Until a few years ago, when the women farmers of Vikarabad, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, had to transport their goods to the nearby market to sell them, they would have to rely on others.
Even if they did reach the market, finding a fair price and bargaining with retailers was a daily struggle.
But they had had enough. So four years ago, they decided to come together and set up their own companies to earn profits and increase their yield manifold.
Equipping themselves with smart farming techniques and marketing skills, these women are earning profits from ₹13,000 to 15,000 season-on-season.
Today, these women run three farmer service producer companies including Kodangal Farmer Service Producer Companies Ltd, Hasnabad Farmer Service Producer Companies Ltd and Angadiraichur Farmer Service Producer Companies Ltd.
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These all-women run companies have a strength of over 2,756 members, who no longer stand in never-ending queues for fertilisers and pesticides. They get them delivered at their doorstep, thereby saving time and money.
“Couple of years ago, we used to stand in queue for days to buy fertilisers. Now, things have changed and we couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Jaya Rani U of Passpur village, a paddy and tur dal farmer told TOI.
These companies are also equipping women with the knowledge of when the crop needs cultivation and the kind and exact quality of fertilisers and pesticides that could be used for a better harvest. To help them tackle the challenge of selling their produce confidently, new-age marketing skills are taught too.
Devamma R who has been cultivating tur dal in her four acre land, practicing farming for over 40 years, said, “I used to go with shopkeeper’s word and use the quantity he prescribed blindly.” Things changed for Devamma four years ago when she became a stakeholder at the Kodangal Women Farmer Producer Company.
Today she negotiates with the retailers with a new-gained confidence for her crop. “No one has to tell me how much pesticides I have to use. I know what I need and can take care of my farm better than anyone,” she told the publication.
We hope the model is replicated by women-farmers across the country to empower them and break the glass ceiling! More power to these daughters of the soil!