Title : Do rural women participate in homestead plant biodiversity conservation? A case of Homna upazila under Cumilla district
Rural women are playing a vital role in the conservation of homestead plant biodiversity. Therefore, the main objective guided present study was to assess the extent of women’s participation in homestead plant biodiversity conservation. The study was conducted in five selected villages of Homna upazila under Cumilla district. A total of 120 rural women were selected using proportionate random sampling technique. Data were collected from September to October, 2020 which were coded, compiled, tabulated and analyzed in accordance with the objectives of the study. Statistics such as range, mean, number, percentage, standard deviation were employed throughout the study. Co-efficient of correlation was administered to explore the relationships between homestead plant biodiversity of the respondents and their participation in homestead plant cultivation. Findings reveal that a vital portion (68.0%) of the respondents had educational literacy in medium to large categories family. It is interesting that cent percent of the respondent occupied small to medium sized farm where homestead plant diversity contributed only 9.0 percent to total family income of the respondents. Majority of the respondents (57.5%) had medium contact with different information media having moderate knowledge on homestead plant cultivation. Out of 93 different types of plants recorded in the study area, ladies’ finger (4.92) was the most dominant among the vegetables while mango (4.72) among the fruit trees, mahogany (1.72) among the timber trees, chilies (2.52) among the spices, basil (0.68) among the medicinal plants, henna (0.22) among the ornamental plants. The diversity index of fruit (12.52) was found higher than other type of homestead plants. It was also found that participation of the respondents in homestead plants cultivation activities was 59.0 percent that was higher than their husband’s participation (41.0%). More than half of the respondent spent 2-3 hour/day in homestead plants cultivation activities. Homestead plant biodiversity of the respondents had positive significant relationships with their participation in homestead plant cultivation. Most important problems identified by respondents were high input price, low yield and limited homestead area, respectively in due course of time. Most important suggestion offered by the respondents was the delivery of agricultural input at low cost and easy allotment of loan for homestead cultivation.