A workshop on “Opportunities and challenges for women in Kerala agriculture” has stressed developing successful integrated farming models to ensure sustainable income generation for women in agriculture.

Addressing the workshop at the College of Forestry here, Kerala Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor P. Rajendran said that the concept of agriculture has changed with the invention of women-friendly agricultural implements and technology.

“The drudgery and hardship of agricultural operations is considerably reduced through the development of lightweight machinery and easy-to-operate implements. At present, 40 per cent of rural household income is generated by women in agriculture and many women self help groups have created success stories,” he said.

These developments have come after a series of research inputs including ergonomic analyses. However, more attention has to be paid to enhance the profitability of women entrepreneurs through innovative strategies on credit systems and marketing networks, he said. B. Ashok, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Vice-Chancellor in his key note address, highlighted the role paid by women in the food processing industry.

“The success of women even in unorganised sectors triggers thought about empowering them through training and forming a network to produce, process and market food products. The role of Kudumbasree in inspiring and providing structural strength to women groups is phenomenal. The possibilities are aplenty and the three universities in agriculture and allied fields can do wonders in this area,” he said.