Women Self Help Groups In Agribusiness

G. Valentna


Demand and supply aspects in Indian agriculture system has undergone profound changes with input costs outwitting output costs creating serious imbalances effecting livelihoods of people living and depending on agriculture as their basic means of livelihood in rural areas. Succeeding production processes, marketing constitutes one of the most important activity pertaining to forward linkages whch is an  hereculean task for the farmer who tries to maximize on the profits through output costs to meet his input costs in agribusiness. Agribusiness includes breeding, crop production,farming, seed supply, marketing, grading ,sales and supplies incentivising the farmers with a minimum support price which is a catch point in agribusiness. However non declaration of minimum support prices by government, forces the farmers towards distress conditions pushing them to accept lower price of procurement on agriculture products produced by them. Further, with Liberalisation and Globalisation and exports and imports receivig much impetus to stabilize the economy, the farmers are unable to market their produce in the local markets as the price margins on the commodity are not attractive. Therefore the food grains are sold in distress at a lower price or are allowed to rot in the godowns and leaving him in deep debts which he is unable to handle. These situations have driven the farmer to harsh times snatching away his basic survival and some time pushing him to suicidal tendencies unable to attend to debt issue. It is here that women self help groups involving themselves in marketing the food grains to the food corporation of India and salvaged the farmers from the crisis. Women self help gropus of Nalgonda district and Bhon giri district who are involved in simple thrift and credit activity have federated at the district and state level and formed a small group and who upon receiving a skill development intervention on grading and cleaning the food grains have provided an interfacing platform for marketing food grains by not only aquring minimum support price but also helping farmers market food grains at profitable rates and provided sustainable livelihoods to support their families and wriggle out from the struggle for qualitative existence. These interpolations have created opportunities for women to involve and excel. This case proves that if women are given the opportunity they are motivated to work but if they are not given the opportunity motivation goes far away from them and they become non performers. The present case study is one such instance where in uneducated women living in the villages have taken advantage of the opportunity given to them and created long lasting assets for the community.

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