• Mandate of National Gender Resource Centre in Agriculture (NGRCA):
|* Collect, analyze and document information (both from primary and secondary sources) on women in agriculture.|
* Act as a comprehensive data base & a clearing house to women related policies/issues in agriculture and allied sectors including           NRM.
* Monitor and assess the Gender impact of various ongoing programmes of agriculture and allied sector including NRM of Deptt. of Agri.   Coopn., Ministry of Agriculture and make recommendation on appropriate improvements in their design/strategy.|
|* Assess the gender impact of agricultural technologies and Research Project on ‘women in agriculture’, identify/assess the agronomic     based drudgery prone activities of women and suggest ways to make these technologies/tools gender friendly.|
| * Identify & float macro/micro level studies to identify the needs, requirements, potential and constraints faced by women in agriculture     sector especially in the areas of technological development, access to inputs, credit and other productive resources, marketing             intervention etc.|
|* Review the existing laws and other Government decisions/measures relating to basic production resources such as land, water, forest   and to examine women’s access and control over these basic resources and recommend necessary changes to protect women             farmers’ right to livelihood.|
|* Document, scientifically validate and disseminate traditional/indigenous knowledge of women in agriculture and allied sector.|
|* Forge effective functional linkages with various departments, agencies and institutions including nongovernmental organizations and       farmwomen groups; document and disseminate lessons and experiences from ongoing initiatives taken by these agencies/institutions     in sustainable agriculture and NRM.|
|* Collaborate with Agri. Research institutions to identify technologies/crops/ processes in which women farmers have a comparative         advantage and develop a strategy for systematic capacity building on these issues.|
|* Undertake preparation of suitable training modules on gender issues in agriculture and NRM which include gender sensitization               modules for policy planners and development managers.|
|* iView the existing policies related to land, water, forests with respect to their impact on women farmers and suggest remedial                 measures to bring about structural changes, if required.|
|* Promote ‘action research’ on critical issues including women’s access to land, water, common property resources, impact of                 macroeconomic changes on women farmer and implications of legal and regulatory framework on vulnerable groups such as land less     farmers, tribal farm women & those affected by natural calamities.|
|* Organize national level interactions between policy makers/administrators and women farmers to share concern, issues and                   perspectives and evolve concrete policy recommendations.|
|* Bring out publications on gender related areas/issues in agriculture & allied sector focusing the experiences, efforts and the work from   on-going initiatives taken up by NGRCA/other related agencies/institutions.|
1. Gender Budgeting Cell of DAC&FW: A Gender Budgeting Cell (GBC) of DAC&FW has also been constituted in the NGRCA for looking into the budgetary commitments of various schemes of DAC; bringing gender concerns on to the centre stage in all aspects of public expenditure and policy and ensuring a proportionate flow of the public expenditure benefiting women farmers. Nodal officers/ Gender Coordinators in various Divisions have been sensitized about the concept of gender budgeting. Formats of all the beneficiary oriented schemes of the Ministry have been revised to generate gender disaggregated data.
2. Current Initiatives of NGRCA: In order to address Gender issues and concerns in agriculture and allied sectors, the NGRCA has taken up following initiatives:
• Gender Sensitization Modules (GSM) developed for sensitization of extension functionaries at Senior, Middle and at Cutting edge level has been condensed to half a day module for its delivery through all ongoing programmes being organized at various Training institutes. MANAGE has developed this ‘Capsule Module on Gender Learning’ focusing on the practical tips of Gender Budgeting and Accounting duly roping in the recommendations and the outcome of several Action Research Studies undertaken by NGRCA as well as policy decisions of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Agriculture.
• Realizing the need to provide useful information on Gender Friendly Tools (GFT)/ Equipment used in crop production, crop processing, post-harvest management and other allied sectors generated by various research and development organizations at one source, an attempt has been made to collect requisite details from various institutes viz. Central Institute for Agricultural Engineering (CIAE), Bhopal; Central institute for women in agriculture (CIWA), Bhubaneshwar, Odisha; AICRP Centers on Home Science; College of Home Science and State Agricultural Universities and collate it in the form of a . Accordingly, compendium carrying information on 69 tools/equipment has been prepared in Hindi and English and is under circulation through ATMA, KVKs, ICAR Institutes, SAUs etc.
