Women farmer entrepreneurs honoured in Bundelkhand
Date : 28-Sep-2022
Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh: On 28 September 2022, more than 400 women farmer entrepreneurs from Jhansi, Mahoba and Lalitpur districts of the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh held an annual meeting at the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Auditorium in Jhansi. Honourable Shri Anurag Sharma ji, member of the Lok Sabha from the Jhansi-Lalitpur constituency, was the chief guest at the meeting, which was also attended by Sandeep Chachra, Dipali Sharma and Khalid Choudhary, senior leaders from ActionAid Association. In addition, Shri Anurag Sharma ji felicitated 43 progressive women farmer entrepreneurs at the Annual Convention. In the last two years, under the Samridhi project, the BASANT Women Farmer Producer Company has supported more than 3,000 marginalized women in 40 villages across the three districts of the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. This initiative has been supported by the La Caixa Foundation, Alianza por la Solidaridad and ActionAid Association.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Member of Parliament Shri Anurag Sharma ji said. “The BASANT Women are doing wonderful work, and I will provide all support as a member of parliament. I will ensure you get free counters in all the agriculture fairs held in Jhansi and Lalitpur. This will enable women farmers to exhibit their organic and natural products and get income from it.” Shri Anurag Sharma ji also assured help to link with the Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University at Jhansi so women can get support for the certification of zero chemical produce and help women secure training regularly.
Mr A. Arunachalam ji, Director, Central Agroforestry Research institute, was a special guest at the meeting. He assured support to the BASANT Women FPO by giving them a stall at their Research Centre at Jhansi.
Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director of ActionAid Association, said, “I congratulate all the women farmer entrepreneurs on account of the three challenges you have overcome in your journey so far. Firstly, you have broken the chains of patriarchy and caste discrimination to assert your rights. Secondly, you have forged beyond the paradigms of minimum and unequal wages to build an income from your entrepreneurial spirit. And finally, you are forging a path for others to follow in a climate-stressed region like Bundelkhand. However, as you expand your market presence, you will compete with large enterprises. Therefore, you must strengthen your collective energies to survive and flourish. I assure you that we will stand with you in your future journeys.”
Mrs Savita, a women farmer entrepreneur from Jhansi, said. “Earlier, we women were confined to do household work, but today we have the chance to do something different. This has given us new energy. Till yesterday, this was like a dream for us – doing business. But now I have the confidence to run the Basant Women FPO and focus on connecting more women with employment and livelihood.”
At the meeting, women exhibited their products which included organic fertilizers, varieties of foundation seeds, chicken eggs and organic vegetables. Under the Samridhi Project, seven livelihood models have been established by nearly 2,000 women farmers who have come together under the BASANT FPO. The main objective of this initiative is to help women assert leadership in matters that concern them, their families and their communities. Women’s leadership goes a long way to strengthen solidarity economies, collective enterprise and sustainable livelihoods. Not only does this impact their income, it also breaks the chains of patriarchy and caste oppression
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