Measures by Indian Government to support participation of Women Farmers in Agriculture

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19 March 2021, New Delhi: The guidelines of the various beneficiary oriented schemes of the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare provide that States and other Implementing Agencies to incur atleast 30% expenditure on women farmers. These schemes include Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms, National Food Security Mission, National Mission on Oilseed & Oil Palm, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture, Sub-Mission for Seed and Planting Material, Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.

The Department of Rural Development, Ministry of Rural Development launched a specific scheme namely ‘Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)’, as a sub component of DAY-NRLM (Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana — National Rural Livelihoods Mission). This scheme is being implemented since 2011 with the objective to empower women by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity, as also create sustainable livelihoods of rural women. The program is implemented in project mode through State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) as Project Implementing Agencies.

In order to familiarize women with the latest techniques in agriculture and allied sectors, trainings are being imparted to women farmers under schemes of DAC&FW and DAY-NRLM. These include Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms (ATMA) under Sub-Mission on Agriculture Extension (SMAE) and Cooperative Education Field Projects under various National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) Schemes. Skill training courses in agriculture and allied areas (of minimum 200 hours duration) are also being conducted for farmers including women farmers through National Training Institutes, State Agricultural Management & Extension Training (SAMETIs), Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) across the country. Under DAY-NRLM, the trainings on the agro-ecological practices are being provided through the community resource persons. KVKs established by Indian Council Agricultural Research (ICAR) impart training to farmers including women farmers on various aspects of agriculture and allied sectors. The KVKs also organize women farmer specific training programmes related to agriculture & allied areas.

Government is taking various measures to increase the participation of women farmers in agriculture sector. This includes providing additional support and assistance to women farmers, over and above the male farmers under few Schemes ; provision of  30% of funds for women under various beneficiary oriented schemes/programmes ; taking pro-women initiatives such as supporting farm women’s food security groups, inclusion of one Gender Coordinator/State in the team of committed extension functionaries supported under ATMA component of SMAE, undertaking macro/micro level studies in critical thrust area related to women in agriculture, delivery of Gender Sensitization Capsule Module on Gender Learning through training programmes at National/Region/State Level, publication of farm women friendly literature viz. compilation of gender friendly tools/technologies; Farm Women Friendly Handbook and compilation of best practices/success stories of the women farmers, etc. 

This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar in Rajya Sabha today.

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