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‘Community farming has empowered women farmers in Odisha’

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, June 27:

Community farming in agriculture sector has made the women folk in Odisha more confident and self-reliant than before, experts observed during a State-level conclave organised by the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) here today.

DSC_3526The experts stressed the need to give due importance to women for proper development of the agriculture sector.

According to 2011 census, women constitute 37% of the agricultural workforce in Odisha out of a total of 62 per cent of State’s population active in agriculture sector. As per the figures mentioned in the Agriculture Census of India, 74.7% out of the total female agricultural workforce in the State belongs to the marginal category with a total of 41.2 per cent of land holdings.

With small land holdings in hilly areas, women didn’t want to do farming by spending money and labour. When CYSD persuaded the women to do community farming by combining their small land holdings and workforce, the women folk took the initiative in the sector and succeeded in the field.

Women farmers like Laxmi Khila of Dadhiapadar under Boipariguda block in Koraput district, Sabitri Bhue and Lalita Bhue of Hemgiri block in Sundargarh district, Manmodi Gadba of Dasmantpur block in Koraput district and others from about 13 districts-  mostly from KBK districts – attended the conclave and shared their experiences and success stories with other women farmers.

Experts like Women’s Cooperative Development Corporation Chairman Srimayee Mishra, CYSD chairman PK Mishra, former Information Commissioner Jagadananda, CRRI senior scientist Dr Meera Kar, Deputy Director of Agriculture Aparthy Sethi, Deputy Director of Horticulture Gayatri Padhi and activist Jagdish Pradhan lauded the women farmers’ achievement and advised them on how to excel in their field.

In the conclave, two books, Ananya and Darpan were released by the experts.