Women redefining farming in Punjab

April 9th, 2009 - 10:02 pm ICT by ANI  

By Avtar Gill

Abohar, April 9 (ANI): For centuries, women in India have contributed to the family income by working in fields shoulder to shoulder with men of their families. Today, they are trying to give farming a new definition in Punjab.

In Punjab, many women have adopted to various modern techniques and are promoting alternative farming.

Sixteen-year-old Gagandeep Kaur of village Khemuanna in Bathinda is the youngest of her three siblings and dreams of becoming a successful farmer. Apart from being a help to her father, Gagandeep believes in trying newer farming techniques and practicing crop diversification. “I drive tractor in the fields, do farming and work at home as well,” said Gagandeep Kaur, the young farmer who also studies in standard seven. Gagandeep’s father Manohar Singh, is a happy man, He takes pride in the fact that his young daughter is eager to be a helping hand in farming. “I have never felt any difference between having a girl or boy. Today, it hardly matters to me whether I am the father of a girl or a boy child, as I am proud of my daughter,” said Manohar Singh, Gagandeep’s father.

In another instance, a number of women in Jhandu Singha Village at Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur Road are involved in potato farming. Recently these women formed a Women Farmers’ Club, a 30-member group, where the women discuss issues related to seed quality, farming techniques and marketing. This club has added a refreshing feeling in these village women’s lives, as some of the members have today have gone in for alternative farming and thus ventured into floriculture and horticulture. Women here are now taking the lead in making farming viable financially. “Earlier, we used to produce two crops in a year and remained idle after the harvesting and selling of the crop. Now, we have started producing potatoes, melon, and a variety of vegetables, sunflowers and some other crops. The labourers with us are engaged for the whole year. We have benefited a lot. We have crops that follow one after the other,” said Jyoti Nijjar, a member of the women farmers’ club in Jhandu Singha.

“Women are now progressive. We have formed a club, which helps us to do corporate farming, get good quality seeds, medicines, manure and machinery for farming. It has lots of benefits. There is a huge scope of involvement of women in farming and it will increase even more,” said Arvind, another woman member of the Women Farmers’ Club, Jhandu Singha. These women work individually and also in groups to lead Punjab towards another Green Revolution.

Educated and attentive - women are now aware of what more farming can offer. It is due to the entrepreneurship of these women that the Women Farmers’ Clubs are able to export potatoes to Sri Lanka, Dubai and Australia. (ANI)

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