Agricultural activities in the field are carried out by both the man and woman in the household. Women perform activities such as seeding and weeding which require them to bend and work for long hours in the field. This caused considerable amount of drudgery for women who, aside from farming, also perform household activities on a daily basis.
The harsh conditions of women farmers evoked Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM) – State’s Women Development Corporation of Government of Maharasthra – in Chandrapur district, Maharashtra to initiate reforms to address the drudgery of women. In Chandrapur, paddy cultivation is the main agricultural practice. It was decided on consultation with the Rice grower farmers, Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Chandrapur that the new methodology for rice cultivation – System of Rice Intensification (SRI) – would be implemented.
The programme is initiated with small interaction meeting with 250 to 300 farmers in October 2010 on SRI. The response from the community was good and 715 women members covering 565 acre of land from 18 villages came forward to take up the initiative of organic cultivation of Rice under SRI method.
The project is being implemented in 6 blocks of Chandrapur district as Chandrapur, Pombhurna, Gondpipri, Brahmapuri, Chimur and Mul. At present 137 SHG are involved in the production activity covering 1280 women farmers. The area under cultivation is 1170 acres and the last year total production is 14040 quintals.Since the year of implementation till last year 3455 women farms were involved in production of Rice. The coverage in acre is 335 acres of land produced 38040 quintals of rice in four year period.
Impact change between traditional farming and SRI
The production cost has reduced from INR 10, 000 -12,000 to INR 4,000-5,000. In the tradition method of paddy cultivation farmer used 30 to 50 Kg of seed but after introduction of SRI the rate of seed is drastically down to 3 kg. the cost also gone down from INR 1,500 to INR 2,500 to INR 150. After introducing SRI in the area the farmers are using organic fertilizer which leads to reduce in the cost on fertilizer from INR 3,000 to INR 1,000. Use of inorganic chemical insecticide is no more found in the plots where SRI is introduced which also leads to use of organic spray and the cost also reduces down from INR 2,000 to INR 200. For cultivation of Paddy and intercultural operation by traditional method was a lead to labour drudgery. After introduction of SRI 75% to 95% reduction is seen. In traditional method farmer use to get 9 to 11 quintals/ acre of production. After introduction of SRI the increase in production was observed upto 13 to 15 quintals. The quality of production leads to increase the per kg selling price of rice from Rs. 17 to 20 per kg to Rs. 25 to 40 per kg.
Outcomes of the initiatives under different components
Micro-Finance – Under the Microfinance
Livelihood and Microenterprise Development
Key Challenges in Implementation