Agriculture contributes economic development of the American economy with women recently contributing around 8.6 per cent of the farming lands in America. It has been recently found women are more and more adopting agriculture as their occupation but analysts at the National Agricultural Statistics Service cite figures reflecting the fact that 36 per cent of women farm operators are more than 65 years of age, with around 26 per cent of women even more than 70 years of age.
According to NASS, women are seen as best in the areas of ranches and livestock’s especially following the care of goat or horse farming. They also have shown their capability and skills to manage their small farms.
Even in the Agronomy, which was predominantly occupied by men, women are getting open space to show their farming skills. They are getting ample opportunities to till the plots, and glean the lands that are of great interest to them.
Several programs are being run either directly or indirectly to help women farmers in various areas of their activities. Several grants are also being announced from time to time basis to help women farmers for e.g.In 2004, CISA got the grant from the federal Risk Management Agency for working with women on the agricultural lands and providing them technical assistance in the different aspects of business planning and marketing. These programs plan for networking opportunities for women working in agricultural communities and providing them with various tips in marketing.
Unfortunately, there are not many grant programs for women farmers, as they have to struggle their own way through various projects and proposals. Many of these programs are in the form of loans. Recently the 2501 program was started under the 1987 Agricultural Credit Act to bring improvement in number of finances that could be allotted for the women farmers.
In this program was also included privilege for farmers belonging to minority communities. Along with this there was also proposal for the direct technical assistance for the women farmers and other unprivileged people belonging to farming community.
Looking at the increasing number of women farmers on the agricultural lands and the problems being faced by them especially in marketing and sales of their farming products, it is high time government should make all the more efforts to start the grant programs for these women as their development is the development of the whole nation.
John Goldman is one of the foremost advisors in matters relating to Government Grants and Financial Aid. To learn more about government grants and how to apply for them visit the Government Grant USA website