National Symposium on Women’s Land Rights, Access to Agri-resources and Services in Changing Development Scenario

(19-21 August, 2015)

The role of women in agriculture assumes considerable significance in the overall context of economic development. Moreover, women’s role in agriculture is poised for a greater change in view of the impending as well as emerging challenges and opportunities in agriculture. Therefore, recognizing women as an important human resource for agriculture and empowering them with due rights and entitlements form the core strategy for achieving higher, sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth. While we talk of empowerment of women in agriculture, the discussion invariably focuses around access to and control of women over productive assets and their effective use for sustainable livelihood and income. Against this backdrop, this National Symposium on 'Women’s Land Rights, Access to Agri-resources and Services in Changing Development Scenario’ was organized by ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA) and Oxfam India during 19-21 August, 2015 at ICAR-CIWA, Bhubaneswar. About 100 stakeholders, including researchers, policy makers, development practitioners and academicians from different parts of the country and farm women from nearby districts participated in the programme.

The symposium was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Dr. N. S. Rathore, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Education), ICAR, New Delhi. In his inaugural address, he emphasized the need for giving women due share in access and control over land and other agricultural resources, which are critical for their better livelihood, empowerment and sustainable agricultural growth. He also stressed the need to enhance the women's knowledge on innovative agricultural technologies and respect their wisdom & contribution to the society. Earlier, Dr. S. K. Srivastava, Director, ICAR-CIWA, welcomed all the delegates, and reiterated the need for collection and consolidation of gender disaggregated data on land rights.

Inauguration by DDG(Agril. Edu.)
Participation of stakeholders

Prof. Asha Hans, Director, Sansristi said that ensuring gender equity in access to productive assets and resources is the need of the hour. Mr. A.K. Biswal, Regional Manager, Oxfam India in his special address, highlighted the need for change in the policy for recognizing women as farmers, and laws to facilitate ownership of land by women. Mr. Ambika Prasad Nanda, Head, CSR Tata Steel emphasized that agriculture and industry can go hand-in-hand and there is an urgent need to encourage rural youth for agriculture. The symposium deliberated on the themes, status of women’s land rights in India and intra-household decision making, women’s land rights, technology adoption and food security, policies and institutional mechanisms to improve women’s access to land, other resources and their impact on livelihood and agriculture, extension services and market linkages for women farmers and women’s access to credit and agri-inputs.