• Gender desegregated Data is being maintained under all activities of Sub Mission on Agricultural Extension (SMAE) of National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET)
• To ensure food and nutritional security at the household level, Farm women’s Food Security Groups (FSGs) @ 2/Block are in the process of being identified/constituted under ATMA. Besides providing support for small tools, seeds, planting material etc. for setting up backyard food security garden, these FSGs are to be provided support for training, publication and access to inputs as well. This support will be to the tune of @ Rs. 10,000 per group. These FSGs are to serve as “Model Food Security Hubs” through establishing kitchen garden, backyard poultry, goatry, animal husbandry & dairying, mushroom cultivation, etc. A total of 36700 groups are to be supported over the Plan period.
• The selection of the agencies for conducting the studies on “Adoption of Gender Friendly Tools by Women farmers and its impact on their Lives’ and “Scheme for Improving Women Farmers Access to Extension Services and Gender Mainstreaming in Agriculture” has been completed.
• A ‘Handbook for Women Farmers’ has been developed collating special provisions and package of assistance which women farmers can claim under various on-going Missions/ Submissions/ Schemes of DAC & FW, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and other Ministries /Departments . It is expected that the team of committed extension functionaries available at District and Block Level under ATMA set up will not only make women aware of such interventions but would also facilitate them to derive full benefits of the tailor made provisions for them.
• Coordination with various divisions of Ministry from time to time to collate gender disaggregated data on flow of benefits (physical as well as financial) to women farmers, SC/ST farm women under various schemes and strategies being adopted by the divisions for empowerment of women.
• Joint Circular under the signatures of Secretary (AC&FW) & Secretary (RD) has been developed and issued on Convergence of NRLM, MORD and the Schemes/Programmes/Missions of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, MOA&FW.
• Being a Nodal agency for Women in Agriculture of DAC&FW, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the following activities have been taken up:
Examining draft Cabinet Notes for various new schemes proposed by Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development from perspective of women in agriculture.
Coordination with Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE), Bhopal, Directorate of Research on Women in Agriculture (DRWA), Bhubaneshwar and State Agricultural University for documenting Gender Friendly Tools/Technology for wider circulation and collecting information on popularization and adoption among women.
Coordination with Ministry of Women & Child Development for inter-sectoral convergence for coordinated efforts for women’s welfare and socio economic development.
Facilitating Project Approval Committee for approval and Sanctioning of Project under Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) and Special Project under Swaranjyanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana(SGSY) skill development.
Preparation of separate chapter on ‘Gender Perspective in Agriculture’ for the Annual Report of DAC, Ministry of Agriculture.
Preparation of Gender Related Write-up for the Out Come Budget of DAC&FW, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
3. Ongoing Initiative of NGRCA
• Ongoing Studies:
“Adoption of Gender Friendly Tools by Women farmers and its impact on their Lives”.
“Scheme for Improving Women Farmers Access to Extension Services and Gender Mainstreaming in Agriculture”
• Capsule Module on Gender Learning
Gender Friendly Tools/Equipments for Women in Agriculture
Farm Women Friendly Handbook-English
Farm Women Friendly Handbook-Hindi
4. Gender Perspective in Agriculture: (-a separate chapter in the Annual Report of the DAC&FW-)
A separate chapter on “Gender Perspective in Agriculture” is being included in the Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare for the last 6 years in pursuance to the directives from Ministry of Finance.
In line with the Policy directives, it is mandated to take appropriate structural, functional & institutional measures to empower women in agriculture and allied sectors by building their capacities and improving their access to inputs, technology and other farming resources. Mainstreaming of gender concerns is being addressed by (i) earmarking 30% of funds for women under various major schemes/programmes and development interventions; (ii) taking pro-women initiatives to help women derive the benefits of beneficiary–oriented components of various programmes/ schemes and missions. Focus is also being given on formation of women Self Help Groups (SHGs), capacity building interventions, linking them to micro credit, enhancing their access to information and ensuring their representation in decision making bodies at various levels.
In order to mainstream gender concerns in agriculture, the Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare is making conscious efforts to ‘Engender the Agricultural Development Process’ for which appropriate measures are being initiated. Currently, there are no specific allocations earmarked for women farmers under most of the schemes of the department, however, an attempt has been made almost under each scheme to identify & promote the involvement of women in areas having better potential & scope so as to ensure women’s full & equitable participation under these components/areas.
