In order to analyse the role of women in agriculture and provide solutions on how women in agriculture can get their due share and be recognised, FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) has collated and released a report on Women Participation in Indian Agriculture in a webinar in New Delhi recently.
Policy recommendations by FLO
- Creating a proper database of women in the agriculture sector
- Improving female landholding patterns
- Putting an end to forcible land relinquishment (Haq-Daan) by women improving the land leasing framework
- Women only benefits
- Enabling “scientific & climate resilient” smart women farmers
- Support the formation of female farmer producer organisations (FPOs)
- Implementation of SHG (self-help-group) model on national level
Speaking on the release of the report, Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare encouraged the FLO members to develop a channel to connect women, farmers, directly to the households. “We are willing to extend our support to the Chambers wherever required,” The minister said. Citing the success story of Amul, he added that women can create so many more such stories in agriculture and allied sectors, beekeeping is one such sector which has enormous potential.
“The government is already giving special subsidies to women farmers and looks forward to supporting any viable project for the economic empowerment of women in agriculture. We are open for a 100 percent FPO (farmer producer organisations) for women and for them there’s a Rs 100 crore IT rebate which makes it very lucrative for the food processing sector to get involved as well,” he added.
“As the President of FLO and also as an individual, I am hugely passionate towards attaining economic empowerment and this has to begin with women in agriculture given the statistics that over 75 percent economically active women in India are associated with the agriculture sector. I began my term by launching the Agriculture Initiative nationally and have done my best to work towards facilitating the growth of women in agriculture. Now, with in-depth research, state wise analysis was created and in this report, we have come up with reasons as to what stops the growth of women in the field of agriculture and recommended solutions for the same,” said Harjinder Kaur Talwar, President FLO.
Women are of vital importance to rural economy and the agriculture sector. They are important for ensuring food security and preserving the local agro-biodiversity. While the men mostly venture out of the villages in search of livelihood, the women are relegated into working in the fields from dawn to dusk, in addition to her traditional role of caregiver in the family. In spite of their vital contribution to the economy, these women are mostly invisible and unheard.
With this, FLO, led by Talwar, initiated the focus on this important sector of Indian economy and this report is an attempt to bring out a set of analysis and recommendations on women participation in Indian agriculture, with the objective of bringing women in this sector to the forefront.