ri   lt re and ood         ana ement         8.55
                                                           production to livestock, horticulture, post-harvest
        douBlInG FArm Income                               operations, agro and social forestry, fisheries and
     Remunerative farming is not a precondition            marketing, they are involved at every possible
     for enriching farm community only but it is           level of farm activity (this was rightly recognised
     considered the biggest incentive to enhance the       by the National Commission on Women, 2001).
     agricultural output, too. This is why enhancing       For sustainable development of the agriculture
     farm income has emerged among the most                and rural economy, the contribution of women
     immediate policy concerns for the government          to agriculture and food production cannot be
     in recent times. Recently, a shift has been seen in   ignored.
     the Government’s strategy towards the agriculture          Globally, there is empirical evidence that
     sector—from increasing farm output to increasing      women have a decisive role in ensuring ‘food
     farm income. Aimed at doubling the farmers’ income    security’ and ‘preserving local agro-biodiversity’.
     by 2022, the Government of India has announced        Rural women are responsible for the integrated
     a ‘seven-point strategy’. The details of the strategy management and use of diverse natural resources
     are as given below:                                   to meet the daily household needs (Food and
           (i) Focus on irrigation with bigger budgets     Agriculture Organisation, 2011).
               aimed at ‘per drop, more crop’.                  But in this sector also India has high gender
          (ii) Provision of quality seeds and nutrients    disparity. As per the Census 2011, out of total
               based on soil health.                       female main workers, 55 per cent were agricultural
         (iii) Strengthening warehousing and cold          labourers and 24 per cent were cultivators.
               chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses. However, only 12.8 per cent of the operational
         (iv) Promoting value addition through food        holdings were owned by women. Moreover, there
               processing.                                 is concentration of operational holdings (25.7 per
                                                           cent) by women in the marginal and small holdings
          (v) Creation of a national farm market,
                                                           categories. With growing rural to urban migration
               removing distortions and e-platform.
                                                           by men, there is feminisation of agriculture sector
         (vi) Mitigating risks at affordable cost through
                                                           in the country, with increasing number of women
               suitable kind of farm insurance.
                                                           in multiple roles—as cultivators, entrepreneurs,
        (vii) Promoting ancillary activities like poultry, and labourers.
               beekeeping and fisheries.
                                                                This requires that women farmers should
           Agri-experts together with the foremost         have enhanced access to resources like land, water,
     Indian agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan         credit, technology and training which needs critical
     have appreciated this initiative of the Government.   analysis in the context of India. In addition, the
     The challenge of doubling farmers’ income within      entitlements of women farmers will be the key
     the prescribed time frame is very much possible       to improve agriculture productivity. Towards
     supported by a good strategy, well-designed           this, Government has been implementing various
     programmes, adequate resources and good               schemes which help improve the entitlements
     governance.                                           of women farmers, which will prove to be
                                                           advantageous in bridging the policy gaps which
        women FArmers                                      exist in the sector. The following measures82 have
     In sector agriculture, women play a significant         82.    Economic Survey 2017-18, Vol. 2, pp. 103-104,
     and crucial role. Right from the main crop                     Ministry of Finance, Government of India, N. Delhi.