Local biopesticide production hubs and the empowerment of rural woman in Tamil Nadu, India
Published: March, 2022
Cottage industries feature home-based systems of manufacturing on a small scale. In most cases, these industries make use of locally available raw materials, and they often benefit from indigenous skills and knowledge. Cottage industries play an important role in the Global South, especially in Asia and Latin America. Whilst economic development is the most attractive gain of cottage industries, studies have found that other social goals are achieved, including independence, decision-making opportunities and poverty reduction.
Against this background, cottage industries are also of considerable importance for women.
They have helped women in parts of the developing world to improve their ability to define and act on goals, make decisions that matter to them, and participate in the economy and public life. In Tamil Nadu, India, several women’s cottage industries producing biopesticides have been established, with the support of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). Most are linked to local plant clinics (see Box) that refer farmers to them when plant pests and diseases have been detected in their fields.