Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare provide that States and other implementing agencies should incur atleast 30% expenditure on women farmers

New Delhi : The guidelines of the various beneficiary oriented schemes of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare provide that States and other implementing agencies should incur atleast 30% expenditure on women farmers. These schemes include Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms, National Food Security Mission, National Mission on Oilseed & Oil Palm, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture, Sub-Mission for Seed and Planting Material, Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.

The Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA), Bhubaneswar functioning under Indian Council of Agricultural Research is mandated to undertake research on gender issues in agriculture and allied fields, through its 13 All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) centres spread across 12 States in the country. Hundred per cent budget of this institute is allocated to conduct  research on gender specific issues  in agriculture and allied areas.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP), a sub-component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is under implementation in Ministry of Rural Development since 2011 with the aim to empower women by making systematic investments to enhance their participation in agriculture based livelihoods. It is  a demand driven programme implemented in project mode through the State Rural Livelihoods Missions as Project Implementing Agencies. In DAY-NRLM, there is no State-wise budget allocation for every year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) under Central Sector Scheme of ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)’ has made special provisions in the operational guidelines to empower women farmers such as providing special focus, inter-alia, to include women farmers/women SHGs , as members to make FPOs more effective and inclusive; and making provision  to prefer women farmers’ as its shareholders.

Under DAY-NRLM, women owned Producers Enterprises are being promoted to provide better market access to their farm produce through aggregation and value addition. These Producers Enterprises are formal entities registered under Producers Company, Cooperative and Trust Act. The Producers Enterprises are being supported for setting for value addition infrastructure, commodity procurement, and capacity building of  members. Till date, 181 Producers Enterprises have been promoted under DAY-NRLM. Further, convergence has been established with the MoA&FW and  another 100 women owned FPOs have been promoted under the Central Sector scheme “Formation & Promotion of 10,000 FPOs”.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is promoting FPOs under its dedicated funds viz. PRODUCE Fund and Producers Organizations Development Fund (PODF) towards collectivization of farmers for enhancing income by way of providing better market accessibility for their farm produce. Women are an integral part of FPOs and therefore, farmer members both men & women are mobilized during its formation stage through awareness creation.   NABARD has promoted 5073 FPOs under PRODUCE Fund and PODF, out of which 178 FPOs are exclusive women FPOs comprising of 0.74 lakh shareholder women members. Various activities have been undertaken by these women FPOs in the areas of  animal husbandry, poultry, seed, mushroom, spices, millets, beekeeping, etc.

This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare  Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha.