Empowerment of Rural Women through Entrepreneurship Development Training – The Case of Bio-Waste Management in Southern Tamil Nadu


                                Madurai and Virudhunagar Districts of Tamil Nadu is blessed with vast resource potentials especially of soil and water which had motivated the farming community to adopt different seasonal and perennial crops like vegetables, cereals, pulses, and fruits. After the harvest of farm produce, the residues are left unutilized and go waste and sometimes add to production problems. A project was aimed to find the means of effectively utilizing the biowaste resources into the value-added products like Organic Manure, Cultivation of Milky Mushroom and Biopesticide Production etc. These practices are successful and hence it is planned to impart capacity building programs to empower the landless, marginal Rural Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Women are hailing in the poverty line. Accordingly, one hundred beneficiary women were identified and selected for capacity building and guided them to establish value-added products like Milky Mushroom from the biowaste resources. During the training and demonstration programs, the method of erection of mushroom shed, cultivation of milky mushroom, methods of spawn production, bed preparation utilizing the waste resources, harvesting and marketing of mushroom to the beneficiaries through identified experts in the related field. Though all the respondents were actively participated in Bio degradation, Bio Pesticide, and Milky Mushroom production activities, the impact created in the study area were found to be only to the level of 45 per cent whom had shown much interest in establishing Milky Mushroom and the Spawn Production activities and started earning considerable income per month motivated them to run quality life in their environs. Besides, the details of activities performed by the respondents and their enhancement in earning capacity and the marketing practices followed are also discussed in this paper.

Key words : Bio Waste Management, Bio-Pesticides, Milky Mushroom, Entrepreneurship Development.