The important mainstreaming and gender budgeting efforts within various subject matter divisions are briefly given below:
Under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), an umbrella scheme on horticulture by subsuming other ongoing schemes on horticulture i.e. National Horticulture Mission(NHM), Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States (HMNEH), National Bamboo Mission (NBM) now re-named as National Agro Forestry & Bamboo Mission, Central Sector Scheme of National Horticulture Board (NHB), Coconut Development Board (CDB) and Central Institute for Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland, all categories of farmers including women beneficiaries are covered in components like floriculture, beekeeping etc.
MIDH aims at promoting holistic growth of the horticulture sector through area based regionally differentiated strategies. Keeping in view the overall objectives and as per directives of Planning Commission, all the implementing agencies viz. State Horticulture Missions and National Level Agencies have been directed to ensure that at least 30% of budget allocation is earmarked for women beneficiaries while giving subsidies as well as for imparting training for skills development to women farmers for growing horticulture crops and post-harvest management. During the current financial year 2015-16 funds to the tune of Rs. 2000 crores have been earmarked for implementation of schemes MIDH. Women beneficiaries such as women farmers, women Self Help Groups, women entrepreneurs are encouraged to obtain the benefits of the schemes under the Mission.
(B) Agriculture Extension
The Sub-Mission on Agricultural Extension (SAME) which encompasses both- the Centrally Sponsored and Central Sector extension outreach and ICT initiatives, under its “Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms” (ATMA intervention) supports gender concern to a great extent. This initiative is under implementation in 652 districts of 29 States and 3 UTs. The scheme promotes decentralized farmer-driven and farmer-accountable extension system through an institutional arrangement for technology dissemination in the form of an Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) at district level. Under the scheme grants-in-aid is released to states governments with an objective to support their efforts of revitalization of the extension system and making available the latest agricultural technologies in different thematic areas to increase agricultural production through extension activities viz, Farmers Training, Demonstrations, Exposure Visits, KisanMela, Mobilization of Farmers Groups and Setting up of Farm Schools. Through these activities, latest agriculture technologies are disseminated to farmers of the country. The funds under this initiative are being released to the states on the basis of State Extension Work Plan (SEWP) formulated & submitted by them. The gender specific interventions under this initiative include:
• At least 30% scheme beneficiaries should be women farmers/farm women.
• Minimum 30% of resources meant for programmes and activities are required to be allocated to women farmers and women extension functionaries with specific documentation of expenditure and performance for women being maintained;
• Farm Women’s Food and Nutritional Security Groups (FIGs) @ at least 3 women FSGs/block to be formed annually for ensuring food and nutritional security providing assistance of Rs. 10,000/- per group.
• Inclusion of one ‘Gender Coordinator’ in every State in the team of committed extension personnel being supported under the Scheme. The role of Gender Coordinator is to ensure flow of support viz. training/ capacity building and extension support as per the specific requirements of women farmers through a strategy suited to their needs
• At least 30% scheme beneficiaries are to be women farmers/farm women;
• Representation of Women farmers in different decision making bodies at State, District and Block level such as State Farmers Advisory Committee (SFAC) at State Level; Agriculture Technology Management Agency(ATMA) Governing Board, ATMA Management Committee(MC) and District Farmer Advisory Committee (DFAC) at district level and Block Farmer Advisory Committee (BFAC) at Block Level
• Preferential involvement of women as ‘Farmer Friends’ under the extension delivery mechanism below the block level (@1Farmer Friend/2 Villages)
Since inception of the scheme in 2005-06, total 84,80,412 farm women (25.75% of the total benefited farmers) have participated in farmer oriented activities like Exposure Visits, Training, Demonstrations &KisanMelas including 2,09,529 women farmers benefited during 2015-16 (up to 17th November, 2015).
The operational Guidelines for Modified Support to States for Extension Reforms Scheme, 2014 formulated in May, 2014 carry all provisions favouring women as indicated above.
The Central Sector Scheme “Establishment of Agri-Clinics & Agri-Business Centres (ACABC)” was implemented since April,2002 with the aim to supplement the efforts of public extension, support agricultural development and create gainful self-employment opportunities to unemployed youths (including women) with qualification in agriculture and allied sectors.
The scheme promotes involvement of agri-preneurs trained (including women) under the ACABC scheme in providing advisory and extension services to the farmers in agriculture and allied areas. The agri-preneurs trained under ACABC scheme are actively engaged in providing advisory and extension services to the farmers on various technologies.
MANAGE, Hyderabad is the implementing agency for training component under the scheme through a network of identified Nodal Training Institutes (NTIs) in various States. And NABARD is implementing the subsidy component on behalf of Government of India and is monitoring credit support to agri-preneurs through commercial banks.
There is a provision of credit linked back-ended upfront composite subsidy on the bank loan availed by the trained candidates under the scheme. The subsidy is 44% in respect of women, SC/ST & all categories of the candidates from North-Eastern and Hill States and 36% in respect of other categories. The subsidy is admissible for loans up to Rs. 20 Lakh in case of individual and Rs. 100 lakh in case of Group Projects (for ventures set up by a group of 5 trained candidates).
Since Inception of the scheme, a total number of 45387 candidates have been trained and 19209agri-ventures have been established in the country which includes 3264 women candidates trained and 1017Agri-ventures established by them (up to 30th November, 2015)
The scheme ‘National Food Security Mission (NFSM)’ was launched in October 2007-08, targeting three important food grain crops viz. rice, wheat and pulses. Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs has cleared the continuation of NFSM programme in the XII Plan with addition of coarse cereals and commercial crops viz. cotton, jute and sugarcane. At the stage of Administrative approval, 30% of budgetary allocation is earmarked for women beneficiaries/farmers. Concerned Implementing Agencies are responsible for monitoring implementation of these components, i.e., allocation of resources for SC/ST/Women beneficiaries.
Component wise financial provision for promotion of farmer producer organizations (FPOs) and marketing support for value chain integration includes marketing support to unregistered farmer groups, SHGs, SHG federation etc. for local marketing of pulses and millets (@Rs.2.00 lakh per group of 15 farmers, for one time support only) . This provision enables unregistered farmer groups, SHGs of women and others who wish to collaborate informally for direct marketing pulses in local haats, townships and region.
(D) Agricultural Marketing
In order to provide single window approach and user & investment friendly atmosphere, all the ongoing six Plan Schemes implemented during the XI Plan period have been put under one umbrella “Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM).It aims to (i) promote agri-marketing through creation of marketing and agribusiness infrastructure including storage, (ii)incentivize agri-market reforms, (iii) provide market linkages to farmers, (iv) provide access to agri-market information and (v) support quality certification of agriculture commodities. ISAM scheme is having five components, namely: (i) Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI), the objective of this component is to create market infrastructure including Storage Infrastructure and Integrated Value Chain Projects (IVC) [the existing schemes of GrameenBhandaranYojana (GBY) and Development/ Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization (AMIGS) has been merged as AMI] (ii) Marketing Research and Information Network (MRIN) (iii) Strengthening of Agmark Grading Facilities (SAGF), (iv) Agri-Business Development (ABD) through Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) and Project Development Facility (PDF) and (v) Training, Research and Consultancy through ChoudharyCharan Singh National Institute of Agriculture Marketing (NIAM).
Under Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) component, Women are eligible for subsidy @ 33.33% as against 25% for others.
(E) Mechanization and Technology
Taking into consideration all the factors and challenges coming in the progress of Farm Mechanization, Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture Cooperation&, Farmers Welfare, Mechanization and Technology Division has formulated a Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) under the main Mission i.e. National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET) which is under implementation w.e.f. 2014-15. The SMAM provides a suitable platform for converging all activities for inclusive growth of agricultural mechanization by providing a ‘single window’ approach for implementation with a special focus on women farmers with the following provisions:
• State Governments have been advised to ensure 30% of allocation under the scheme belongs to women beneficiary and also to furnish reports separately in SMAM guidelines.
• 10% more assistance for women beneficiary to procure Agricultural Machinery, implements and equipment including PHT under component 2 and 3.
• In order to reduce the drudgery and increasing efficiency in farm operations, number of agricultural implements and hand tools suitable for farmwomen has been developed by Research & Development organizations under ICAR. The list of gender friendly equipment has been sent to all States/UTs for popularizing them through various schemes of Government.
