The vision of socio-economic empowerment of women can only be realized if those living on the periphery are also empowered. These are India’s Agriwomen, whose voices are often ignored because of their gender, and who struggle to define their individuality locally because of patriarchal traditions and gender socialization.
Agriculture employs 80% of all economically active women in India; they represent 33% of the agricultural labor force and 48% of self-employed farmers. Women in India’s agricultural sector perform the majority of extensive agricultural activities, from sowing to harvesting, although they have less access to resources than their male counterparts.
In this context, Krishi Jagran organized a live session on the occasion of International Women’s DayMarch 8, 2022 on “Agriwoman Economic & Social Change – the Future of Womenomics” involving male dignitaries and entrepreneurs from various sectors.
This event was moderated by MC Dominic, Founder and Editor of Agriculture World and Krishi Jagran.
Many esteemed speakers participated in this session and shared their wisdom as well as presented their perspective on the role and potential of women in agriculture.
MC Dominic, Founder & Editor of Agriculture World & Krishi Jagran had a thoughtful idea to empower the female population. He said women should have 50% reserve in all legislative activities. At the same time, he also said that MP seats in Parliament should be doubled and women should have a chance in those seats and then see how far they progress in that direction. He added that in this way we can further increase their morale by giving them equal opportunities in society.
Manoj Bhatt, a progressive farmer from Uttarakhand said there are a lot of opportunities and plans from the government to empower the female population.
Raju Kapoor, Director of Public and Industry Affairs, FMC Corporation highlighted the real situation, saying it is important to understand the struggle of women. Otherwise, Women’s Day comes and goes every year, but it won’t make a difference locally.
Raju said there was still a huge lack of infrastructure for education and employment of women. He also stressed the need for toilets and hygienic toilets for women to work.
Dr. Anil Kumar, Director, ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, said that women play a very dynamic and multifaceted role in all aspects. On this day, it is necessary to highlight the role that women play in the agricultural sector, he added.
He cited a study published in 2021, indicating the difference in working hours of men and women per day. Women work 91 minutes longer than men. Apart from rural areas, there is also the untapped and underutilized potential of urban areas with educated women as well as resources that can be utilized with rooftop farming, he continued.
He emphasized technological development in the agricultural sector and said technological advancements can help empower women even more.
Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen India Foundation, said that it is very important for women to grow from the ground up. At present, women play a greater role in production, including sowing and harvesting, leaving the harvest and the main profit to the man associated with post-harvest activities. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to involve women at every stage of the agricultural value chain so that they can reap significant benefits, he added.
Sanjay Wayal, Founder and CEO, Ishved Biotech Pvt Ltd, presented a great example of female empowerment by stating that 90% of Ishwed biotech’s workforce is made up of women. There will be a target of 10,000 women who will be targeted to find employment in his organization by 2030, he added the vision and mission of ishwed biotech Pvt Ltd.
Dr Ravindra Kumar Sohane, Director of Extension Education, Bihar Agricultural University, presented a quick review of initiatives taken by the Government of India as well as the State Government of Bihar for the empowerment of women.
He also highlighted the huge increase and dominance of women’s power in agricultural universities and other sectors that previously existed or were dominated by men.
Pradip Patil, CEO of Prime UAV, showcased an example of women in tech, including Sarita Ahlawat, the woman behind the big republic day drone show. In addition to this, he offered research on GPS technology” in drone technologies for security purposes which also involves the woman.
Ramkumar, vice president of Garuda Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., talked about the need to celebrate the contribution of women 365 days a year rather than celebrating it on just one day. We are contributing and striving to improve the participation of women in the agricultural sector with drone technology, he said. We support rural entrepreneurs involving the majority of women with training and advice on the use of Agridrone, he added.