A research by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) conducted in nine States shows that the participation of women is 75 per cent in the production of major crops, 79 per cent in horticulture, 51 per cent in post-harvest work and 95 per cent in animal husbandry and fisheries.
In an address on the occasion of Mahila Kisan Diwas, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that as many as 38.78 lakh women have been trained in the last two years under the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI). "As many as of 53.34 lakh women have benefited during the year 2016-17 and 2017-18," Singh added. About 400 women from 26 states participated in the two-day event that started on Sunday. Mahila Kisan Diwas is celebrated on October 15.
As per Census 2011, 65 percent of the total female workers in India is engaged in agriculture. Of the total cultivators (118.7 million), 30.3 percent are women. Out of 144.3 million agricultural labourers 42.6 per cent are Women. In 2001, female agricultural labourers were 21 per cent which increased to 23 per cent in 2011.
The Minister lauded the contribution of women in the development of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry and beekeeping sectors. Singh pitched for appointing more women in agriculture extension service and said the Centre would write to states on this matter
"More than 98.14 lakh women farmers have been trained so far under the Agriculture technology management agency (ATMA) scheme,' he said. Alongside, it is focusing on women self-help groups to connect them to micro credit through capacity building activities and to provide information and ensure their representation in decision-making bodies.
The Minister noted that in 2016-17, 21 techniques related to women were evaluated and 2.56 lakh women were trained in agriculture-related fields like sewing, manufacturing, value addition, rural handicraft, animal husbandry, beekeeping, poultry and fisheries.
In order to bring women in the agriculture mainstream, he said the Government has allocated more than 30 per cent of funds for women under various major schemes/programmes and development related activities.