At least 30% of the fund allocated in the budget for agriculture schemes is being earmarked for women as part of efforts to bring them into mainstream agriculture, Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh said.
The minister was speaking at an event, themed ‘Securing Rights of Women Farmers: Developing a Roadmap for Action’, organised by the National Women Commission in association with UN Women and Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM).
The ministry is trying to ensure that women become part of the mainstream agriculture and contribute to farm productivity and production as well as in doubling the income of their families, the minister said. He said women should reap the benefit of every penny spent in the farm sector.
The ministry is focusing on women self-help groups (SHGs) and to connect them to micro-credit. It also decided to celebrate October 15 of every year as Women Farmer’s Day.
According to the survey conducted by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), a decline in both male and female labour force in agriculture has been observed in the last three decades.
However, there has been a greater decline in the number of male labour force in agri sector as compared to the female workforce. The decline in the number of women is significantly lower than the men and “this can be easily called the feminisation of agriculture”, the statement said.
According to NSSO report, women lead almost 18% agricultural households. Out of the 80% women in farm-related activities, 33% work as agricultural labourers and 48% as self-employed farmers.