Gender Friendly Equipment for Women:
Under the component 1 of SMAM, Agricultural Mechanization through Training, Testing, and Demonstration, a total 1027 women were trained during 2014- 15 till 31st March, 2015. During the current Financial Year 2015-16, (till October. 2015) 947 women farmers have been trained at FMTTIs. A list of about 30 identified gender-friendly tools and equipment developed by the Research and Development Organization for use in different farm operations has already been sent to all states and UTs. for popularizing them. State governments have been directed to earmark 30 per cent of total funds allocated under SMAM for women beneficiaries.
Sub-Mission for Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP) under National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET) which is being implemented w.e.f. 01.04.2014 with the view to develop/strengthen seed sector and to enhance production and multiplication of high yielding certified/ qualify seeds of all agricultural crops and making it available to the farmers at affordable prices and also place an effective system for protection of plant varieties, rights of farmers and plant breeders to encourage development of new varieties of plants. Scheme is also for Women farmers. States/implementing agencies are requested to allocate adequate funds and ensure participation of women. However, no special budgetary provisions for women have been made in the Sub-Mission.
(G) CooperationNCDC encourages women cooperatives to avail assistance under its various schemes. A large number of women members are engaged & involved in cooperatives dealing with activities relatedtoFoodgrain Processing, Plantation Crops, Oilseed Processing, Fisheries, Dairy & Livestock, Spinning Mills, Handloom &Powerloom Weaving, Integrated Cooperative Development Projects etc. Women Cooperatives are also covered under Weaker Section Programme for the purpose of availing subsidy and concessional funding by NCDC.
As on 31.03.2015, NCDC has sanctioned and released financial assistance of Rs. 191.50 crore and Rs. 92.86 crore respectively for the development of cooperative societies exclusively promoted by women. In the 1047 projects/units sanctioned in 2014-15, it is estimated that 5.79 lakh women are enrolled as members, out of which 910 women members are on the Board of Directors.
Besides the above, stress is given on women development activities with the overall objective of bringing women in the cooperative fold from grass root levels by informal approach and to revitalize and develop women participation in group activities and to improve the socio-economic conditions of women of selected blocks. The Cooperative Education programme for women is being implemented through the State Cooperative Unions in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, M.P, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal. During the year 2014-15, a total of 112199 women were imparted education under various educational activities. Further, the Cooperative Education programmes for women are being implemented through the State Cooperative Unions in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar etc. NCUI is now running 4 exclusive women development projects located at Shimoga (Karnataka), AskaBehrampur (Odisha), Imphal (Manipur) and Bhopal (MP) under the Special Scheme of Intensification of Cooperative Education in the cooperatively under-developed states. Besides, each field project has got a special women development component. Under this, women are organized into self-help groups which help them to develop thrift habits. Women are also given training to undertake income-generating activities with the help of their own resources or by borrowing from cooperatives. The projects personnel help them in marketing their produce in the local market and by organizing fair/exhibitions. Under women Cooperative education Field Projects, 270 SHGS were formed with the membership of 2501 by the project personnel. And also 10098 women were benefited through various income generating activities.
(H) Policy The National Policy for Farmers 2007 announced by the Government envisages the following measures aimed at women’s empowerment:
Asset reforms under land, water and livestock for an equitable share to women farmers.
Better access to inputs and services, science and technology, implements, credit and support services like creches, child care centers, nutrition, health and training.
Encouragement to women for participating in group activities aimed at achieving economies of scale through farming groups.
Involvement of women in conservation and development of bio-resources.
(I) Agriculture Census
Gender based data in Agriculture Census is being collected since 1995-96 on the recommendations of Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, New Delhi. The scope of collection of gender based data has been restricted to number of operational holdings, corresponding operated area by different size classes of holdings, social groups (SC, ST and others), and types of holdings (individual, joint and institutional).
Percentage of female operational holdings as per results of various Agriculture Censuses is given in the following table.
||Marginal (Below 1.00 ha.)
||Small (1.00-2.00 ha.)
||Semi-Medium (2.00-4.00 ha.)
||Medium (4.00-10.00 ha.)
||Large (Above 10.00 ha.)
||All Size Groups
Increase in percentage of female operational holders during different Agriculture Censuses indicates participation of more and more women in operation and management of agricultural holdings in the country.
