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A Tribute to Women Farmers

There is no tool for development more effective than the Empowerment of Women…

8th March, is an International Women’s Day. In this ‘Women’s Day’, women are recognized for their countless efforts and contribution for the development of the whole world economy and the society. Considering the involvement of women to every aspect of life, this day we will recognize the incredible achievements of women in agricultural industry.

Women’s participation in agricultural production is consistently expanding and women now have heavier responsibilities. Perhaps, women have now made a strong presence to fight against food insecurity by improving their technical skills about cropping including education about nutrition, which can help to overcome the child mortality and women health issues in rural communities. This improvement has also impacted the the crop yield in the region positively. Women this era are playing a critical role in varied agricultural activities equally good as a man. More women are taking lead role in; farm operations & research, and as; plant physician, field officers, agri scientists, landscaping engineers etc.

As per the recent development in agriculture field, the sustainability in agriculture requires constantly to move forward towards innovation through agriculture intervention. Women are part of a new wave of innovation in the farming era for agriculture development.

As much as 74% of labor inputs in Pakistan's agriculture are contributed by women (FAO survey report). Invisible hands that is women in agriculture, they are used as tools for weeding, harvesting, dairy farming etc. but what is the role of women in decision making in agriculture?. In the name of modernization, women are being replaced by machine. While It is an observation that Women-operated farms tend to be very diverse, producing more vegetables, fruits and nuts, horticultural crops, poultry and dairy farming than male-operated farms. They are also smaller on average, suggesting that they may engage in more direct-to-consumer sales or sell to local grocers, restaurants, or institutions.

Besides, in recent times it has been identified that Agri-Tourism would help women farmers to involve in agribusiness by channelizing the farm products into best part to feed and teach the nation through real-time demonstration of planting, harvesting and making it delicious for dining, by participating in agri-tourism shows as organizing with the collaboration of YPARD-Pakistan and Agri-tourism development corporation of Pakistan in major crop producing states of Pakistan. Such approaches require new and creative business models and innovative production methods. Until now not a single policy framework or administrative action with regards to socio-economic uplift of women farmers/fisher women and sustainability of their livelihoods has been taken by the authorities, while the youth forum has raised the issues in many platforms by adding the solution that the Public private partnership will help to boost the programme in the country...through multi-sectoral involvement.

We the YPARDians (both men and women) are playing our role to take the lead and giving an alarming call to all stakeholders for involving our exponential youth to attain to sustain the agricultural development and to achieve long lasting results which will ultimately save our earth from all the negative impacts that has been caused to it because of unawareness.

Being the country representative of YPARD Pakistan, I am proud of my YPARD family throughout the globe for putting their efforts to establish and fulfill the needs of women farmers in the society. Our teams are constantly involved in providing training and business planning programs, mentorship opportunities, support for value-added product development by utilizing available resources to produce more foods, and to build strong local nutritious food systems through rural nutritional program "RNP Nutrition at Farm" for rural communities.

Nations that invest in women’s employment, health and education are just more likely to have better outcomes. Their children will be healthier and better educated, so this is not just the right thing to do for us to hold up these women, to support them, to encourage their involvement; this is a strategic imperative. [by Hillary Clinton]

Today, let’s all take some time to thank women for their hard work on farms, ranches and in rural communities and to nurture the world in a better way than before. Women today are leading and contributing for diverse products and market opportunities that will substantially keep the economy stable by increasing agriculture production multiply in manifolds. Their efforts will make the nation strong and make it capable of thriving long into the future.

“There is considerable evidence that women’s education and literacy tend to reduce the mortality rates of children and overcome the poverty”.