Announcing India’s First 
RASHTRIYA MAHILA KISAN SAMMELAN:
National Convention of Women Farmers

Jointly Organised by:
Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM) &
Department of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh

 
Dates: 17 - 19 March, 2016
Location: Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh


All over India, an overwhelming majority of female workers, especially rural workers, are engaged in agriculture in various capacities. At the national level, 65.1% of female workers are in Agriculture sector (as compared to only 49.8% of male workers). Within agriculture, across crops and regions, empirical data from numerous micro-studies show that there are significantly more women-days that go into farming than men-days. However, women farmers remain invisible and unsupported, despite their disproportionately high contribution to Indian farming and food security. Further, only in 6% of rural Indian households do women own land. As per Agriculture Census 2010-11, the percentage share of female operational holdings in total operational land holdings is only 12.79% and the share in operated area is only 10.36%. In Andhra Pradesh too, an overwhelming majority of female workers (around 72%) are engaged in agriculture. In the state, female holdings constitute 28% (21,53,195 in numbers) and 24% (19,32,811 Ha) in extent. These data show that Andhra Pradesh is one of the top states with the largest number of female operational landholdings as well as area operated by women.

 
Objectives of the Convention

Building solidarity amongst women farmers from various states, visibilising their contribution, and strengthening their identity as farmers;
Learning from each others’ experiences, struggles and strategies in successfully securing rights to land, forest, water, seed and other commons;
Learning from each other about ecological agriculture, collective cultivation, seed and food banks and innovative institutions such as women farmer and producers cooperatives for collective production and marketing and collective management, etc;
Building women farmers’ understanding and awareness on various government schemes, including social security schemes and entitlements;
Sharing evidences (based on status papers, specific research, etc.) to raise relevant issues with  concerned state and central government agencies and departments for strengthening/revisiting existing policies, programmes and budgets along with innovative ideas to benefit women farmers.

 
Themes

The Convention shall cover various themes pertaining to women farmers including land rights, commons, ecological agriculture, livestock rearing and pastoralism, fisheries, landless agricultural work, forest resources, value addition and processing, women farmers’ institutions, women farmers’ roles within farmers’ movements, etc.
 

Format

The Convention will have the participation of 500 delegates including women farmers, academicians, activists, government officials and representatives of organisations working with women farmers’ collectives and sangathans from 20 states of India. It will have plenaries, parallel sessions, exhibitions and cultural programmes to meet its objectives, and will endeavour to have most sessions in an interactive format to enable mutual sharing and learning.  


Organisers

Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM or Forum for Women Farmers’ Rights): MAKAAM, created as a civil society alliance in April 2014 and formally launched in January 2015, is a platform to give voice to women farmers and their concerns, as well as to engage with government to give recognition to women farmers, secure their rights over resources, and bring their needs to centre-stage of rural development, agriculture policy, and programmes. For more information, visit www.makaam.in.  

 
Department of Agriculture, Andhra Pradesh: The Andhra Pradesh Government which has done pioneering work in terms of building and supporting the  organization of women’s collectives (SHGs and their federations) that has now become an approach being adopted all over the country for rural livelihoods’ interventions, recognizes the importance of women farmers in the state’s agriculture, and the state government’s Department of Agriculture (http://www.apagrisnet.gov.in/) is collaborating with MAKAAM to co-organise the first National Convention of Women Farmers.   

 
Where?

The Convention will be organised in Bapatla, in the Agriculture College of Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University. Bapatla is a town that is about 80 kms away from Vijayawada and about 50 kms from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. There are around 70 trains that halt at Bapatla railway station. For those whose trains do not reach Bapatla directly, the nearest well-connected railway junction is Guntur or Vijayawada, from where frequent buses that run to Bapatla town can be used to reach the venue.

 
Arrivals for the Convention should ideally be planned for Bapatla Railway Station, to reach by 16 March evening/night or 17 March 2016 early morning, and the departures of delegates should be ideally booked from 6 pm onwards on 19 March 2016. Any delegate(s) needing accommodation for 16 or 19 March night should inform the organisers beforehand (by clearly filling out this information in the Convention Registration Form).

 
How to Participate?

Participation is only through prior registration, through fully filled-out convention registration forms and on a first-come, first-served basis given that there are fixed number of slots for participation in the Convention. If you wish to participate, fill out the attached Registration Form, and send the fully filled form to the postal address given below, or as an electronic version to mahilakisan.makaam@gmail.com. However, participation in this Convention (up to 400) will be prioritized for women farmers, and it will be the endeavor of the organisers to ensure as much as possible, that different states get equal opportunity to participate. A nominal registration fee of Rs.100/- is requested as contribution from all participants, while those who are non-farmers are requested to consider a contribution of up to Rs.500/person. Contributions can be made in the name of Gramya Resource Centre for Women as Demand Draft or Crossed Cheque. For bank transfer facility to be used along with filled soft copy registration forms, please write to us separately requesting the bank account details.
 

For More Information, Please Contact:

Gramya Resource Centre for Women, 12-13-440, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Secunderabad 500017.

E-mail: mahilakisan.makaam@gmail.com or ashalatha.satyam@gmail.com.

Phone: (0) 94-901-19242

  

Recognising, Appreciating, Supporting and Celebrating the Contribution of Women Farmers 

Recognising the importance of women farmers in Indian agriculture, and recognising the importance of agriculture in the lives of women of India, Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM), in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, is organising the first National Women Farmers’ Convention in Bapatla (Andhra Pradesh) on 17-19 March 2016.

 
YOU CAN ACCESS THE REGISTRATION FORM, TO BE COPIED, PASTED, FILLED IN, PRINTED OUT AS HARD COPY FILLED IN FORM AND SENT TO GRAMYA POSTAL ADDRESS ABOVE, OR EMAILED TO mahilakisan.makaam@gmail.com AS SOFT COPY.

MAHILA KISAN ADHIKAAR MANCH

Forum For Women Farmers' Rights

Forum For Women Farmers' Rights