Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Women farmers take a significant step towards seed security in Odisha

The Adarsh Dharmagarh Women Farmers Services Producer Company Ltd (ADWFSPCL) in Kalahandi, Odisha took another major stride in empowering women through entrepreneurship in seed production. 

The majority of the seed production and supply continues to be in farmer-managed systems. Formal seed systems leave smallholder farmers, particularly women, in remote areas with limited access to quality seed of preferred varieties. The lack of quality seeds has become a major constraint in varietal replacement affecting the farmers’ productivity. This is particularly true in the production of seed of open-pollinated crops and varieties which the private seed sector has generally not taken up. Due to several constraints, the public seed sector is largely unable to meet the demand for quality seed. There are also concerns about the quality of seed in farmer-managed and community-based systems due to the lack of certification.

Building the capacity of small-scale seed producers for certified seed production is seen as a viable solution to help attain the twin objectives of the availability of quality seed and farmer empowerment. Additionally, by strengthening small-scale seed producers, they can potentially to play a major role in ensuring seed security for the underserved farmers.

Led and managed by women, ADWSPCL, is being incubated by the International Rice Research Institute, the Odisha Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, and Access Livelihoods Consulting India since 2019. In the same year, around 180 women members of ADWFSPCL produced about 350 tons of paddy seed planted on 72.5 hectares (ha) in kharif and 157 ha in rabi seasons. The ADWFSPCL was registered as seed producers by the Odisha State Seed and Organic Products Certification Agency (OSSOPCA) with support from the Department of Agriculture (DoA).

The seed growers were provided with foundation seeds of Pooja and BINA dhan11 varieties and certified seeds of MTU 1156. The choice of the varieties was based on a seed market analysis in the district and beyond. The women farmers were trained intensively in quality seed production and OSSOPCA and DoA undertook rigorous monitoring and regular inspection to ensure quality control.

ADWFSPCL leased a space for processing and storing seeds, and to set up its own paddy seed processing unit. With a share capital of about USD 23,000.00, they were able to acquire a loan of about USD 267,000.00 from Friends for Women World Banking (FWWB) for procuring seed and establishing the processing and storage infrastructure.

In April 2020, ADWFSPCL established its paddy seed processing unit at a cost of USD 23,300.00. The unit, which employs six women and a man, can process two tons of seed per hour. The seed will be marketed under the Creyo brand.

In the light of the COVID19 pandemic and to ensure seed security for the members, 60% of this seed will be sold to members and the remaining will be sold to seed vendors, dealers, and other companies.

“In the next two years, we are planning to increase the production to 2000 tons,” says Smt. Reena Patel, vice president of ADWFSPCL. “We now directly purchase the foundation seed from ICAR-National Rice Research Institute and Krishi Vigyan Kendra and distribute it among our members for seed production making the process cost-effective and organized.”


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Ranjitha Puskur
Research Lead - Livelihoods, Gender and Nutrition
Sustainable Impact Platform
Email: r.puskur@irri.org
Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on social media and networks (all links down the right column).

No comments:

Post a Comment