This International Women’s Day, FSII is sharing with you stories of women making a mark in the field of agriculture.
Ms. Roopa Bommannavar, Foundation Seed Manager at Noble Seeds Pvt Ltd is one such driving force. A holder of B. Sc in Agriculture degree, Roopa joined the company as a Research Associate in 2012. Her efforts have resulted in standardisation of Dormancy by breaking methods in bitter gourd, Standard operating procedures for Foundation Seeds Department and long-term seed storage methods using zeolites beads for the major vegetable crop seeds.
Sharing her journey, Roopa shares “I maintain the genetic purity in all parental lines and have contributed to standardisation of seed treatment methods to Tomato and Hot pepper (TSP and HCL) and seed packing for production plots.”
Ms Minal Chavan, Regulatory Manager, Crop Science Division at Bayer believes that women have intrinsic nurturing abilities and agriculture is all about nurturing a crop and caring for it through its entire lifecycle. This is something women do for their families and they can make a huge difference in agriculture through greater representation and a stronger voice.
In her words, “Lush green fields and fruit-laden orchards always filled me with positive energy. This motivated me to work towards a career in agriculture. I love what I do at Bayer because it gives me an opportunity to serve farmers with authentic products that can help them safeguard their crops and ensure food on our plates. It is perceived that women cannot work in harsh field conditions. But that’s not true. Even in fields, one can see a farmer’s wife working along with him! Times are steadily changing, and more girls are opting to study in agri-universities and pursue roles such as scientists, breeders and even agronomic advisors. “
Ms. Bhuvana B, a BCom degree holder has an interesting story to tell. She started working with Noble Seeds Pvt Ltd in 2018 as a Junior Accountant. As a commerce graduate, she never thought she would be working in the agriculture sector. She, however, grabbed the opportunity to work at Noble Seeds where her love towards the work and ability to learn quickly helped her get exposure in research and development for agriculture.
In her words “I learnt SAP and used the same principles to understand sales and marketing in the seed industry. Today, I am involved in the preparation of R&D budgets, streamlining the procurement and supply of R&D farm requirement on time and regular monitoring of the stock of farm chemicals and fertilizers to optimize the utilization of the same.”
Dr Ratna Kumria, the Director- Agri Biotechnology at Alliance for Agri Innovation, leads the biotech operations of Alliance for Agri Innovation under FSII and represents AAI to various stakeholders such as government, industry, public, academia etc. Her role is pivotal in advocating and spreading awareness on the application of science and technology in agriculture.
In her words “Science has always been my passion, and my inquisitiveness took me on the path of plant biotechnology, be it rice, Bt cotton, virus resistant cassava or stress tolerant maize. Science leads us to devotion and donation, that together impact humanity.”
And finally meet Ms Shila Guchhait, a farmer, an entrepreneur. Shila was a landless labourer, married to a day labourer who worked in the factory with a daily family income of Rs 60. Shila was determined to do more and started growing crops such as cabbage, chilli and cauliflower. While working as a farmer, she married off her daughter, bought 1 bigha of land and a tea stall. After working on the fields, she runs her tea stall in the evening to support her family. With her entrepreneurial spirit, today she has a monthly family income of Rs 10,000.
We have come a long way from the time when woman was just a mother, a sister and a daughter. Today, they are much more than that by being a farmer, a scientist and a botanist, fighting as equals and bridging the gender gap. It gives us great pride to have been a part of their journey. We believe in #EachForEqual. #IWD2020