Did you know that according to an economic survey, 60 to 80 percent of food is produced by rural women in the agricultural sector. With the growing urban migration by men there is also feminisation in agricultural sector as women roles are increasing as cultivators, entrepreneurs and laborer’s.
With women exceeding in every field today, they are also progressing in agriculture sector. There are many inspiring stories of women farmers who have provided us the goals of sustainable development.
Rita Kamila, is a self sufficient farmer who worked single handedly in the Sundarbans to achieve right mix of farming and also animal husbandry. She is an owner of 1.65 acres of land including her personal home, pond and garden. Initially, she used to apply conventional methods on her farms like using fertilizers and pesticides in her agriculture field as well as home field. Realizing that this caused external costs rising, she started searching for alternative ways to get rid of this issue. Rita Kamila trained herself on various sustainable topics and implied it on her farms. she understood the need of integration of various sub-ecosystems. Rita converted her farm to organic and now grows a variety of food crops today. Rita Kamila has installed biogas digester in her farms looking at the growth of technology and sustainability which was the need of the hour. This biogas can be used as cooking fuel for her home. Rita Kamila has reduced the farming costs and enhanced her family’s food and livelihood. Rita Kamila proved to be that Indian women who can handle her and her family alone. She helped herself in learning and understanding the concepts of various systems and technology in agriculture.
ATRAM PADMA BAI
Atram Padma Bai, 37 year old woman is from a small village of Telangana- is a part of Fairtrade India. She cultivates red gram, soya, castor, cotton and black gram. She is an owner of 3 acre of family property. Padma Bai has also set up drudgery reduction unit using the premiums and constructed two concrete roads and a fair weather dry mud road. Chetna organics is the name of her venture have invested in tools that reduce drudgery. Atram Padma Bai was also elected as the sarpanch of eight villages. This hardworking sarpanch collected enough funds to make ponds for rainwater harvesting and install a water pump that makes clean water available in schools of the villages.
Kanchan Devi initially was just a resident of Lodhipur Khurd, Bihar with a huge household dependent on agriculture as their sole income. Only a few percentage of women were literate in the district. Oxfam India and Sewa Bharat started a new project of supply chain of vegetables in 35 villages, Lodhipur Khurd selected as the first invention village. Kanchan Devi was the lead farmer and attended several training and capacity building programmes on sustainable practices. She got interested in women farmer’s rights and entitlements. Kanchan Devi is now the president of a village level women vegetable producer organization. She has been nominated as the Member of Board of directors of farmer producer organization in the State of Bihar. Kanchan Devi was awarded the “Aprajita Samman” for her contribution as the first women managed farmer producer organiazation.
WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Women Economical power can reduce the poverty of the country. To gain women empowerment, the human economy needs to give recognition to men and women alike.
Sakshi Luhariwala is an undergraduate student of Economics who’s passionate about writing poetry, badminton and researching about new topics.