Stories of Change | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Government of India.

Stories of Change

The legacy of women farmers

July 19, 2022

The Women Producer Group of Mamonikhurd village in Madhya Pradesh's Sahariya tribe-dominated village was started in 2019 with a common objective, that if women can collect their agricultural produce, they will be able to bargain for better prices. This effort has led to an 18% increase in Lodhi's peanut farm revenue. With the assistance of the Delhi-based non-profit organisation Srijan (Self-Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action), this group initiative was launched in the villages of Mamonikhurd, Barodi, and Salai in the Shivpuri district. This district is part of the Bundelkhand region, which is impacted by the migration crisis, feudalism, and gender inequality.

Bundelkhand faces severe water scarcity that critically impacts agriculture, which is the main source of livelihood in the region. Groundnut is one of the most important cash crops of the region, mainly cultivated by women farmers. But because of their small farms, inadequate storage facilities, poor market access, and unpredictable prices, these women continuously struggle with issues like fraud by middlemen. They must also deal with high production expenses brought on by erratic rains, poor soil, and a lack of modern farming techniques. Farmers and non-profit organisations agreed to form a Women Producer Group, which advocates for collectivism at the threshold, in response to these difficulties. This programme is led by women, and they are also in charge of its management. This project has emerged as a permanent solution to such challenges.

These women help produce crops and transport the produce to the collection centers run by them in the villages. At present there are 70 producer groups in 30 villages. To get a good price, two to three women are selected from different groups, trained by non-profit organizations to test their produce, set prices and bring buyers from the main market.

Source - Down to Earth