Farmers' wives - their contribution to the farm business

Gasson, R.

Journal of Agricultural Economics 43(1): 74-87

1992


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-857X
DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.1992.tb00200.x
Accession: 002107692

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Abstract
The contribution which farmers' wives make to the farm business is typically overlooked and under-valued, yet the farm could not function without it. The paper describes the nature of the work done by wives on farms in the UK and the Irish Republic as revealed by two recent postal surveys. Using data from the Farm Business Survey for England and Wales, it attempts to quantify some aspects of the work. It is suggested that farm wives may contribute 5% of the manual hours worked by the regular labour force and 9%-10% of the total regular labour input on main holdings. Further, as hired and family labour is shed and farmers seek additional employment, the wife's labour contribution is likely to become more significant. Continued neglect of women's involvement may jeopardize the future of the family farm. The paper suggests how data collection procedures might be improved to give a more realistic picture of the wife's contribution.

Farmers' wives - their contribution to the farm business