Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW)
The government has said that under the schemes implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) at least 30 percent of the expenditure allocated for agricultural schemes is being incurred for women to bring them into mainstream agriculture. This mainly includes Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana.
About Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana:
- It was started in 2011.
- The “Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana” (MKSP) is a sub component of the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-NRLM (DAY-NRLM).
- The primary objective of the scheme is to empower women in agriculture by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity, as also create and sustain agriculture based livelihoods of rural women.
- It seeks to improve the present status of women in Agriculture, and to enhance the opportunities available to empower her.
- MKSP recognizes the identity of “Mahila” as “Kisan” and strives to build the capacity of women in the domain of agro-ecologically sustainable practices.
- Funding: Upto 60% (90% for North Eastern States) of the funding support for such projects is provided by the government.
Why this scheme needed:
Rural women form the most productive work force in the economy of majority of the developing nations including India. Agriculture, the single largest production endeavour in India, contributing to 16% of the GDP is increasingly becoming a female activity. Agriculture sector employs 80% of all economically active women; they comprise 33% of the agricultural labour force and 48% of self employed farmers. About 18% of the farm families in India, according to NSSO Reports are reported to be headed by women. Beyond the conventional market – oriented, narrower definition of ‘productive workers’, almost all women in rural India can be considered as ‘farmers’ in some sense, working as agricultural labourers, unpaid workers in the family farm enterprises or combination of the two.
Women in Agriculture are generally not able to access extension services and production assets like seed, water, credit, subsidy etc. As most of them are not recognized as farmers for want of ownership of land, they are not considered as beneficiaries of various government programmes / services. The wage differentials between men and women being adverse to them, the situation is further aggravated. Some of the tasks performed by the women are not valued adequately and considered less important economically.
Further, due to multiple roles that a woman has to perform within the family and the farm, her access to knowledge and information, is constrained and therefore her opportunities get limited. To improve the present status of women in Agriculture, and to enhance the opportunities for her empowerment, Government of India has announced “Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana” (MKSP), as a sub component of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and decided to provide support to the tune of Rs. 100 crore during 2010-11 budget.
Objective of MKSP:
The primary objective of the MKSP is to empower women in agriculture by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity, as also create and sustain agriculture based livelihoods of rural women. By establishing efficient local resource based agriculture, wherein women in agriculture gain more control over the production resources and manage the support systems, the project seeks to enable them to gain better access to the inputs and services provided by the government and other agencies. Once the production capacities of women in agriculture improve, food security ensues for their families and communities.
Specific objectives of MKSP are as under:
- To enhance the productive participation of women in agriculture;
- To create sustainable agricultural livelihood opportunities for women in agriculture;
- To improve the skills and capabilities of women in agriculture to support farm and non-farm-based activities;
- To ensure food and nutrition security at the household and the community level;
- To enable women to have better access to inputs and services of the government and other agencies;
- To enhance the managerial capacities of women in agriculture for better management of bio-diversity;
- To improve the capacities of women in agriculture to access the resources of other institutions and schemes within a convergence framework.
- Net increase in the incomes of women in agriculture on a sustainable basis;
- Improvement in food and nutritional security of women in agriculture and their families;
- Increase in area under cultivation, cropping intensity and food production by women;
- Increased levels of skills and performance by women in agriculture;
- Increased access of women in agriculture to productive land, inputs, credit, technology and information;
- Drudgery reduction for women in agriculture through use of gender friendly tools / technologies;
- Increased access to market and market information for better marketing of their products;
- Increased soil health and fertility to sustain agriculture based livelihoods;
- Increased visibility of women in agriculture as an interest group –in terms of increased number of women institutions and increase in their entrepreneurship.
MKSP recognizes the centrality of women in agriculture and therefore aims to provide direct and indirect support to enable them to achieve sustainable agriculture production. It will initiate a learning cycle by which women are enabled to learn and adopt appropriate technologies and farming systems. MKSP will be implemented as a sub-component of NRLM through specially formulated projects. Under NRLM, provision has been made to invite project proposals for Skill Development and Placement. Further under NRLM, It has been proposed to explore various models of partnership with various skill development organizations in general and the private sector in particular for execution of Skill Development and Placement projects. Similar approach is proposed to be followed for MKSP projects under NRLM.
- The Project Implementing Agency (PIA) under MKSP is expected to follow the below mentioned strategy:
Use of locally adopted, resource conserving, knowledgecentric,farmer-led and environment-friendly technologies;
- Coordinated action by communities and community based institutions such as the women self help groups, their federations, NGOs and farmer groups, farm schools, farmer field schools and others;
- Inculcating community mobilization skills among women in agriculture thereby demonstrating and articulating the benefits of the sustainable agricultural methods to them;
- The MKSP will enhance the skill base of the women in Agriculture to enable them to pursue their livelihoods on a sustainable basis. Capacity building of women and skill upgradation through handholding, formal and vocational courses will be emphasized;
- The MKSP will strategize in a manner to target the Poorest of the Poor and most vulnerable women such as SC/ST,minorities, landless and the Primitive Tribal Groups;
- While identifying the target group, priority should be given to women-headed households (single women), resource poor households, and women groups engaged in Agriculture and allied activities (promotion, production, processing and marketing);
- Participatory approaches and bottom up planning will constitute the core values of the MKSP.