I realized, and it came out that it had been carefully thought through None of this was arrived at by let just go with it And that’s very interesting, because if you proactively choose something, you can also then rethink it if anything else goes wrong So of the larger political thing matters, of course, in whether you had good experiment or not SPEAKER 20: So would you say it was driven by [INAUDIBLE]?? BINA AGARWAL: No, no The initial idea’s– see there’s 10% budget for women’s projects in the Punjab in Kerala No other state, as far as I know, has it And what they were thinking about– I talked to many of the first executive directors of [INAUDIBLE] for instance And she said, we were thinking of what are the ideas? What should they bring as projects? And what they did was they heard about rural women And the women said they’ll be experimenting this Can’t they experiment? Can’t you support us with this? So the openness to bottom-up ideas, I think that’s what’s really important And that was because of the women’s [INAUDIBLE] They didn’t just create it, but they absorbed, and they interacted I think that’s really important The issue of conflict between the women, the caste the issue was the most important, because in the Telangana case, they were all scheduled castes, more or less, predominantly In Kerala, what they did was you can have six women So you have a board meeting, weekly meeting, in different women’s houses Those of you who don’t know, the scheduledd caste is seen as the line of [INAUDIBLE] So an upper caste woman will think that if I take tea in a scheduledd caste woman’s house, I’ll be polluted So how do you get over that mental barrier? And some women did object, so they were told that, OK, fine Leave the group It can be reconstituted People didn’t want to leave the group But also big help– Maddy, you will know– the self- employed women’s association has proactively grappled with this, as well And they find that the caste differences do settle down much more easily from [INAUDIBLE] among women than they might with men But this is my understanding from their brief experience [INAUDIBLE] So I think I’ve answered Have I answered? SPEAKER 1: Yes We’re at the end of our hour SPEAKER 7: Thank you so much [INAUDIBLE]