Institutional Mechanism and Technological Backstopping to Promote Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture

ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneswar conducted a study in a cluster comprising of two villages’ viz., Sankilo and Tentalpur under Nischintakoili block of Cuttack district of Odisha under ICAR-NASF funded project by adopting 40 farm women. During the first year, critical gender gap indicators were identified and prioritized using the SHEET (Social-Health-Environmental-Economic-Technological) Module. On the basis of the identified critical gender gap indicators, interventions were provided and field trials were conducted under three modules viz., Livelihood Enhancement Model for the small and marginal women farmers, Nutritional Security Model for medium income group women farmers and Entrepreneurship Promotion Model for big women farmers through Institute-Industry- Stakeholders’ Linkages.

Institutional Mechanism and Technological Backstopping to Promote Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture   Institutional Mechanism and Technological Backstopping to Promote Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture

Under Livelihood Enhancement Model, demonstration  of vegetables resulted an increase in average gross return from ₹1,16,923/- to ₹3,15,005/- and net return from ₹50,107/- to ₹1,89,955/- per annum. A yield advantage of about 45.51-68.93% and incremental income of 155-203% was obtained. The introduction of high yielding fruit crops resulted in yield advantages of about 47.85-49.52% with an incremental income of 69.74-119.30%. Under Nutritional Security Model, nutri-farm trials generated a lot of awareness and sensitization among the women group towards nutrition and consumption of nutri-rich vegetables and fruits.

Institutional Mechanism and Technological Backstopping to Promote Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture   Institutional Mechanism and Technological Backstopping to Promote Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture

In case of rice production, the average highest yield of 6.68t/ha was observed in rice variety CR-Dhan 312 with highest benefit cost ratio of 2.50. Average net return of ₹1,13,000/- and gross return of ₹1,26,290/- per ha along with 64.40% yield advantage and 145.26% increase in net return were obtained. Introduction of high protein rice varieties CR Dhan 311 (Mukul) and CR Dhan 315 added an additional protein yield of 3.26 and 3.30 q/ha to the diet of farm families and also help in meeting the zinc requirement (20-22 ppm).

An average yield of 1.28 t/ha in black gram (var. PU-31) was recorded with an increase in yield of 63.08% and net return of ₹ 29.687/- per annum. The Benefit: Cost ratio of black gram increased from 1.68 to 2.42 with 84.74% increase in farm income. The intake of black gram helps to meet out protein requirement of the farm women.

Entrepreneurship Promotion Model has generated a total yield of 971.1 kg of paddy straw mushroom with a total income of ₹ 1,74,798/- out of which a value of ₹ 17,479/- of mushroom has used for household consumption and ₹ 1,57,649/- of mushroom sold in open market with an average net return of ₹ 26,040/100 beds. The Benefit: Cost ratio increased from 2.06 to 4.21 with an increase in 54.99% yield advantage. On an average 133 percent increase in source of income was recorded after intervention of the project. Demonstrations of women friendly drudgery reducing farm tools were also conducted which improved the work efficiency, work output and decreased drudgery and health hazards of the farm women.

A Women Farmer Producer Organization (WFPOs) i.e., “Ananya Farmer Producer Company Limited” has been established to strengthen the agri-entrepreneurial approach of the identified farm women cluster. The above such models has generated profits and awareness among the farm women for the cluster based production and motivated them to replicate these models in different location of the cluster which helps to bring Equity, promote Entrepreneurship and realization of Empowerment of farm women in agriculture.

(Source: ICAR- Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneswar)