Empowering Women Farmers in Rajasthan
In India, women are responsible for 60-80% of total food production, but their access to farming related assets, knowledge, inputs and services is much lower than that of male farmers. Sehgal Foundation’s Krishi Chetna (agricultural awareness) project aims to change this dynamic by increasing the role women play in agricultural decision-making.
Sehgal Foundation has trained some women farmers in Rajasthan in integrated soil health management and sustainable agricultural practices. These women farmers are called Krishi Sakhis (farmers’ friends). They are now teaching other women farmers in 14 villages of the Alwar district in Rajasthan. The project is funded by Misr Hytech Seed International, Egypt, and is being implemented by Sehgal Foundation in collaboration with a local NGO partner, Ibtada.
More than 2000 women farmers in Rajasthan have gained knowledge on sustainable agricultural practices from the Krishi Sakhis working in their villages. This has helped increase crop yields and incomes. Laxmi, a Krishi Sakhi from Mollya village, commented, “Earlier, we were not aware about the issues concerning agriculture. Now, as a Krishi Sakhi, I feel confident when I share the acquired knowledge with male farmers in my village.”
Sukh, another Krishi Sakhi stated, “Working as a Krishi Sakhi has helped me earn respect in the eyes of my village community. It makes me feel nice when farmers come to me seeking my advice on agricultural matters which had traditionally always been a male dominated area.”
The Krishi Sakhi program has helped rural villages in Rajasthan to learn about and adopt new agricultural interventions. These interventions help farmers to increase their crop yield and their incomes. Sehgal Foundation hopes that as it trains more villagers to become Krishi Sakhis, the agricultural knowledge will reach more and more of the rural communities around Rajasthan.
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