Kerala women's collective farming initiative, billed as the largest livelihood venture of the kind in the country by transforming women labourers into master cultivators, is all set to emerge as a role model for the entire country under the 12th Five Year Plan.
After group farming, another revolutionary initiative by Kudumbashree, an innovative community based women-oriented initiative, Government of Kerala to fight poverty caught the attention of many.
A team of the working group on disadvantaged farmer including women, under the Planning Commission, was in Kerala to get a first-hand experience of it before finalizing its report for the next Plan period.
The team also visited different areas and noted the best practices and successful models to be incorporated in its report to be submitted by September end.
This is the first project sanctioned by the Mahila Kisan Sasahthikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) by the Centre and was launched to ensure food security both at household and community levels.
Says Kudumbashree executive director Smt. Sarada Muraleedharan:
.“This is basically a livelihood initiative to enhance the quality of life in the society, especially among the weaker sections.
“It could bring about an all-round improvement in the lives of women who were merely workers and now they are successful cultivators,”
The women are into cultivation of paddy, tuber crops, food crops, vegetables, spreading a silent revolution in State by earning extra to help themselves and families.
Some of the groups have literally turned barren tracts of lands into highly fertile fields. At Perambra in Kozhikode district, the members cultivated at a place which was fallow land for 30 years.
A canal, infected with snakes and water hyacinths and waste materials was cleaned by 1004 workers including 879 women to irrigate this land where 59 groups cultivated 107 acres for paddy, while four groups went for banana cultivation in five acres.
“This time, we will not go to market to buy rice as we have stocked enough for the family for the first time in my life,'' says Omana, from Idukki district. One of key achievements of the project is to make the families self-sufficient in the case of food crops. For more details visit www.kudumbashree.org