Talking to Newsline, Durga Prasad Sapkota, director of Commercial Agricultural Alliance, Biratnagar, Nepal said, “A woman should become the agriculture minister of India. We idealize India when it come to agriculture. However, we have come to realize that women are not coming forward to participate in the field of agriculture here”.
With a similar point of view, Cathy McGowan, one of the founding members of Australian Women in Agriculture Limited, said, “There are women in India who are farmers. But their role is invisible. We are here to spread the word about how important it is for Indian women to make their presence felt and take up more important work in farming”.
The 12-member women’s delegation from Australia is a group of women farmers who are into farming and dairy production. “We work on the farms. We drive the tractors, we rear cattle and sheep, we handle the accounts, we do the marketing of our yield, we package our product, we do everything that men do in farming. We are very sensitive to use of pesticides. When a woman is farming, she thinks twice before use of any poisonous substance as her child will eat the same product,” said Alana Johnson, co-founder of the Australian Women in Agriculture Limited.
The delegation from Nepal headed by Durga Prasad Sapkota comprised of seventy five progressive farmers with 30 women farmers. “We are very much dependent on India when it comes to agriculture especially. Farming situation in Nepal and India are same. We will be very delighted if the government of India comes up with a policy for the farmers from Nepal to interact with their counterparts in India for help”.
While the Australian delegation is specifically visiting the Agro Tech to disseminate word of making a woman’s role visible in farming, the delegation from Nepal is here to build contacts with their counterparts in India.
Also, the Australian delegation will be visiting a tractor manufacturing firm to learn about tractor driving. On the other hand, the Nepal delegation is very fascinated by the development in tractors which can be used for harvesting.