Farmer Awareness Programmes

Eighty Farmer Awareness Programmes were also organized in different parts of country. The basic objective of the farmer awareness programmes was to give exposure to the Indian farmers on various agricultural marketing reforms, modern marketing methods, direct marketing, group marketing, interface with the experts of commodities specialist and marketing personnel, ware housing, pledge financing and scientific storage of agricultural commodities in India and to upgrade their skilled on the subject (Annexure).

Capacity Building programme for Women farmers at Gunpur, Raygada District, Odisha

Capacity Building is a a conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from realizing their development goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results. Capacity Building comprises of activities which result in transfer of knowledge, skills and attitude from one person to another or from one group to another. CCS National Institute of Agricultural Marketing(NIAM) has been engaged in conducting capacity building programmes for Women farmers, women members of Self help groups with an objective to provide information enhance the capabilities of the women producers to ensure food security, enhance household incomes and improve their collective bargaining power.

Raygada District of Odisha is one of the poorest region. Agriculture and forest based activities are the primary activities to sustain livelihood. The district generates income mainly through agriculture based activities. Paddy, wheat, ragi, green gram, black gram, groundnut, sweet potato and maize are the major crops grown in the area. However the region suffers from low productivity in agriculture.

In the district 75% of the population is a tribal population. There is also a large scale prevalence of poverty . Women farmers are engaged in cultivation of paddy and cotton. The capacity building programme for the women farmers was organized on 22nd November at Gunpur, Regulated Market Committee. Then programme was attended by 50 women farmers. These women farmers are also members of self help groups. There was representation from three self help groups of the district. During the training programme, discussion with the women farmers brought forth tha plight of livelihood concerns. The reasons for this are traditional agricultural practice, lack of awareness, inaccessibility of information, uneconomic land size. It also emerged that there is lack of market support and access to market is constraint by social barriers.

Outcomes of Training: Through the training programme, Women farmers were provided information on managing self help groups and better group dynamics. They were also informed about developing collective marketing and value addition. The district is diversifying to different crops, Ragi has been a focus crop. Women farmers were informed about the scope of value added products of Ragi. There is also good scope for processing of Cashewnut. With the help of Government schemes few agri enterprises have come up in District. There is also good scope of dal mills. The women members of SHG were encouraged to establish agri enterprises as the State Government has a focus on establishing agri enterprises and value It is felt that awareness among the cultivators is necessary to adopt value addition process to increase the effective demand for their goods. Even if RMCs and its sub-centers do operate in these districts, the farmers did not visit these centers either due to lack of awareness or due to little marketable surplus.

There is requirement for continuous efforts to provide training to women producers to build their capacity to enhance livelihood and have quality of life. CCS NIAM plans to have such training programmes in future and is committed to enhance skills of women producers.

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