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.