Women farmers have always been the backbone of the agricultural community and business. However, they have always been sidelined by society and not receive the recognition that they deserve. To commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, NESFAS along with the partner communities, salutes the women farmers across the world for their contribution and dedication. Out of the hundreds of women farmers who are part of the ongoing REC-funded ‘No One Shall Be Left Behind Initiative’, the NESFAS team handpicked a few women farmers for the world to get to know them a little bit more.
Saphina Suting, Umsawwar
Saphina Suting works as a school-teacher and as a farmer during her free time. She is also a member of the women association in the community and is presently a member of the social audit (MGNREGA) committee and the PGS group as well.
Mission: She wants to support the children of the community to get a better education and for the children to have knowledge in both social and economic aspects of life. She believes that education is very important component in life these days.
Contribution to the Community: She embeds knowledge to children. She also helps uplift community members’ spirits to work together. She helps ideate plans to women organisations at the community.
Impact made in the community: She helps educate children. She helps spread knowledge about school garden and 10 food groups. She helps students to connect with traditional farming systems.
Bibiana Ranee, Nongtraw
Bibiana Ranee, a farmer and PGS member of the Nongtraw community, does what she does best with a motive to help revive traditional farming methods.
Mission: To encourage our youth to learn more about farming and the importance of food sovereignty and food security.
Contribution to the Community: Bringing in overall cleanliness and hygiene to the community. She engages and mobilising the youth of the community. As a community leader, she has represented the community at various workshops and programmes. She dedicates her time towards traditional farming and propagating the importance of local super-foods like millet in the community.
Impact made in the community: She ensures that the community members maintain a clean and green community, which is an impact of her teachings. She guides and encourages them to practice traditional farming. She also overlooks at all the aspects of youth development in the community.
Sita Mary Nongrum, Umsawwar
Sita Mary is an ASHA worker at the community, and at the same time, she is also a good and well-known farmer. She is an active member of the SHG and PGS group at her community
Mission: Sita Mary has nothing but love for her community. She is doing her best to bring in positive and forward thinking strategies when it comes to uplifting her community
Contribution to the Community: She guides children and youth to be responsible citizens for the betterment of the community
Impact made in the community: She has been consistently driving change in the community youths by propagating knowledge about the importance of self-sustainable endeavors
Aiolian Kharsyntiew, Mawhiang
Aiolian Kharsyntiew is the community facilitator of Mawhiang. She sees to it that all campaigns and works are up-to-date and are always completed on time.
Mission: Aiolian was motivated to be part of NESFAS as she understands the benefits that the campaigns and works bring to the communities. She expressed that the PGS group and the community as a whole will benefit a lot from the mission that NESFAS is aiming at. In terms of farming, she said the importance of growing green leafy vegetables as they are nutrient rich and helps us remain healthy.
Contribution to the community: Took the lead and initiated the Farm-On-Wheels during the pandemic
Impact made in the community: Achieve the targets set for the PGS groups in terms of sales of vegetable through the Farm On Wheels.
Bisikrin Marwein, Mawlum Mawjahksew
Biskirin Marwein is an ASHA worker at Mawlum Mawjahksew.
Mission: To ensure that hygiene is maintained at all the homes and community surroundings and good health of all community members.
Contribution to the community: Regulate health check-ups and advocate a healthy lifestyle to community people. She also aims to keep tabs on the health of mothers and young children
Impact made in the community: Being an ASHA worker has helped her to create awareness of various health issues and have undertaken measures to change the mindset and work towards a healthy today and a secure tomorrow.
Redian Syiem, Khweng
Redian Syiem, a custodian farmer and a member of the ALC, strengthens the traditional farming practices and has been part of participatory research related to pest management and seed production.
Mission: She aims to preserve, promote and strengthen the indigenous food system
Contribution to the community: Regularly shared knowledge of best practices to youths, fellow farmers from within and other communities, encouraging them to promote IFS.
Impact made in the community: Awarded the Biodiversity Champion, Kong Redian is acknowledged and revered in the community as a knowledge holder.
Rikynti Syiem, Khweng
She is an Eri Silk Weaver and runs an enterprise and a training centre. She trains youth and women in silk worm rearing, spinning natural dyeing and weaving.
Mission: With the number of eri-silk weavers declining in numbers, Syiem has helped build capacity of interested individuals to take up eri silk production as an enterprise, to preserve its heritage and promote sustainable eri-silk products
Community contributions: Syiem has been pivotal in sustaining eri-silk weaving in her community.
Impact made in the community: She has trained women weavers from neighbouring communities and hosted individuals from different organisations interested in the art, and poularising Khweng as a learning centre for eri-silk production.
Dial Muktieh, Khweng
Dial Muktieh is a Mei-Ramew Cafe owner and an entrepreneur in food processing developing value added products from local food plants.
Mission: To reduce post harvest loss of fruits and vegetables and utilise underutilised species, Muktieh along with members of the Nangkyrsoi SHG groups are engaged in food processing
Community contributions: She was able to facilitate the purchase of surplus of fresh produce from farmers along with the group members has developed several value added products which were showcased at different exhibitions. She’s used her Mei-Ramew Cafe as a selling point for various value added products.
Impact made in the community: Community is encouraged to learn to preserve food through value addition. Farmers from other communities are also trying value addition in their own capacity particularly for self consumption.
Plantina Mujai, Khweng
Plantina Mujai, a custodian cook and owner of a Mei-Ramew cafe, connected customers to authentic Bhoi cuisine
Mission: To help people connect through traditional cuisines and promote the rich agrobiodiversity of her region.
Community contributions: She has introduced visitors to the benefits of local plants and conducted cooking demonstrations for the youths and children in the community. She also represented the community on different platforms. Her cafe also serves as a selling point for many farmers.
Impact made in the community: Appreciation for local food increased through this initiative