Kudumbashree to expand organic farming; to woo more women

Thursday, Sep 3, 2015,22:39 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | In view of wide concerns over threats posed by pesticide-ridden vegetables, Kerala’s all-women network Kudumbashree has decided to expand organic farming extensively across the state and enhance participation of women in the state’s agrarian sector.
The 40 lakh-strong member outfit, which has successfully tried its hand in various fields, ranging from pickle making to IT business, has been in the field of agriculture since 2004. The main objective of the project is to make Kerala free of pesticide-ridden vegetables, which mainly arrive from neighbouring states and support the government’s initiatives to achieve self-reliance in production and procurement of agricultural products.
The two-day anniversary conference of the outfit, which began in Malappuram district today, will chalk out more plans in this regard.  The outfit’s initiatives to woo more women to farming is significant as men are largely moving out of agriculture and big farmers transform their cultivation from food crops to cash crops which are more remunerative, they said.
Kudumbashree Executive Director K B Valsala Kumari said Kerala is highly food deficit and women can play a crucial role in bringing the glory of agriculture back in the state.
We are trying to propagate the message of food security and food self sufficiency at the grassroot level of society.To achieve the target, more women should foray into agriculture, she told PTI. Kudumbashree volunteers are already cultivating all major food crops, including rice, vegetables and fruits in select areas through over its 60,000 Joint Liability Groups (JLG).
As part of expansion plans, Farmers’ Facilitation Centres (FFC) have been formed in 978 panchayats which act as knowledge and service delivery points in rural areas,she said.
FFCs act as local knowledge dissemination centres, for agriculture and allied activities. Training manuals, publication, agriculture magazines are made available at each FFC for better and efficient knowledge dissemination, she said.