Women in agriculture in India: Relevance
- GS 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
Women in agriculture in India: Context
- Recently, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has informed the House about the gender-based components of the various schemes implemented by the Government.
Women in agriculture in India: Key schemes
- Schemes like National Food Security Mission, National Mission on Oilseed & Oil Palm, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture, among others, provides for at least 30% expenditure should be incurred on women farmers.
- The Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA), Bhubaneswar functioning under ICAR is mandated to undertake research on gender issues in agriculture and allied fields. 100% budget of this institute is allocated to conduct research on gender specific issues in agriculture and allied areas.
- CIWA is functioning through its 13 All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) centres spread across 12 States in the country.
- Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP), a sub-component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) aims to empower women by making systematic investments to enhance their participation in agriculture-based livelihoods.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) under Central Sector Scheme of ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)’ has made special provisions to empower women farmers such as including women farmers/women SHGs, as members to make FPOs more effective and inclusive; and making provision to prefer women farmers’ as its shareholders.
- Under DAY-NRLM, women owned Producers Enterprises are being promoted to provide better market access to their farm produce through aggregation and value addition.
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is promoting FPOs under its dedicated funds viz. PRODUCE Fund and Producers Organizations Development Fund (PODF) towards collectivization of farmers for enhancing income by way of providing better market accessibility for their farm produce.
- Women are an integral part of FPOs and therefore, farmer members both men & women are mobilized during its formation stage through awareness creation.
- NABARD has promoted 5073 FPOs under PRODUCE Fund and PODF, out of which 178 FPOs are exclusive women FPOs comprising of 0.74 lakh shareholder women members.
- Various activities have been undertaken by these women FPOs in the areas of animal husbandry, poultry, seed, mushroom, spices, millets, beekeeping, etc.