15th October 2018
Women comprise a major workforce in Indian agriculture. They play multi-dimensional role in agriculture and allied sectors. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), women participate in 48% of agriculture-related employment in India and around 7.5 crore women are actively involved in livestock management.
On this back drop, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare had decided to observe October 15th every year as “Rashtriya Mahila Kisan Diwas”.
Mahila Kisan Diwas was celebrated at ICAR Institutes and Krishi Vigyan Kendras across the country to recognize the contribution of women in Agriculture.
ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore
Swami Vishwamayanandaji, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Sargachhi, Murshidabad was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
Around 100 progressive women farmers from various agriculture and allied sectors were invited in this programme many of whom shared their experiences.
A scientist-farmer women interactive sessions was organised to link fisheries related activities with livelihood security of farm families, including fisheries component in Integrated Framing System etc.
The day was celebrated by ICAR-CIFRI with the hope to empower and leverage farm women with fisheries sector to bring Second Blue Revolution in the country.
ICAR-National Institute of Research on Jute & Allied Fibre Technology, Kolkata
At ICAR-NIRJAFT, Kolkata around 43 Farmers from three different districts, viz., Nadia, 24 Parganas-South and Hooghly, participated this programme.
Women farmers visited different departments, products, and technologies developed by ICAR-NIRJAFT, and found benefited through live demonstration video and processing of natural fibres for yarn, fabric and handmade paper making.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ICAR-IISR, Lucknow
Dr. A.D. Pathak, Director, ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow highlighted that the participation of women in agriculture is well-known since time immemorial. He highlighted that female farm workers used to face several inequalities. In spite of working for longer hours, they are being paid lesser than their counterparts. The ICAR-IISR has developed number of women friendly implements to reduce their drudgeries in sugarcane cultivation. Dr. Pathak also urged farm women to form SHGs and install jaggery making plant and earn good profit. He also appreciated the work of women who are adopting vegetable cultivation on their roof tops.
On this occasion, several farm women were honoured for their outstanding contribution in the field of agriculture
ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi
Mrs Rekha Karthikeyan, the first fisherwoman of India, unfolded her exciting tale at an experience-sharing meet of women farmers and entrepreneurs in fisheries sector held at the ICAR-CMFRI as part of the celebration. Thrilling anecdotes that touched her battle against giant waves and determined stand to break taboos in connection with her venturing into the sea for a livelihood helped the audience understand the real meaning of women empowerment.
Mrs Karthikeyan shared her problems and initial difficulties in fishing. She goes into the sea for around 50 km for fishing in a fibre boat with her husband, and is also confident that anything that a man can do using a fibre boat can be performed by her in the sea.
Apart from Rekha Karthikeyan, as many as 16 woman representing a slew of areas such as fishing, cage fish farming, bivalve farming, ornamental fish farming, fish fertilizer, dried fish, fish trade, integrated farming, etc. shared their heroic stories with the audience. Smija T M, a cage fish farmer said even though she suffered huge loss due to the recent floods, she was in no way to avoid cage fish farming.
A panel discussion, held as part of the programme observed that cage fish farming as well as ornamental fish culture were paying areas suitable for women for livelihood.
A talk on health issues in women was delivered by Dr Vinita Murali. A painting competition for Fisheries VHSC girl students on the topic ‘women empowerment in fisheries sector’ was also held on the occasion.
ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar
Dr. (Mrs.) Swarnamayee Tripathy, Prof. and Head, Public Administration, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar was the Chief Guest on this occasion and in her speech, she highlighted the contribution of women in agriculture and allied sectors.
Mrs. Sugata Nayak, Director, SISU Organic, Bhubaneswar graced the occasion as Guest of Honour. She stressed upon upliftment of rural women through adoption of organic farming.
Dr. Bindu R. Pillai, Director, ICAR-CIFA in her address mentioned multidimensional role of women. She highlighted how women are backbone of rural and urban development. She also informed that ICAR-CIFA is actively involved in gender mainstreaming and capacity building of women in aquaculture.
Around 70 women farmers from Odisha were present at the event.
(Source: Respective Institutes)