At least 30 per cent of the expenditure allocated for agricultural schemes is being incurred for women to bring them into mainstream agriculture, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
"Under the schemes implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the women farmers can avail benefits as per eligibility. The guidelines of the various beneficiary oriented schemes of the department also provide that States and other implementing Agencies to incur at least 30% expenditure on women farmers," he stated.
The Ministry of Rural Development had started a scheme to provide facilities to women farmers namely, Mahila Kisan SashaktikaranPariyojana (MKSP), a sub-component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY –NRLM), which is under implementation since 2011 through State Rural Livelihoods Mission as Project Implementation Agencies. The primary objective of MKSP is to empower women by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and create the sustainable livelihood of rural women.
The Government has adopted several developmental programmes, schemes, reforms and policies that focus on higher incomes for the farmers, including women farmers, which are being supported by higher budgetary allocations. Several reforms have unleashed the potential, including market reforms, the establishment of Gramin Agriculture Markets (GrAMs), Agri-Export Policy 2018, The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2020 etc, besides others.
Mahila Kisan Sa shaktikaran Pariyojana
More than 80% of rural women are engaged in agriculture activities for their livelihoods and form the most productive workforce in the economy. About 20 per cent of farm livelihoods are female-headed due to widowhood, desertion, or male emigration. Agricultural support system in India strengthens the exclusion of women from their entitlements as agriculture workers and cultivators. Most of the women-headed households cannot access extension services, farmers support institutions and production assets like a seed, water, credit, subsidy etc. As agricultural workers, women are paid a lower wage than men.
The "Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana" (MKSP), a sub-component of the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-NRLM (DAY-NRLM) seeks to improve the present status of women in agriculture and to enhance the opportunities available to empower them.