Mahila Kissan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) has its focus on strengthening of women groups engaged in farming thereby enhancing productivity, improving the livelihoods of the members, and ensuring food security.
When the Government of India announced MKSP as en exclusive programme for women, Kerala was the first State to submit a project proposal. Kudumbashree had already been working on collective farming through its women's groups across the State. It had also adopted Joint Liability Groups (JLG) as an institutional form for making the groups eligible for support under the schemes of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Kudumbashree saw MKSP as an opportunity for capacity building of the JLGs and thus providing an impetus to women's collectives engaged in farming. Such an initiative, according to Kudumbashree, would strengthen its programmes in the farming sector, would enhance women's empowerment, and promote local economic development in addition to improving food security.
MKSP helped the women's farming network in a number of ways.
- Helped in strengthening Kudumbashree intervention in farming sector by developing the skills and capabilities of 30,000 selected JLGs through capacity building.
- Selected 10,000 skilled farmers from among the JLGs as Master Farmers. These master farmers function as a resource pool supporting collective farming to the JLGs.
- Helped the JLGs access support from local governments in their endeavours.
- In addition to financial support, MKSP provided for technical advice and training to JLGs for their capacity enhancement.
- Provided information on practices such as organic farming.
- Ensured availability of improved farming practices and better forward and backward linkages.
- Groups got opportunity to understand modern as well as traditional farming practices.
- Provided financial and technical support for implementing integrated farming practices.
- Supported exposure visits of groups for understanding better farming practices.
- Provided practical knowledge in improving profitability and efficiency through mechanisation and for enhancing competitiveness.
- Provided financial support to CDSs for buying tools and equipment.
- Supported marketing of produce.
- Helped in setting up farmer facilitation centres.
MKSP was launched in Kerala by the then Minister for Rural Development Shri. Jairam Ramesh, at a State level workshop held at Nadathara in Thrissur.