2. Limited access to input & credit:
women make substantial contributors to agriculture development, their
access to the most crucial input credit is limited. Since they are not
the credit flow generally goes in the name of male
members (i.e. owners). For promoting women's access to farm input &
credit, following measures may be taken:
- Credit flow to rural women could be channeled through credit & thrift societies.
- Voluntary agencies in each district may be identified which could help in developing women organizations.
- Credit organizations should simplify the
procedures & modalities to suit the educational level of rural women
& also organize credit camps in village exclusively for women.
- Farm women should also be recipient of credit for which possession of assets may not be insisted upon.
- Existing loaning policies of NABARD need orientation towards women credit eligibility by granting them the status of a producer.
3. Inadequate technical competency:
women are involved in almost all agricultural operations, yet, they
have inadequate technical competency due to their limited exposure to
outside world. This
has compelled them to follow the age old practices which
in turn result in poor work efficiency and drudgery.Training is an
important component of HRD which enhances knowledge, skill and attitude.
For building technical competency
among farm women, specialized need based and skill
oriented training should be organized preferably at village level. Some
of the priority areas in which women need training are:
- Conservation and management of natural resources
- IPM and INM
- Renewable energy sources
- Seed production technology
- Use of fertilizer
- Post-harvest management
For effective training programmes, following points should be considered.
i) Extension agencies should pursue the family approach to training
ii) Training should be organized at appropriate time specially the pre- seasonal training.
There should be proper followed-up of the programmes and there should
be synchronization in time between knowledge and skill transfer
and the supply credit and other inputs needed to apply
iv) During training, the training institute should
identify the active participants and intensive training should be
imparted to them so that they can be
used as a Opara-extension workers for dissemination of
4. Poor participation in decision making :
decision regarding the activities requiring technical competency and
money related matters were taken by male members. Since
knowledge and economic independence are the parameters of women
empowerment enhancing the technical knowledge, skills and building
greater involvement in various farm
5. Poor existing Research and Extension System No or Poor gender consideration:
several technological breakthrough have been observed in the recent
past the technologies by the
researchers are not tailored to the specific needs of
the farm women. With the result, most of the agricultural operations are
performed manually and in an unskilled manner which results into
greater drudgery on the part of farm
women. In order to cater to the technological needs of
the farm women, there is need to re-orient the entire research system
for which following measures may be taken.
In order to make
scientific information in agriculture
and skill areas more useful, it should be tested and
refined keeping in view the different farming situations in
socio-cultural milieu. It would lead to women specific technologies.
of the tasks and operations
which women are specifically involved and which are
drudgery prone include transplanting, weeding, harvesting, threshing,
winnowing etc. Therefore, these require special attention of the farm
scientist for evolving relevant
technologies or modifying the existing ones.
design, development and testing of agricultural implements and machinery
should be undertaken with the active participation of rural women. In
this regard with local artisans
will be helpful. In essence machinery should be a
blessing rather than become a curse.
While evolving agricultural
technologies; indigenous practices used by women should be paid due
attention for blending with the frontier ones
for greater adoption.
6. Limited exposure to mass media :
transfer of technology approach which mainly includes mass media are
also not paying due attention towards dissemination of adequate and
agricultural information to the farm women.
WOMEN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
Against the background of the patriarchal system of society, the women need special attention to ensure their development
and participation in the decision making process at home, in the community and governance.
With the objective of bringing about economic and social development of women and improving their status in the community the
programme for Women Development was being implemented by CSR in and around Tiruchendur of Tuticorin district and Thovalai blocks of Kanyakumari District.
The various activities planned and carried out are:
- Formation and Training of Self Help Groups
- Group Development
- Capacity Building
- Income Generation Activities
- Credit and Savings Mobilisation
- Establishment of linkages
These activities had made impressive
impacts in empowering women and improving their economic and social
status in their families and communities.
of the programme is organising women and
federating them at different level to enhance their
social status. Due to the entrepreneur development skills promoted, the
women took up various income generating activities as individuals and as
a group such as mat weaving, dairy
farms, palm crystal candy making, flour rice, fancy
shops, petty shops, soap manufacturing, textile business and paper cup.
