Women as farmers, laborers and entrepreneurs are the driving force of India’s farmland. According to OXFAM 2018, agriculture sector employees 50% of all economically active women in India, they comprise 33% of the agriculture labour force and 48% of the self- employed farmers. Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. Women play a vital role in building this economy. Over the years there is a gradual realization of the key role of women in agricultural development and their vital contribution in the field of agriculture, food security horticulture, nutrition, processing and other allied sectors.
M. S. Swaminadhan the famous agricultural scientist describes that it was woman who first domesticated crop plants and there by initiated the art and science of farming. While men went out hunting in search for food, women started gathering seeds from the native flora and began cultivating those of interest from the point of view of food, fodder, fuel and fiber. Women have played and continue to play a key role in the conservation of basic life support systems such as land, water, flora and fauna. They have protected the health soil through organic recycling.and promoted crop security through the maintenance of varietal diversity and genetic resistance.
Agriculture extension efforts should help women improve food production while allowing then to shift more of their labor to export production. Similarly, changes in legal, financial and educational systems must be under taken in order to enhance women’s social and economic contributions to rural development in long term.Farm women felt the impact in their children’s education in large extent, as they were able to provide them with better educational facilities as well as chances to get an education outside the village.
By Team - SPURRING INNOVATORS IN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE