Women farmers play a crucial role in the Indian agricultural sector. According to the 2011 Census, women constitute almost 48% of the agricultural labor force in the country. However, their contributions often go unrecognized and unrewarded, and they face a multitude of challenges.
Firstly, women farmers have limited access to resources, including land, credit, and agricultural inputs. Secondly, often women farmers face social and cultural barriers that limit their participation in training and extension programs. In many cases, they also lack access to education and information on modern agricultural practices.
Despite these challenges, women farmers have demonstrated their resilience and capability to improve their livelihoods and those of their communities. Women farmers have been at the forefront of adopting innovative and sustainable farming practices such as organic farming, agroforestry, and crop diversification.
In recognition of the critical role played by women farmers in the agricultural sector, the Indian government has implemented various policies and programs to support and empower them. These include initiatives to provide access to credit, land, and other resources, as well as training and extension services tailored to their needs.
Moreover, women farmers have been instrumental in promoting food security and nutrition in their households and communities. Women are often the primary caregivers and responsible for ensuring that their families have access to nutritious and diverse food.
Here, let us look at some of the stories of our women farmers, who have embraced their role in the farming ably supported by their ecosystem. They are the silent change makers, whose impact goes a long way in creating an impact that shapes generations. We met these women in their element, and we were welcomed by their beaming smiles as they showed us a glimpse of their life.
Lalita is a farmer in village Baltotanalli, Krishnagir district. Earlier, she was growing carrots and chrysanthemums in an open field. One day she visited her relative’s floriculture farm in Baltotanalli & saw that the condition of the farm was very poor. She took the responsibility to handle the poly-house floriculture farm in 2019. But in a few months, COVID-19 hit and floriculture suffered miserably, ultimately closing down. But this didn’t waver her spirit and she immediately started the cultivation of Asparagus, which Deep Rooted eventually purchased in small quantities. Later in 2020, with advice from the agronomists at Deep Rooted, she started growing 9 crops like coriander, dill leaves, tomatoes, etc. and now enjoys excellent quality & variety of produce.
Hailing from Maharashtra, Savita got into farming 15 years ago when she got married. She primarily grew potatoes, capsicums, green peas, and strawberries. However, once she got to know the demand for berries among the masses, she wasted no time in expanding her farm to grow gooseberries & raspberries. Shy to speak, but smilling and nodding in approval once her husband spoke proudle of her, he says, ‘’Savita & I are 50-50 partners in everything, including all responsibilities of our farm. It was she who proposed the idea of growing more berries & thanks to her, we’ve seen a terrific profits over the past few years. I am fortunate to have a partner like her, who has shouldered so much responsibility. Together, we believe in better and brighter days. ’’
Bharti has been a farmer since the last 12 years. She was primarily growing potatoes, broccoli, and green peas. But over the last few years, she started growing a variety of berries. However, this year, due to inappropriate weather conditions, the berries didn’t really show up in the fields when they were supposed to, causing a significant loss for her. But once the berries did show up, Bharti was determined to cover up her losses & reached out to companies who could source berries from them. That’s where her journey with Deep Rooted began. Relentless in her pursuit, undefeated in her cause, she is solution driven,which when matched with skill brings success. In her own words, ‘’The demand for our berries grew so much that we not only recovered the losses but also made 3X profit, which was amazing.’’ When not farming, Bharti enjoys dancing.