Active Participation of Women in Agriculture Needed for Higher Productivity - D. Purandeswari

Two Day National Consultation on Gender Perspective in Agriculture Begins

New Delhi, 08 August, 2011

‘For achieving 8-10% GDP growth we must revisit agricultural policy and schemes and bring out the necessary changes for more participation of women in agriculture. This will help in enhancing agricultural productivity in the country’, said Smt. D. Purandeswari, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development. She was inaugurating two days National Consultation on ‘Gender Perspective in Agriculture’ jointly organized by the Directorate of Research on Women in Agriculture (DSWA) and Division of Agricultural Extension under the aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

‘Migration of rural men has put the pressure on women agricultural labor in rural area. Their child needed more nutritional and health care. Holistically revisiting agricultural policy can solve these problems ’, she added. Lauding the role played by the ICAR she said that agricultural research should be centered on the problems faced by the women. She also deliberates upon the credit facility for women farmers.

Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR hoped that this consultation come out with innovative ideas to provide access and control over agricultural resources, information, knowledge and market to women. He also emphasized on better working conditions and share in income and benefits for women in agriculture. ‘Food security along with nutritional, health and emotional security is another aspects for development ’, he added.

Dr. R. S. Paroda, Former Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR urged to reorient home science research to make it more effective and efficient. He suggested that vocational training may be provided to Home Science students so that they can become a job provider instead of job seeker. Dr. Rita Sharma, Secretary, National Advisory Council described changes in government paradigm and impact of climate change as two major drivers of change in agriculture.

Dr. K.D. Kokate, DDG (Agricultural Extension) in his presentation provided a glimpse of women’s participation in Indian agriculture. Dr. Krishna Srinath, Director, DRWA gives vote of thanks. Dr. Manju Sharma, Former Secretary, Department of Bio Technology, other senior officials of ICAR, scientists from KVKs and Deans of Home Science across the country are participating in this consultation.

This is an effort to draw the attention of women scientists and academicians of National Agriculture Research System and other closely related stakeholders to the subject of gender research in agriculture and look into the prospects of further strengthening Home Science as a curriculum and as a career.

(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA)