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Women Farmers

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82% of those transporting seeds from field to home ... Registration costs, lack of acquaintance with official procedures, corruption ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Women Farmers


1
Women Farmers
  • The effects of the agrarian crisis on the female
    farmers in India.

2
  • Importance of female farmers
  • What can lead a woman farmer to suicide
  • Possible Solutions
  • Progress in action

3
Women and Farming in India
  • Close to a fifth of rural households are female
    headed
  • Women account for
  • 90 of those engaged in transplantation
  • 76 of those sowing seeds
  • 82 of those transporting seeds from field to
    home
  • 33 of those who prepare land for cultivation

4
Importance of Female Farmers
  • Dual responsibility of economic production and
    domestic labor
  • 66 of all women agricultural laborers are dalits
    earning Rs 8 to Rs 25/- per day Battle against
    fear and discrimination, Amnesty International,
    2001.

5
Importance of Female Farmers
  • Adilabad- Most active in cotton cultivation,
    followed by pulses and food crops like jowar and
    paddy
  • Godavari belt- women played important role in
    paddy cultivation
  • Role more pronounced amongst small and marginal
    farmers

6
Women and Farming in India
  • Anantapur and Mahbubnagar, Andhra Pradesh lakhs
    of men migrate in search of work
  • Leaves women to tend to farming, families, and
    finances
  • Bina Agarwals estimates 85 of rural women are
    farmers

7
Perception of Women Farmers
  • Farmers wives
  • The farmer is a landed male with a patta
  • Women not given as much respect for their work on
    the farms

8
Women Farmers Who Commit Suicide- Why?
  • Have a position of responsibility
  • In position of leadership due to man impairment
    deceased husband, sick son, demented
    father-in-law, etc.
  • Banjara community- women generally in-charge of
    land
  • High number of suicides amongst women have been
    recorded (Pallavi)
  • Level of alcoholism amongst men is high

9
Women Farmers Commit Suicide (contd)
  • "A woman who does not have a strong man backing
    her is looked upon with pity, but never with
    respect or trust,"
  • "A woman without a man does not get loans,
    labour, credit, anything. No one trusts a woman."
  • - Shahnaz Karim Khan

10
Women Farmers Commit Suicide (contd)
  • Women farmer deaths not recognized as suicide,
    because the property is not under her name
  • Eligibility criteria dead farmer should have
    land registered in his/her own or spouses name
  • Registration costs, lack of acquaintance with
    official procedures, corruption

11
Women Farmers Commit Suicide (contd)
Title deeds not under womans name.
No official credit for farming
No subsidized inputs
Higher cultivation costs
Private loans with higher interest rates
12
Women Farmers Commit Suicide (contd)
  • Men of household committing suicide can also lead
    to women taking their own lives
  • Men of household migrating can lead to immense
    pressure on the woman toward suicide
  • Domino effect
  • dowry issues
  • domestic violence
  • Children becoming bonded laborers

13
Women Farmers Commit Suicide (contd)
  • August 2001- August 2002 311 women suicides in
    Anantapur district alone
  • 80 of 311 from villages
  • Most of women from farming background

14
Suicide Widows Remain Alone
  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Program
    (NREGP) turns away women without male partner
  • "The field assistants and project officials
    prefer to deal with groups. If you do not have a
    male partner, they turn you away, assuming you
    cannot do real physical labour. They don't want
    widows. They told me to benefit from this
    scheme, you must be at least a pair of workers.'
    Bandi Lachmamma

15
So Whats the Solution?
  • Appropriate woman-friendly technology to ease
    work stress and improve productivity
  • Legal and social empowerment by owning land/
    having property rights under their name
  • Collection of gender-differentiated information
  • Self help groups to expand access to information
  • Literacy

16
Through Technology, Women Speak Up
  • January 5, 2008 first national virtual congress
    of women farmers.
  • Set up by the M.S. Swaminathan Research
    Foundation (MSSRF)
  • Women from seven village resource centres (VRCs)
    in Tamil Nadu, Orissa, AP, Rajasthan, and
    Mahrashtra
  • expressed the need for feminisation of Indian
    agriculture to hundreds of scientists and policy
    makers.

17
Demands
  • Financial and economic reforms - enable women to
    have land ownership
  • Asked for modified agricultural implements
  • Quality seeds, seed banks and water harvesting
    technology
  • Concerns drafted into a charter, presented to the
    government by the MSSRF for inclusion in the
    draft agriculture policy.

18
The Women of Karnataka Speak Up
  • Narsenahalli women farming on gomal (low
    quality government wasteland) land for the last
    30 years
  • Men migrate for work while women grow groundnut,
    red gram, and ragi
  • These women demand to own the title deeds of the
    land they cultivate
  • Part of the Karnataka Peoples Forum for Land
    Rights (KPFLR)- formed in 2001 to campaign for
    land reform

19
Survey by the US-based Rural Development
Institute
  • Interventions by NGOs have empowered women in
    areas like literacy, access to credit, job skills
    and health
  • BUT claims for land ownership rights have not
    significantly increased
  • 64 per cent of women polled thought government
    lands should be granted jointly to them and their
    husbands

20
Navdanya
  • Women-led organization that trains farmers on the
    importance of seed saving and seed sovereignty.
  • Conservation of more than 2000 rice varieties
  • Conserved 31 varieties of wheat and hundreds of
    millets, pseudocereals, pulses, oilseeds,
    vegetables and multipurpose plant species
    including medicinal plants.

21
West Bengal Leading the Way
  • Burdman, WB- Self-help group buys paddy,
    processes it and sells it to rice mills
  • Burdman Zilla Parishad spent Rs. 2 crore to
    develop infrastructure for processing units for
    200 SHGs.
  • State government lent Rs. 10 crore to buy paddy
  • Rs. 20 crore that would have moved out of rural
    economy is now kept within
  • Result 3000 landless members have generated some
    kind of income
  • Goal in 2 years SHGs may run rice mills

22
Difference between Maharashtra and West Bengal
  • Maharashtra
  • withdrew intervention in procurement -gt private
    buyers establish their monopoly
  • private moneylenders responsible for more than
    50 of loans given to small/marginal farmers
  • West Bengal
  • Primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS)
    get solid support from government
  • Membership fee to join PACS- Rs. 1
  • Credit recovery rate is 98, 4-7 interest

23
Women-Friendly Technology
  • Human-powered hand operated pump designed to pump
    the water from 20 meter depth.
  • Water output rate for an adult-20 liter per
    minute.
  • Water accessible for both irrigation drinking
    purpose
  • Increases the efficiency of water use in
    irrigation

24
March 8, 2008
  • International Womens Day
  • 400 women from various organisations meet in
    Mettupalayam, Tamilnadu
  • "We will not GROW GM Crops, We will Not EAT GM
    FOOD and We will NOT FEED our CHILDREN GM FOOD"
  • Workshop organized by Save Our Rice Campaign

25
  • The partnership between women and biodiversity
    has kept the world fed through history, at
    present, and will feed the world in the future.
    It is this partnership that needs to be preserved
    and promoted to ensure food security.
  • - Vandana Shiva
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