African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Economic empowerment of Scheduled Caste (SC) landless rural women through mushroom cultivation: A case study

Singh J
  • Singh J
  • Extension Education Unit, CCSHAU, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Sonipat, India.
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V. P. Chahal
  • V. P. Chahal
  • Division Agricultural Extension, ICAR, KAB-I, New Delhi, India.
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Rathee A
  • Rathee A
  • Farm Management Unit, CCSHAU, KVK, Sonipat, India.
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Singh K
  • Singh K
  • Department of Agricultural Engineering, CCSHAU, KVK, Sonipat, India.
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  •  Received: 15 October 2013
  •  Accepted: 09 September 2014
  •  Published: 25 December 2014

Abstract

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Kurukshetra took up an initiative for economic empowerment of landless Scheduled Caste (SC) rural women by motivating them to adopt mushroom cultivation as an income generating activity. As part of this programme, KVK has conducted three trainings for these landless SC rural women since 2008-2009. In total, 120 such ladies were trained over a period of 3 years. The trainees were provided practical training through method demonstrations on compost preparation, spawning and casing management practices, harvesting and packaging of button mushroom. The post-training evaluations of these 120 women from 12 villages showed that majority (>75%) of them gained low to medium level of knowledge on the vocation. These trained women had taken up white button mushroom cultivation in polythene bags during October to March every year. The economic empowerment of the landless SC rural women by way of mushroom production of KVK has created awareness regarding its cultivation among them. With technical back-up of the KVK, the adoption of mushroom cultivation by 25% of trained landless SC rural women has paved the way for their economic empowerment. A sense of belongingness, thus, has been created among these women towards mushroom farming. As many as 50% of them have found it a good livelihood option for generating additional income for the family. In the coming years, mushroom farming by landless SC women in the district will become an integral part of socio-economic development process and a low cost self-help based exemplary model of economic empowerment. In order to sustain this model, the women opined that further convergence of different actors is essential for provisions of adequate micro-credit, assured market, family support, easy availability of pasteurized compost and casing material and facilities for value addition and processing of mushroom. There is, only one pasteurized compost and casing material making unit operational in Kurukshetra district.

 

Key words: Mushroom, economic empowerment, Scheduled Caste, rural women.