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The economic viability of agriculture-based enterprises for farm women has been studied along with the constraints and prospects for these enterprises in the Punjab state by selecting the districts of Amritsar and Gurdaspur. Amongst the different enterprises adopted by the women, the four have been identified as most popular, viz. dairy, bee-keeping, papar/ badi and pickles making. The study has been conducted with a total sample of 100 women entrepreneurs for the year 2004-05. The study has revealed the age group of most of the women entrepreneurs as 36 to 65 years. The average annual household income of the women entrepreneurs has been found to vary between Rs 1.66 lakh for the dairy enterprise to Rs 2.16 lakh for the bee-keeping enterprise. The share of enterprise income in household income has been found 18.89% (the lowest) for the dairy enterprise and 72.84 per cent for the papar/badi enterprise. Amongst the different enterprises selected for study, papar/badi enterprise has been observed as the most successful/viable enterprise, followed by beekeeping, pickles making and the dairy enterprise. Marketing, lack of capital, problems of being the women and technical deficiency have been identified as the major problems faced by the women entrepreneurs. To make these enterprises viable, there is a need of subsidy on the purchase of inputs, reduction in formalities for getting credit from the institutional sources, and financing of input costs by the formal banking institutions. To increase the profit from bee-keeping and pickles enterprises, the entrepreneurs should try to sell their products directly to the consumers.


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