ROLE OF WOMEN SHGs FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN CHHATTISGARH
*BHAG CHANDRA JAIN*
In Chhattisgarh State has strong natural resources base in form of land, water, fisheries and forestry which can provide livelihood support to in Chhattisgarh state, almost more than eight hundred SHGs are formed in forestry sector. Keeping in view, the importance of forestry SHGs Chhattisgarh, the present study was undertaken with the following objectives.
- To examine the income and employment of sample SHGs
- To examine the problems of SHGs at different levels.
The present study was confined in four blocks of Raipur district of Chhattisgarh state. At present, in selected district 341 forestry SHGs are formed. Out of 15 women SHGs have passed the first and second grading of these graded SHGs, 46.66 percent i.e. 7 women SHGs were selected purposively for the study. Primary data were collected through personal interview using pre-tested schedule. The secondary data were collected from published sources. Income and employment pattern of sample forestry SHGs members accounts for income and employment from farm, off-farm and non-farm sectors.
Results and Discussion
- Resource Users Characteristics of Sample SHGs:-
In all 118 beneficiaries were involved among the total number of 7 SHGs studied. The scheduled tribe category was found to be dominating (52.55 percent), among the beneficiaries followed by scheduled caste (25.42 per cent) and other backward caste (22.03). There was absolutely no beneficiary from the general category.
- Financial Assistance
The financial assistance provided to women SHGs through banks and inter loaning is given in table 1. The financial assistance has been provided to SHGs by the government with certain guidelines. Afer the first grading, government will provide Rs. 10,000 as the revolving fund. After the second grading SHGs received bank loan and subsidy. Self Help Groups received inter loan for different purpose ie. agriculture, business and home needs. The maximum inter loan was given in agriculture purpose (60.81 per cent).
- Generating rural employment and income distribution
It is quite evident from table2. that a total of 128.39 man days employment was generated from farm, off farm and income generating activities such as cup-plate making, cultivation of sabai grass, bamboo based products, collection of tendu leaves and sal seeds. Activity wise examination resulted that the cup-plate making provided the highest employment 23.88 percent followed by bamboo making (22.79 Percent), sabai grass production (21.98 percent), tendu leave collection (18.40 percent) and sal seeds collection (11.57 percent). The average additional income per member per annum was Rs. 10403 among sampled SHGs. This income was considerably higher in farm activities than that of other off-farm and non-farm activity which was found to be rupees 5958, rupees 2445 and rupees 2000 in farm, off-farm and nonfarm activities respectively.
- Problesm in members of SHGs
The perceptions of 18 members of women SHGs have been taken out and it is presented in table 4. The maximum numbers (42.37 percent) of members reported the most common problem is the lack training facilities followed by lack of freedom in decision making and late receiving subsidy with 3.89 percent.
- Suggestions or the Strengthening of SHGs
The suggestions for the strengthening of forestry SHGs is presented in table 4. 55.08 percent members of SHGs were suggested that the executive body should be constituted for only two years.
Conclusions and Policy Implications
The study concluded that the basic aims of SHGs are economic upliftment and to inspire saving attitude among the members. Introduction of forest produce based activities increased net income as well as employment of the SHGs member. The following policy implications have been suggested to improve the functioning of SHGs (i) SHGs members, Gram Panchayats have to play a positive and active role in SHGs provision (ii) to avoid conflicts between the members of SHGs, the tenure of executive body should be strictly for two years duration or according to prevailing circumstances.
Jain, Bhag Chandra (2005) Performance of Self-Help Group in Managing Natural Resources in Raipur District of Chhattisgarh. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis submitted to Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur.
Professor (Agricultural Economics), Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, College of Agricultural, Raipur – 492 006 (Chhattisgarh).