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Pradan Presents Empowering Stories of Women Farmers in Agriculture World Womens Special Issue in March 2021

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action) was created in 1983 by two young professionals, Deep Joshi and Vijay Mahajan, who were convinced that even the stubborn, endemic poverty of rural India can be solved. PRADAN  systematically grooms and enable professionals with empathy towards the poor to work at the grassroots level. Pradan works for change that is sustainable and self-perpetuating, bringing skills and systems that help women, families and communities gain confidence and take charge of their own lives. In 1987 PRADAN began working with the government and over the years we have played a major role in developing such programs as IRDP, SGSY, and the National Rural Livelihood Mission.  

In the Agriculture World’s special edition in the month of March 2021  we discuss and debate the theme #“Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. Several authors of PRADAN has efficiently contributed to the March Issue of Agriculture World. Hemant Dewangan Paratha Sarathi Behura from PRADAN writes about how lives of 12 women got transformed when they took the oath to come together and take up new initiatives that were never thought before. 

PRADAN supported them in procuring the fingerlings (baby-fishes) and help them learn all the steps and techniques involved in pisciculture. With full enthusiasm, Lachni, Savita and others started fish rearing with silver carp, common carp and also some miner carp like Rohu, Katlaand Mrigal. They invested only Rs. 3500 to initiate the rearing! Their taste of success did not remain confined to their members only. Being inspired by their triumph, this year three new SHGs got formed in the same area, named Jai Kisan SHG, Jai Maa Durga SHG and Jai Maa Bamleshwari SHG. 

Nrusingh Charan Sutar, Ranchi from PRADAN explains about the journey of Parmohan Sahu who was selected and trained by PRADAN on various aspects of farm based livelihoods to help him become an expert L-CRP. Parmohan Sahu is a  progressive farmer, with some interest in spreading his knowledge and capabilities to other small and marginal farmers of his village, Jambahar village in Simdega district of Jharkhand, during spring 2019. Techniques like SRI or community vegetable nurseries have transformed lives of thousands of small farmers like you in other pockets of Jharkhand and in other states of the country. 

Smruthy V. Sasidharan, Sarai, Madhya Pradesh from PRADAN writes about Foolmati and her efforts to build a centralized vegetable nursery – because local farmers never had a reliable place to buyseeds or saplings from. Slowly, but steadily, she started believing in her ability to change the whole scenario of vegetable cultivation with her services to all the nearby five villages, where she now operates along with the Krishi Sakhi to ensure a reasonable income of vegetable farmers. 

Santosh Kumar, Chakradharpur from PRADAN explains about Sunita Mahato  who never thought, even in her wildest dreams, that a day would come when every one in her panchayat would know her name, respect her, and would be eager to contact her. Farming has been in Sunita’s genes, being the daughter of a farmer and married to a farmer. Even when she first learnt and applied System of Root Intensification on her paddy field to witness a sea change in the yield, this thought that one day she would be a common name in every farmer-household of Asantalia was far beyond fathom for Sunita. 

In March issue of Agriculture World we discuss about Women in Food and Farming Systems  and their far fledged dream of being recognized and given access to land and capital, without  which women’s equality as agricultural producers would be a far dream fledged to be realized  in the Asian countries. Subscribe to Agriculture World’s special edition in the month of March 2021 where we discuss and debate the theme #“Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. 

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