The Way Forward:
In line with the National Agricultural Policy-2000 and specific interventions under National Policy for Farmers-2007, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC &FW), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is making conscious efforts to mainstream gender concerns in agriculture and allied sectors along with capacity building of women, improving their access, control and ownership over productive and other farming resources. The States have been directed to ensure flow of funds to the tune of 30% for the benefit of women farmers under all the beneficiary oriented schemes. Efforts are also being made for the convergence of different schemes and programmes being implemented by various Ministries/ Departments for the benefit of women and strengthening the gender budget and mainstreaming initiatives for the welfare of rural women. The Schemes/ Programme’s strategic guidelines help in systematizing, intensifying and scaling up efforts to close gender gaps and improve the economic and social status of Women in Agriculture. In rapidly changing rural environments, adequatefocus is to be laid on sustaining the current momentum of addressing gender concern in agriculture recognizing women’s contribution in agriculture and allied sectors.
5. Gender Specific Interventions- Earlier
The erstwhile Farm Women Development Unit of Directorate of Extension has been responsible for planning, formulation, execution, monitoring & evaluation of special projects/programmes for women in agriculture and allied sectors. These projects have remained in operation for over 23 years and have been instrumented in providing training, extension, input, managerial, entrepreneurial and other support services to the small and marginal farmers in 143 districts of 21 States of the country.
All these projects have aimed at strengthening agriculture base and augmenting rural incomes with a focus on skill-transfer through a combination of theoretical training & practical demonstration supplemented with a ‘hands on’ experience in the fields of women farmers. Different approaches & strategies were followed in all these projects to bring about a significant improvement in their status and income levels. These projects included:
A. Central Sector Scheme of Women In Agriculture- (With Domestic Funding) :
The Central Sector Scheme of Women in Agriculture was launched on pilot basis during the VIII Plan in one district each of the 7 selected States of the country viz. Punjab, Haryana, U.P. Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Rajasthan. It was extended during the IX Plan period to one district each of 8 North-Eastern Hill States namely Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura, Assam and Sikkim to cover one district each of 15 States in all with a total budget outlay of Rs.4.96 crores.
The Scheme envisaged motivating, mobilizing and organizing women farmers to form new groups or identify and consolidate the existing groups of practicing women farmers. All the agricultural support services such as technology, input, extension, credit etc. were channelized through the network of these groups. To ensure sustainability, most Farm Women Group were registered as Registered Society or with Panchayat/District Agriculture Office.
A composite package of recurrent training was provided in the form of Village-based Training to women farmers of Phase-I districts (8 NEH States) and Sandwich/Refresher Training to the women farmers of Phase-II districts (7 old Districts/States) with a view to help them adopt the new technologies in agriculture and allied sectors such as Crop Husbandry, Agronomy, Soil Sciences, Plant Protection, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry etc. Thrust was also being given to the emerging areas in which women have special aptitude and skills such as organic farming, vermi-composting, bio-technology, nursery raising including Tissue Culture of Horticulture plants etc. In addition, the women farmers were trained in managerial, entrepreneurial and decision-making skills.
The scheme had following main Training & Extension components:
• Sandwich/Reinforcement Training of Farm Women of Phase-II districts (7 old district) (for 10 days in first year & 5 days in subsequent years);
• Village-Based/Refresher Training (for 3 days each at 3 different intervals in first year and again at 2 different intervals in subsequent years);
• Link Workers Training for the Conveners of the Farm Women Groups (for 3 days at 2 different intervals);
• Induction/Refresher Training of Facilitators (for 4 weeks duration in first year and 2 weeks in subsequent years).
• Result/Method Demonstration in the fields of Women Farmers (4 demonstrations/Farm Women Group i.e. 2 in each cropping season);
• Organization of Mahila Goshties (1 per year involving approximately 600 Farm Women);
• Study Tours (2 per year – one within & one outside the State)
The impact of the scheme has been assessed through the Reports of the Review Teams/Missions which have revealed that the Scheme had a positive impact on the general awareness levels of women farmers and has achieved a major breakthrough in addressing their technological and extension needs.
These studies have further revealed that the production and income levels of women farmers had markedly increased after they had put to practice the technologies/skills learnt under the Scheme which has led to their overall empowerment especially with reference to their access to information, training, skill up gradation, capacity building, inputs etc.