So far 58 groups are involved in income generating activities and 3173
individuals have taken up income
of women SHGs called 'Sangamam' was formed by the members themselves
based on their own experience and the exposure they received. It decided
to start a supermarket and a building
was constructed. As a share of Rs.10,000 was collected
from each SHGs by the federation. All the SHG members buy the
provisionary items from their own Sangamam store and steps are taken to
distribute the items at their door steps
through vans. The federation has assumed maximum
responsibilities and there is ample scope that soon it will become fully
self sustaining entity.
Tejaswini Rural Women's Empowerment Programme
Tejaswini means radiance or one who gives light, and
reflects the objective of the project in moving women to a higher level
through their collective efforts and mutual assistance. This would
up-scale and further develops the
concepts tested in the Maharashtra Rural Credit
Programme, which IFAD supported from 1994 to 2002
Programme Target Group
programme will use lessons drawn from previous IFAD implementation
experience, which suggests targeting in terms of poverty
should be flexible and responsive to local conditions. In Maharashtra
the programme would support existing groups and groups that will be
formed by other programmes (in
particular TSP, SCP). In Madhya Pradesh (MP) it is
planned that at least 10% of groups being formed of women from the
poorest households defined in terms of relying on casual labour and
without any agricultural land.Programme Area.
In supporting the overalldevelopment
of MAVIM, the programme will cover all 33 rural districts of
Maharashtra, and about 10,000 villages out of the total of 43,000.
However the activities to be funded by the programme
will tend to concentrate on the 16 tribal districts and
other backward areas.
The programme would be implemented in six
districts of MP. These include the three districts in the
tribal-dominated south-east of the state (Balaghat,
Dindori, Mandla) and three other districts (Panna,
Chhattarpur and Tikangarh) in the north-east of the state. Although
these districts are not as poor, gender indicators show women are worse
Though they make half of the world population, women
have remained as an oppressed group from the beginning of the history.
Though some societies regard women as superior in the family and
community, most of societies of the world
have been treating women as second class citizens.
Because of religious and cultural values and physical structure, women
are forced to remain as dominated group around the globe, especially in
the least developed nations. There is
a solid evidence of discrimination of women worldwide.
Even in the most developed nations which boast the best human rights
situation in their country, women's participation in almost fields has
been minimized because of male
dominance. In many countries, women are kept as
'prisoners' as they are not allowed to participate many social and
In a stratified society like ours, access
and empowerment of different section of the
societies are becoming serious concerns and to address
it planners, managers, social scientist all over the world have started
deliberating and devising way out like anything. In this direction
genders issues are dominating over
other vulnerable issues like poverty, class conflicts,
communities, ethnic issues etc. In ensuring an egalitarian development
gender equity still remains as a pertinent question as it has been for
the thousands of years of human
Gender issues beyond its
epistemological certainly imbibe other components like production
relation, access to education, geographical distribution, occupational
imperatives, marital system and even physical &
The present deliberation
will go contextual with the realm of women's empowerment in sustainable
agriculture development. The sustainability of agriculture development
has become a prerogative to the
women's participation moving across the caste. Our need
is to ascertain and assure the areas where women are still far from
enjoying the minimum privileges and question of empowerment has been
thrown to a very complex, integrated
situation the access to resources, institution, decision
making process and information etc. are the pertinent question in
making the women empowered, confident, and accorded to the main stream
Adick (1995) : Basic Education for Women and girls in rural areas; Agriculture and Rural Development. 2 :
Awasthi, O. N. (1993) : Education Development in India, Journal of Education and Social Change 7 : 1.
Gopalan, S. (1992). Monitoring and Evaluation of the training programmes for women, function areas in rural Development.