New Delhi: Renowned farm scientist MS Swaminathan on Tuesday said land ownership is the biggest problem faced by the women farmers in the country.
"One of the great problems women farmers today face is the problem of access to patta or title to land. The action has been taken to issue patta or entitlement on the name of women farmers and I hope this will be implemented in the 12th Five Year plan," Swaminathan said at an event here.
Panchayats should have special funds for women farmers so that different gender-specific support services can be provided to women farmers, he was quoted saying in a statement.
Emphasising that women farmers need to be empowered, Swaminathan said he has been pushing for the Women Farmers Entitlement Bill in Parliament but it has not been passed so far.
The proposed Bill aims to provide women farmers the access to land, water and credit/insurance and markets.
Swaminathan, also a Rajya Sabha member, felicitated 32 women farmers from various states for their role in agriculture. The event was organised by NGO Oxfam India and WomenPowerConnect and Landesa (RDI)
Agriculture sector employs 80 per cent of all economically active women. They comprise 33 per cent of the farm labour force and 48 per cent of self-employed farmers.
According to National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), about 18 per cent farm families in India are headed by women.