Doctoral Researcher / Research Assistant | London School of Economics (LSE)
Agriculture and Rural
South Asia

Rural women enterprise: SHG institutions have vital role in food production to improve health and nutrition

Gender EqualityLife on Land

Self-help groups are costly, they required huge investment from the government, but if we introduce these kinds of units in a small area or size, they can be beneficial. That way, more women will be engaged as employees and the product will be distributed to a larger area.

References

Journal article: Rural women enterprise: SHG institutions have vital role in food production to improve health and nutrition (2015)
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About:

This research used a qualitative approach and focus groups method.

We have analysed focus group discussions qualitatively, and make community score card to check the women participation in women institutions.

One limitation is mapping of the strength of the institution in quantitative terms. You cannot map the quality of the institution in quantitatively, only qualitatively.

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Funding:

This research was independently conducted and did not receive funding from outside of the university.

  • For development
  • For International Aid & Development
  • India
  • agriculture
  • economic empowerment
  • nutrition
  • women's rights
  • Published: 2022

The purpose of this research was to explore the area and to find a solution to the malnutrition problem that both districts of Gaya and Khagaria are facing. These two districts are entirely different from each other, demographically but also in terms of climate (Gaya is a drought-affected zone and Khagaria is a flood-affected zone).

However, the situation is that there is a higher number of malnutrition, children are stunted, lactating mothers have low hemoglobin.

The purpose was to see how we can provide a nutrient solution to women and children so that they can get properly balanced nutrition in their diet. To do this, we have established one food unit in each district, and we have given their ownership to women.

Findings

  • children and lactating women benefited the most from the food we provided them, because that food is dense, high in energy and in nutrients.

    That way, they were not only getting food that has more carbohydrates in nature, but also food with vitamins, calcium, zinc and other micronutrients.

What it means

What we concluded is that this kind of intervention is costly, it required huge investment from the government, but if we introduce these kinds of units in a small area or size, they can be beneficial. That way, more women will be engaged as employees and the product will be distributed to a larger area.

How to use

  • Promote this kind of women institutions because all the women covered by an institution come in one place
  • Focus on the women, because they are the most vulnerable in terms of access to nutrition
  • Establishing this kind of small units allows women to earn money, get access to the nutritious food and they can have some freedom
  • Promote the local food made by women and improve the local supply chain so women can spread the product and improve the coverage to a larger areas
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Paswan, Baijnath. 'Rural women enterprise: SHG institutions have vital role in food production to improve health and nutrition'. Acume. https://www.acume.org/r/rural-women-enterprise-shg-institutions-have-vital-role-in-food-production-to-improve-health-nutrition/