Empowered rural women can help revolutionize agro-based economy

KARACHI: Active involvement of rural women in the agriculture sector demanded gender-sensitive agricultural policies in the country.

FPCCI Regional Chairman for Horticulture Exports Committee, Ahmad Jawad here on Friday said legislation is urgently required to empower rural women for revolutionization of agro-based economy of the country.

Emphasizing the fact that agriculture sector is the backbone of the national economy, he said engaging women farmers in targeted training programs and enabling them to access flexible loans will also improve livelihoods.

Concrete steps are further required to ensure their ownership rights to the land they work followed by agricultural and livestock extension services besides support mechanisms and facilities.

Women farmers across the country should be provided easier access to micro-credit and for this State Bank Of Pakistan may issue policy for the province of Sindh and South Punjab especially in accordance to its recent policy for Balochistan businesswomen.

Supplementing his suggestion, Ahmad Jawad said women farmers are major participants in food production in rice- and wheat-growing regions, as well as in cotton-picking processes yet are caught in a web of chronic poverty.

Attributing their plight to little access to needed resources and credit coupled with limited investment in technology, Jawad said these factors are emerging as major impediments in the growth of agricultural sector.

Ahmad Jawad reiterated that empowerment of rural women was vital for revival of the rural economy as they contributed at almost every level of farming related operations.

“They consequently play a vital role in rural economy of the country by working with full passion right from soil preparation phase to harvesting, he said.

Empowering and facilitating women will have a durable and positive impact on agriculture productivity and closely related issue of food security coupled with social security of farmers across the country.

He identified law and access to justice as another target area and sought policy measures to eliminate negative customary practices.