Krishna Veni and Seehtalakshmi are two farmwomen of Azhivaikkal village near Thanjavur. They can now drive a tractor with multi-crop seeder fitted to it and sow seeds in fields thanks to the training given by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
They demonstrated their skill at the International Women’s Day organised by the IRRI, jointly with Thanjavur Janaseva Bhavan, a voluntary oragnisation which has credit linked hundreds of women’s self-help groups in the area at a field at Azhivaikkal village near Thanjavur on Wednesday. They drove the tractor in front of a large number of farmwomen and farmers.
R. Ganeshmoorthy, Assistant Scientist, Extension Agronomy, Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), IRRI, India, explained the technology to farmwomen. Poornima Ravi Shankar, Specialist-Knowledge Management Co-ordination (CSISA), IRRI India; Sonya McGuinness, Corporate Services Manager, IRRI, India; Shyamala Seelan of Thanjavur Janaseva Bhavan, A. Soundarapandiyan, Assistant Director of Animal Husbandry, Cattle Breeding and Fodder Development Scheme; and Govindarajan, Vice-President of Azhivaikkal Panchayat, were present.
Mr. McGuinness said that IRRI had recognised the role of women farmers in food security and livelihood issues. More than 50 per cent of the agricultural operations like transplanting and harvest were carried out by women.
Women’s empowerment and teaching them various technologies would help in increasing agriculture productivity, she said.