Empowering Women Farmers to Achieve Food Security and Gender Equality:

Women in rural communities are the main breadwinners of their families.  They are engaged in a number of agriculture and agricultural related activities, from preservation of seeds to harvesting of the crop. FAO study report has stated that womens contribution in gross agricultural production is more than 75%. In spite of such an enormous contribution, women are not recognized as farmers.  Not being recognized as farmers, women are denied of opportunity to be beneficiaries of various schemes meant for farmers, deprived of   obtaining knowledge of latest agricultural techniques and they are denied access to institutional finance as the banks do not officially recognize women as farmers.  This differential behavior towards women only widens and reinforces existing gender differences in the community.

Intervention:

  IWD has organized 532 women engaged in agriculture activities in 38 villages of 6 Panchayats of Gosani and Rayagada Block in Gajapati District, Odisha into Women Farmers Association. The Association  is essentially  raising demand to  give farmers stratus to  women  so that  they  avail benefits and services as farmers, necessary  for addressing the issue of food and income  insecurity .

  Creating events   for direct interaction between Govt. Officers and members of the WFA, and raising their issues before them.

   Organising  skill and knowledge enchantment training on improve and sustainable  method of agriculture.

 Observation of events such as Food Security Day, International Womens Day   and felicitating women farmers who have done remarkable work in agriculture.

   Information sharing of various Govt, support programme including food security.

  Revolving fund support to avoid going to money lender for agriculture purpose.

Achievement:

  Women farmers have been included in Block-level Farmers Information Advisory Committee (ATMA) where earlier only men were members.

   The members of WFA have successfully raised their demand for getting access to agriculture credit, inclusion in skill and knowledge training etc. organised by Govt. Departments

   One woman, Radha Sabara of S. Talasing village was named as the best SRI cultivator in the district, and she was felicitated by the Chief Minister of Odisha.

  Members of WFA in 17 villages have mobilized an amount of Rs. 8,57,000/- as agriculture credit in last  two years. from Bank.

  Fishery is considered to be exclusively the work of men. But members of the WFA in 6 villages have taken up fisheries by taking lease of  the village ponds, managed under the Panchayat.

  After training 478 women farmers from 25 villages have done SRI and line sowing, and have increased food production on an average of 5 quintals per acre.  Similarly, women are engaged in vegetable cultivation and harvesting income from Rs.1,500/-  to Rs. 3,000/-.

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