Bhubaneswar, September 28 (LocalWire): The Government of Odisha is chalking out plans to increase the participation of women in the agriculture sector.
“The creativity, productivity, and entrepreneurship of women and their capacity to further their skills will continue to receive focus. Progressive women farmers will be duly rewarded and recognised, said agriculture department officials.
Department sources also said that the state agriculture department is keen on the capacity building of women farmers by laying focus on their active participation backyard livestock, fisheries, and poultry farming activities.
Of the proposed plans to draw more women to the agriculture sector, the government is thinking of dedicating at least 30% of the horticulture and small livestock scheme budget for women.
The government is also initiating steps to encourage low-risk-low-reward agriculture or assured market options for single women households, and small and marginal farmers.
Further income generation opportunities will be generated through skill-building and provision of services under the various government-run schemes such as the Integrated Child Development Scheme and Mid Day Meal.
As women are important to project partners in agricultural development in the state, women-friendly farm equipment has been designed and promoted and, wherever necessary, convergence between various research and implementation institutions has been brought about, department officials said.
“Of the 21 lakh identified agricultural labourers, as many as nine lakh are women, while 18% of the 42 lakh landowners engaged in agriculture are also women.
Besides, women lend helping hand to their male counterparts in farm labour activity. Therefore women play a major role in agrarian growth in the state,” officials said.
The involvement of women in the agriculture sector is varied and wide in nature in the state. Women are engaged in all phases of the agricultural cycle from sowing, intercultural activities, harvesting to post-harvest management.
“There are an estimated five lakh single landless women in Odisha. They will be treated as a special target group for development intervention,” officials stated.
Sources also informed that the state government is contemplating higher fiscal incentive and subsidies on procurement of women-friendly agriculture implements and equipment to attract more women to the farming sector.
“Women rub shoulders with male counterparts in agriculture activities.
But their role is mostly confined to sowing, plantation and transplantation work.
Majority of agriculture implements being used in the state are heavy and are not women-centric. So women fail to involve themselves hundred percent in agrarian operation.
So the emphasis is on to provide a higher incentive on buying women-centric implements,” state agriculture department officials stated.