B. Externally Aided Projects For Training Of Women In Agriculture
1. Danish supported Farm Women Projects:
(i) Women Youth Training and Extension Project (WYTEP): Karnataka
Women Youth Training and Extension Project, Karnataka (WYTEP) was signed between Govt. of India and Royal Danish Government in September, 1982 for a period of 5 years. The Phase I of the project covered the districts where the Training Centres of the Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Karnataka existed. Thus 8 Farmers Training Centres and 2 Rural Development Training Centres at Kumta were established which were chosen to organize the programme.
The implementation of second Phase commenced in July 1989 with a financial outlay of Rs.18.89 crores. Apart from consolidating the achievements gained in first phase, the geographical coverage of the project was extended to all the districts of the State except Bidar district. The second phase was extended to run upto May, 2000.
The project in its third phase which ran from June, 2002 to 1.5.2005 covered all the districts with a total cost of Rs.44.93 crores. Over 7000 Farm Women Groups have been constituted under the project and over 2.10 lakh women have been trained.
(ii) Tamil Nadu Women in Agriculture (TANWA): Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu Women in Agriculture (TANWA) was signed between Government of India and Royal Danish Government in June, 1986. The project was for a period of 7 years with a financial outlay of Rs.3.21 crores. The project started operating in Tamil Nadu from October, 1986. However, the project was implemented in six districts which were later reorganized into ten districts of Tamil Nadu.
The Phase II of the project was signed on 1st October, 1993 for an amount of Rs.33.92 crores covering all the districts of the State excluding Ramanathapuram (this district was completely covered during Phase I) and Chennai. Phase II was initially signed for a duration of 7 years, which was later, extended upto March, 2003. 2000 Farm Women Groups have been constituted under the programme & over 1.03 lakh women have been benefitted.
(iii) Training and Extension for Women in Agriculture (TEWA):
Training and Extension for Women in Agriculture (TEWA) was signed between Government of India and Royal Danish Embassy in December, 1987. The project was planned to have 2 phases of 5 years each. The first phase was implemented from January, 1988 and was completed on 30th June, 1995. The Phase-I of the project was implemented in 4 erstwhile districts namely Bolangir, Dhenkanal, Ganjam and Puri districts of Orissa. The second phase of TEWA which commenced on 1.7.95 with a financial outlay of Rs.11.85 crores concluded on 31.3.2003. Four additional districts namely Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Koraput and Sambalpur were covered in the second phase. 10,143 Farm Women Groups have been constituted under the programme and over 6.71 lakh women farmers have been benefitted.
(iv) Madhya Pradesh Women in Agriculture (MAPWA): Madhya Pradesh
The Madhya Pradesh Women in Agriculture (MAPWA) project was signed between Government of India and Royal Danish Government in November,1993 for a period of 5 years with a financial outlay of Rs.6.24 crores. Phase-I of the project that concluded on 31.1.02 covered 9 districts namely Jabalpur, Nasinghpur, Chhindwara, Mandla, Rewa, Shahdol, Umaria, Bilaspur and Raisen. Phase-I of the project completed on 31stJanuary, 2002. The Phase-II of the project which commenced from 1st Feb., 2002 covered 14 districts namely Jabalpur, Mandla, Narsingpur, Chindwada, Rewa, Shahdol, Raisen, Katni,, Umaria, Satna, Seoni, Anoopshahar, Balaghat & Dindori with a total cost of Rs.13.12 crores has concluded on 31.12.05. 4043 Farm Women Groups have been constituted under the programme and approximately 60,000 women farmers have been benefitted with the project intervention.
2. Dutch supported Farm Women Projects:
Training of Women in Agriculture (TWA): GujaratThe Training of Women in Agriculture Project (TWA) was signed between the Government of India and the Government of Netherlands in May, 1989. The Phase I of the project essentially included 6 districts of Gujarat viz. Dahod, Surat, Banaskantha, Bhavnagar, Junagadh and Kutchand was sanctioned for five years with a total cost of Rs.4.97 crores.
Looking into the positive impact of the project on productivity and women’s decision-making abilities, the Netherlands Government agreed to extend the project for another 5 years from 1997 to 2003. The Phase-II of the project was sanctioned from July for a total cost of Rs.12 crores covering 6 additional districts namely Valsad, Broach, Sabarkantha, Rajkot, Surendranagar and Amreli. The project has been concluded on 31.9.2003. 596 Farm Women Groups have been constituted under the programme and approximately 1.67 lakh women farmers have been trained.
(ii) Andhra Pradesh Women in Agriculture (ANTWA): Andhra Pradesh
The Andhra Pradesh Training of Women in Agriculture Project (ANTWA) was signed between Government of India and Government of Netherlands in August, 1993. The project was for a period of 5 years with a total cost of Rs.5.87 crores. The project started operating in Andhra Pradesh only in August, 1994. The Phase I of the project was being implemented in 6 districts of Andhra Pradesh namely Rangareddy, Nalgonda, Kurnool, Ananthpur, Prakasan and Vishakhapatnam.
The Phase II of the project was signed in August, 2001 for a total cost of Rs.44.03 crores covering 6 more districts of the State namely Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Cuddapah, Chittoor, Khammam and Warangal. 1777 Farm Women Groups have been constituted under the programme. While Phase II was for the duration of 6 years i.e. upto November, 2007, however, due to the Shift in Policy on bilateral funding, Dutch support has been withdrawn from ‘ANTWA’ project w.e.f. 1.4.04. Realizing the huge investments made in this project in terms of time, resources and efforts and also to sustain the benefits accrued under this project so far, DEA has taken a decision to continue selected Dutch supported projects including ANTA projects with DFID internal funding under Additional Central Assistance.
The activities of the programme are accordingly being supported with Macro Management support.
3. UNDP-GOI FOOD SECURITY PROGRAMME
The Government of India and UNDP signed an agreement on 13thFebruary, 1998 for funding the Program Support for Food Security involving US $ 13 million to be given by UNDP for Five Years starting from 1st April, 1998.
Six sub-programmes were under implementation under the umbrella programme. These were: (i) Development & large Scale Adoption of Hybrid Rice Technology by ICAR (ii) Maize Based Cropping System for Food Security in India by TMOP&M Division of DOAC; (iii) Sustainable Dry land Agriculture by Mahila Sanghams: Andhra Pradesh (5 districts); (iv) Empowerment of Women for Food Security in U.P. ( 11 districts); (v) (a) Strengthening Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Livelihoods for Women of Tribal Areas of Orissa ( 7 districts); (b) Supplementary Programme for Cyclone affected districts of Orissa (4 districts); & (vi) Management Support for Food Security.
The umbrella programme laid focus on drought-prone and rain-fed agricultural areas in a holistic and sustainable way. Redevelopment of fallows for productive agriculture, providing women’s groups access to croplands through long-term lease of dry-land, storage/distribution of locally grown subsistence crops by the women’s groups and processing for easy cooking and marketing etc were inbuilt components of these sub programmes.
The sub-programmes also aimed at enhancing the capacities of poor farmers in rain-fed and other areas by increasing production and productivity through training, demonstration and exposure to best practices. On-going initiatives involving women in agriculture were being supported by providing appropriate technologies for organized and trained farmwomen.
Under the women specific UNDP sub-programmes in the States of U.P., A.P. and Orissa, 2035 farm women groups have been mobilized and 50,875 farm women have been directly trained. As against the signed agreement of US $ 13 million (Rs.45.12 crore) an expenditure of Rs.46 crore has been made taking into account the difference in dollar: rupee conversion rate.
As revealed through an independent Mid Term Evaluation Report (MTER) of two gender programmes in A.P & Orissa and the desk reviews and field appraisals of all the three gender sub-programmes, the innovative approaches viz. improving women’s access to land by long-term leasing of community wasteland/fallow land to women SHGs for collective farming; land development, grain storage facilities; seed banks, implements & infrastructure support and Micro Capital Assistance have proved to be immensely successful. Financial support in the form of Micro Capital Assistance, has led to procurement of 1041 acres of land on long-term lease for cultivation by 2087 members in 3 States. Further, Food Security at household level has been adequately strengthened breaking the cycles of indebtedness through internal lending among group members.
Approximately 50% of Women Groups have over Rs.50,000 - Rs.100,000 in their accounts with the money having been successfully revolved two to three times. The dependence on money lenders has substantially reduced and the lands of women farmers mortgaged to money lender has been got released.
Gender Friendly Tools/Equipments for Women in Agriculture
Farm Women Friendly Handbook-English
Farm Women Friendly Handbook-Hindi