ICAR- Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology, Mumbai celebrated Mahila Kisan Divas on 15 October 2020. With a view to increase the active participation and empower them in the mainstream of agriculture, 15 October is celebrated nationwide as National Women Farmers Day. On this occasion, a seminar was organized in the Institute with a theme, ‘Women farmers’ contribution to agriculture’
Dr.P.G.Patil, Director, ICAR-CIRCOT, in his presidential speech said that 15 October is celebrated every year as International Rural Women’s Day by United Nations around the globe. He elucidated that rural women are great contributors in agriculture activities. Women farmers and laborers do high drudgery agricultural works in the farm besides household chores on daily basis. Various labor-intensive work such as; sowing, planting, mowing, weed removal, harvesting / picking, livestock maintenance etc. which in log run take toll on their physical well-being. Therefore, it is the responsibility of agricultural scientists to invent women-friendly gadgets, ergonomics-based equipment and machinery and technologies for various agricultural operations so that they should be able to do agricultural work with minimum labor and maximum ease.
During the seminar, Dr. Sujatha Saxena, Principal Scientist and Head In charge, Chemical and Bio-chemical Processing Division in her address outlined the objectives of organizing Mahila Kisan Divas. She expressed her views about present status of women farmers and insisted on a constant need to sensitize them for better farming practices with which they can improve their life. Dr. A. K. Bharimalla, Senior Scientist and Head In charge, Technology Transfer Division expressed his views about need of providing innovative farming techniques for upliftment of women farmers. Dr. Sharmila Patil, Dr. Kanika Sharma and Dr. Kirti Jalgaonkar gave their thought provoking insights on lack of equality rights in land ownership, difficulties faced by women farmer due to lack of women-friendly equipment and machinery for agricultural operations etc. They also highlighted the efforts being made by the government towards empowerment of women farmers by way of providing loans and subsidies on soft terms and also mentioned about women centric strategies and micro-finance initiatives being undertaken in that direction.
Senior Technical Officer Smt. Prachi Mhatre conducted the program.