Communities are empowered by empowered women.
In India, women are the backbone of agriculture and this is not an exaggeration. They have a critical role in agriculture: in our country, 85 % women are involved in agricultural activities and 75 % are women. Furthermore, women are responsible for the majority of home activities, such as cooking and child care. Despite their labour, they are rarely recognised as farmers and in most communities, the men of the household hold the majority of power. Women have limited movement and must get permission from their husbands and elders. Their role in intra-household decision-making is still a fuzzy area and it's a long-standing problem that has to be addressed.
Strengthening the capacity of women-focused Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to explore market opportunities has been a concentrated endeavour to advance the livelihoods, resilience and self-determination of tribal women farmers. Frontline workers have been taught in community video production and distribution skills to help women farmers enhance their capacities. They've also been taught how to use other digital technologies for knowledge transfer and inventory management within local producer groups.
We are not training them with any strange knowledge or notions and we are using video content that is easy for farmers to grasp and relate to practise in a way that is practical for them. Using a projector, we provide videos about season-based crop warnings, non-pesticidal management approaches and subjects relating to producer groups and FPOs at various community meeting platforms. In this village, producer group members have improved their awareness of the purpose of these community institutions and they have begun to own it and take leadership of its activities.
Women community leaders and FLWs competencies have been created around operating a projector for video distribution and facilitation skills as a result of their empowerment for successful knowledge dissemination. Over 170 FLWs from the 6 FPO operational villages are currently utilising projector-based dissemination workshops to share knowledge with their communities.
These FLWs have also been instructed on how to use various digital tools for content distribution and over 500 of them are currently using WhatsApp as an alternative digital route. They're starting Whatsapp groups with women farmers who are part of agricultural producer groups and sending them relevant video content every two weeks.