Corteva Agriscience, a global agriculture company, today, organised a virtual ceremony to celebrate the contribution of women farmers of the farmer producer organisation (FPOs) and the company’s Pravakta programme. Three women farmers were felicitated for their contribution towards sustainable agricultural practices and for creating a positive impact in the lives of fellow farmers through active knowledge sharing.
Saraswati Bai, Lakshmi Bai and Sukhiya Bai from Betul district of Madhya Pradesh were felicitated for leading the momentum of change and supporting hundreds of other women farmers in their respective regions.
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Women farmers play a catalytic role towards the achievement of transformational economic, environmental, and social changes required for sustainable development. Empowering women farmers through specific projects enabling them to access high yield, training them on agronomic practices and crop production technology suitable for the agro-climate can accelerate the progress towards sustainable food and nutrition security.
Addressing the ceremony, Pravesh Sharma, Director, Samunnati Agro Solutions and former Managing Director, Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) said, “Over 70 per cent of rural women in India are engaged in agriculture playing a pivotal role in creating food security and sustenance of rural communities. Empowering them with access to land rights, leadership and opportunities have far-reaching effects in enhanced food security, poverty reduction, and climate change mitigation. Efforts by stakeholders and legislators at policy and implementation levels to develop and implement laws and policies to close the gender gap and promote learning and training opportunities for rural women are imperative.”
“I commend the contribution of Corteva’s Pravakta ambassadors and women farmers from FPOs for their efforts towards building a sustainable agriculture ecosystem. I believe that providing rural female farmers with education; agricultural inputs, tools, and technology; land rights; and water access enables them to fight the effects of climate change and farm more productively,” Sharma added.
Speaking on the occasion, Rahoul Sawani, Managing Director- South Asia, Corteva Agriscience, said, “Women are the foundation of agriculture and guardians of food security. If women farmers had the same access to productive resources as male farmers, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30 per cent. They are raising the agricultural output in developing countries by up to 4 per cent. Understanding the need to empower rural women farmers, Corteva has been conducting on-ground interventions to empower rural women and have programmes that holistically address challenges faced by them by providing financial literacy, agronomy training, agri inputs, access to the end-to-end value chain and more to maximise the opportunities for them in agriculture.”
The awarded women farmers shared their inspiring stories during the ceremony. They also spoke about the support given by Corteva under varied interventions.
Corteva is leading several programmes to empower women smallholder farmers to realise higher yields and increased profits. Under their flagship programme ‘Pravakta’, various women farmers have been trained to become the local ambassadors, ‘Pravakta’, who guide fellow farmers on preferred agricultural practices, enabling them to implement good agronomic practices and establishing market linkages of the crop. Through the FPO programme, Corteva has established an ecosystem to promote agri-entrepreneurship amongst rural women across India, primarily in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. They have been helping FPOs by providing financial literacy, leadership training and technical grooming for agriculture entrepreneurship for women farmers and agri entrepreneurs. With the introduction of AcreNext next generation of rice farming programme for women farmers in India, Corteva is spearheading the movement of using direct-seeded rice farming methods in the water-scarce region of Nawada, Bihar.
Corteva Agriscience is a global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry – including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximising productivity to enhance yield and profitability.