East-West Seed India and FICCI organized a webinar on ‘Role of women in Agriculture’ in which Dr. Usha Barwale Zehr, Director & Chief Technology Officer, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Private Limited (MAHYCO), India, Archana Shukla, Associate Editor, Rural Affairs & Healthcare, CBC-TV18, Monique Van De Vijver, Innovation Manager Health, Solidaridad, Netherlands, participated as panelists. Dr.Mary Ann Sayoc, Head, Public Affairs, East-West Seed Global, moderated the session. Nearly 400 participants across India participated actively in the Webinar.
Said Dilip Rajan, Managing Director, East-West Seed India, in his opening remarks, “In India, agriculture continues to absorb and employ the female workforce but fails to recognize employed/hired labor. For East-West Seed, serving farmers in our business. While we work with smallholder vegetable farmers, we do focus a lot on women farmers. We provide training to rural women in improvised techniques in commercial vegetable farming and train young women to help them set up agribusiness ventures. We also train them to grow vegetables in their kitchen garden in a small area to meet the family requirement. Our approach follows a three-pillar strategy: Training and education in improved agricultural practices in vegetable farming through Knowledge Transfer training, 2. Developing entrepreneurial skills, 3. Focussing on nutrition. We believe that by empowering them, women farmers will further improve their capability in boosting the country’s agricultural sector.”
V Ram Kaundinya, Director General of FSII and Head, Agriculture Committee FICCI said, “Empowered women farmers can increase household income, develop a stable rural livelihood and contribute to ensuring food security. However, the true empowerment of women should move beyond livelihoods to wealth creation and business leadership in agriculture. Appropriate technologies for women are needed to increase food production and reduce post-harvest losses. This will in turn improve income.”