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Women Farmers In Odisha Are Doubling Their Income With The Mission Shakti Initiative

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Women have proven their mettle in every field and they do it not just to make ends meet but we also excel in whatever we set their minds to. Having lived a life of oppression for several decades, now that women finally have the chance to turn things around, we aren’t in any mood to look back. We say this after coming across a group of women farmers in Jharsuguda district who have emerged as successful farmers even in times of covid.

Out of the group of 23 women, one of them is Sarojini Oram, a 40-year-old woman from Aitapali village in Laikera who has been cultivating watermelon and vegetables in her 1.5 acre of land for two years now. Sarojini ended up earning a profit of Rs. 55,000 in the last two months by selling watermelon and is also a part of Kalyani Producer Group, involving 98 women farmers of 10 Self Help Groups (SHGs), under the Agriculture Production Cluster (APC) of Jharsuguda.

And following her lead, all of these 23 women cultivated watermelon this year on their 38 acres of land. Sarojini talked about this at length as she shared, “After the paddy crop, I had cultivated watermelon. Now the entire crop of around 150 quintal has been sold. This time we did not do much to sell the produce. Extra labour and transportation costs were also saved. Ladies finger crop is now ready to go to market.”

Also Read : TIME Magazine Puts Indian Women Farmers Leading The Farmer Protests On Its International Cover

With 47 producer groups of such remarkable and hard-working women, almost 6000 women farmers are being supported, using synchronised farming method that helps in giving a high yield. The promotion of APC in the tribal regions is thereby helping in improve livelihoods of women farmers through collective production and marketing of agriculture produce through the self-regulated Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).

Mission Shakti Commissioner cum Director Sujata R Karthikeyan said, “Mission Shakti is supporting the initiative that focuses on diversification of cropping systems and setting up critical infrastructure for agriculture by establishing local mechanisms for input services, ensuring improved package of practices and adoption of non-pesticide management practices. Women farmers through APCs strive to institutionalise the marketing process to ensure fair prices and organise the production system resulting in higher income.”

We are glad to see that in every sector that once was reserved for the men, women are not just breaking their way in, but also reminding everyone that they are here to stay.

Also Read : Women Farmers Start Maharashtra’s First Rural Home Kitchen. This Brilliant Move Has Helped Their Families Stay Afloat Through The Lockdown


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