The second freedom for women

Does investment in agricultural research really benefit the rural poor? Photo by Neil Palmer (CIAT)

In the wake of green revolution, notable increases in agricultural incomes and subsequent contributions to food security were noticed among many farmers in the world. Amidst all this, a majority of rural dwellers still wallow in poverty. This differential poverty is what has fueled a growing need to embrace new sources of innovation that are capable of shifting from conventional technological solutions to improving the lives of millions of these rural dwellers.

A success story from the GCARD2 break out session on Partnership for livelihoods impacts presents itself. Meet Rudi Multi Trading, an Indian Company which started its operation in 2004 with an objective of strengthening small scale women farmers by setting up rural distribution channels. Through the years they have been able to reach over 10,000 farmers leading to a turnover of close to Rs 14 Crore. They have 4 processing centres for their produce located at Dhrangadhra – Surendranagar, Pij – Anand, Radhanpur– Patan and Aniyor – Sabarkantha.

How do they propagate second freedom for women?

Through their country networks, members  grow spices, vegetables and cereals which enable them to have basic food at household level hence contributing to food security. This in turn creates multiple employment opportunities by way of bulk procurement directly from the farmers through a well-organized distribution network. Later on, they share profits amongst the members of the rural self-help groups which in turn bring a positive change in the economic condition of the marginal farmers.

Notable impacts

  • Rural women and household migration level has greatly reduced due to employment security through Rural Distribution Network.
  • Health has improved for women and children consuming good quality ‘RUDI’ products.
  • Rural women are able to provide quality education to their children.
  • Savings have increased thanks to an increase in income.

This example confirms the evidence that strengthened investment in agricultural research contributes to poverty reduction and improved livelihoods for the rural poor.

Blogpost by Emmie Wakio, one of the GCARD2 social reporters.


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