Posts Tagged ‘participation’

Spreading the gift of knowledge among women farmers in Bihar, India

Kisan Sakhi, meaning “a woman farmer friend,” is an initiative jointly started by the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) and the Bihar Mahila Samakhya (Indian government program on women’s equality) that aims to disseminate new climate-resilient and sustainable farming technologies and practices to help empower women farmers in Bihar. Six areas have been identified – Bochaha, Bandra, Aurai, Gai Ghat, Musahri and Kudhni – in the district Muzaffarpur for the pilot work.

CKisan Sakhi members Bihar IndiaSISA has introduced new technologies to more than 300 Kisan Sakhi members such as improved weed management, intercropping in maize, intensification of cropping systems with summer green gram, machine transplanting of rice under non-puddled conditions and management of community nurseries. CSISA also aims to support champion women farmer entrepreneurs, who could deliver custom hire services for community nurseries and machine transplanting.

Can men and women benefit equally from agricultural innovation?

“We’re in charge.  Women know very well how to farm here,” explained patiently a young woman from San Gabriel de las Molinas, a hillside village three hours west of Mexico City where maize is critical to local livelihoods.  Part of a focus group discussion that CRP MAIZE was facilitating, the woman was directly challenging a question suggesting that the village men were more productive farmers than the women.  Indeed, this was not an ordinary focus group about local farming.  This was part of the first pilot exercise to get the data collection tools ready for exploring gender norms and capacities for agricultural innovation in potentially 60 other villages around the world.