Rs. 100 crore allocated for implementing MKSP in the initial stages
The Union government intends to launch by January end a scheme aimed at improving the status of women as agriculturists and open up opportunities for their empowerment.
The scheme, to be taken up by the Ministry of Rural Development, has been named Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP). It will be launched as a sub-component of the renamed, but yet to be launched, National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), which was earlier known as Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY).
The scheme hopes to meet the needs of women farmers, who predominantly come under the small and marginal farmer categories. Its objective is to achieve socio-economic and technical empowerment of rural woman farmers. A sum of Rs. 100 crore has been allocated for implementing the MKSP in the initial stages.
The MKSP will serve as a mechanism that will help women access extension services and production assets such as seed, water, credit, and subsidy. At present, they are not considered beneficiaries of various government programmes as they are not recognised as farmers for want of ownership of land.
The programme provides for systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity and, at the same time, create and sustain agriculture-based livelihoods of rural women. By allowing them better access to inputs and the services provided by the government, the MKSP seeks to help women gain control over the production resources and manage the support systems.
The project follows the group approach, mobilising women into self help groups and ensure capacity building.
The Centre would fund 75 per cent of the specific project to be prepared in partnership with women groups. The States are expected to contribute the remaining percentage of the share. In the case of northeast and hilly States, the Centre's contribution will be 90 percent of the scheme approved by the States.
The ownership and management rights of the infrastructure and assets created under the project will remain with the participating women groups and organisations.