15th October 2017, Pusa, New Delhi
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare said women can propel the country towards second Green Revolution and they can change the landscape of the development if they get opportunities and facilities. He was addressing Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas celebrations here today.
The Minister said that last year the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry had decided to observe October 15 every year as Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas. The Minister added that the decision was inspired by the celebration of October 15 as International Women's Day by the United Nations Organization. Today, all the Agricultural Universities, Institutes, and KVKs are celebrating Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas.
Shri Singh said under the current scenario, women's contribution to the prevention of climate change and management of natural resources cannot be denied. They play multi-dimensional roles in agriculture. The Minister said that within the agricultural sector, the wage workers working on the basis of socio-economic status and regional factors, working in their own land, and also in the management of various aspects of agricultural production, women play important roles through labour supervision and participation in post-harvest operations.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, women's contribution to Indian agriculture is about 32 percent, while in some states (such as Hills, Northeast, and Kerala) contribution of women to agriculture and rural economy is more than men. Women are involved in 48 percent agriculture-related employment whereas 7.5 crore women are playing a significant role in milk production and livestock management.
He said to strengthen women’s participating in agriculture and allied activities and to improve their access to land, loans and other facilities, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has policy provisions like joint leasing for both domestic and agricultural land under National Policy for Farmers.
The aim of the Ministry is to ensure that women contribute effectively in agricultural production and productivity and get better livelihood opportunities. Therefore, proper structural, functional and institutional measures are being promoted to empower women, to build their abilities and to increase their access to input technology and other agricultural resources and various initiatives have been taken in this regard.
Keeping in view the key role of women in agriculture, in the year 1996, the Ministry established ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. This institute works on various aspects related to women in agriculture.
Apart from this, more than 100 institutes of Indian Council of Agricultural Research have developed techniques to reduce the hardships of women and empower them. There are 680 agricultural science centers in the country.
Each Krishi Vigyan Kendra has a home science wing. In the year 2016-17, 21 techniques related to women were evaluated and 2.56 lakh women were trained in agriculture-related fields like sewing, manufacturing, value addition, rural handicraft, animal husbandry, beekeeping, poultry, fisheries, etc.
Apart from this, at least 30% of the funds are being earmarked for women under various schemes/programs and development related activities. To ensure various beneficiary-oriented programs/schemes reach them, the emphasis is on the formation of women self-help groups (SHGs) to connect them with micro-credit through activities like capacity building and giving them access to information and to encourage their participation in planning and decision-making process. The Ministry is also making pro-women and women supporting measures.
Smt. Krishna Raj, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Smt Archana Chitnis, Minister of Women and Child Development, Madhya Pradesh Government also graced the occasion.
Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra , Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) said the role of women in agriculture is commendable.
Dr. AK Singh, DDG Agriculture Extension, and Dr. V.P Chahal, ADG Agriculture Extension, were also present at the event.
(Source: CPRO, ICAR)