ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneswar organized an awareness Programme on Nutri Sensitive Agriculture on 8th July, 2022 for sensitizing the stakeholders on the importance of nutritional interventions in improving family food and nutritional security. Smt Rekha Sharma, Hon’ble Chairperson, National Commission for Women (NCW), New Delhi graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Dr Minati Behera, Chairperson, State Commission for Women, Odisha and Mrs. Daisy Thakur, Chairperson, State Commission for Women, Himachal Pradesh were the Guest of Honour. Dr Anil Kumar, Director, ICAR-CIWA welcomed the dignitaries and participants. In his welcome address he highlighted the seven priority areas identified in National Policy for Women by NCW covering the areas of Health including food security and nutrition, education, economy, decision making, environment and climate change etc, which largely affects the health, nutrition and wellbeing of farmwomen. He emphasized on the development and refinement of more women friendly technologies to ease the drudgery of farm women in managing home and farm. He made special mention of Nutri Sensitive Agriculture to combat increasing malnutrition among women and children in rural areas. For achieving this goal, awareness creation through structured programmes is imperative along with nutria-smart interventions like diversified agriculture, homestead nutrition garden, cultivation of bio fortified crops, inclusion of nutri dense millets in food basket and linkage between different stakeholder organizations. Dr Arun Kumar Panda, Principal Scientist and Scientist-In-Charge PME, ICAR-CIWA made a presentation on the activities and achievements of ICAR-CIWA.
Dr Daisy Thakur, Chairperson, State Commission for Women, Himachal Pradesh, appreciated the initiatives taken by ICAR-CIWA under Nutri Smart Village Programme in promoting local nutritious food. She advised that women should take care of their own health and nutrition and avail the facilities of Women Commission in getting justice whenever needed.
Dr Minati Behera, Chairperson, State Commission for Women, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, emphasized on suitable interventions for rural women by different stakeholders in a coordinated manner to improve their health, nutrition and livelihood. She stressed upon mapping their risk, vulnerability and preparedness to ensure that agriculture production could harness their nutritional outcomes. Effective family resource management, distribution of work load and communication will ensure fewer conflicts and will bring harmony in families which will help in building social capital and empowerment. She mentioned about the 26 women related acts which can help them in case of violence. Effective utilization of rural women’s capacity to bring economic dividends to the society will enable them in spending on nutritious foods which will help in combating malnutrition.
In her address, Smt Rekha Sharma, Hon’ble Chairperson, NCW, appraised the participants that Govt. of India is dedicated for the cause of well being of women and taking timely measures to formulate and implement both women inclusive and women exclusive policies and programmes to improve their livelihood, health, nutrition and social status. She congratulated the farmwomen for being a part of the noble initiative naming them Ann Devi and appreciated the efforts put by ICAR-CIWA in organizing such programmes. She hoped that women will be aware about land rights and make efforts in giving this to their daughters for building a better tomorrow. By ensuring participation of women and girls in different spheres of society like economic, political, science, technology, art and culture, the society will gain huge benefits. She suggested that, ICAR-CIWA should take initiative in packaging, shelf life improvement, marketing of locally prepared foods and battery operated women friendly tools for entrepreneurship development among farmwomen, which will lead to income generation thereby improving their decision making ability.
On this occasion, a farmer scientist interface was also organized in which scientists from ICAR-CIWA interacted with the farm women and other participants and discussed new technologies and constraints faced by them. The scientists highlighted various programmes and policies being implemented by state and central governments for the benefit of farm women. They also provided technical solutions to their problems. The participants visited the CIWA farm and learned from different demonstrations of women friendly farming models.
About 300 farm women participants from 13 villages from different districts of Odisha including staff of ICAR-CIWA attended and benefited during this programme. The programme was successfully organized by all the scientific, technical and administrative staff of ICAR-CIWA. Dr Tanuja S, Nodal Officer for this programme offered the vote of thanks.