Strengthening of Women Farmer Field School for Climate Resilient Farming Practices

Promoting climate smart agriculture practices in Bihar is crucial for the state's agriculture sector to adapt to the changing climate, reduce its environmental impact, and improve the livelihoods of farmers. By adopting diversified cropping systems, enhancing water use efficiency, promoting the use of climate-resilient crops and varieties, encouraging soil conservation, and increasing the use of renewable energy, Bihar can develop a more sustainable and resilient agriculture sector. With women, the main source of agriculture labour being sensitized, trained, and engaged constructively in climate resilience planning, it is only pertinent that they are also educated about climate smart agriculture. Already oriented to think about disasters and resilience, they are cognitively better positioned to understand, relate to and promote climate resilient agriculture. GPSVS therefore mobilized its network of women’s groups and organized FFS for women to introduce practices for climate smart agriculture. Currently, 304 women from FFS have involved in Climate Smart Agriculture practices in 11 villages. Women have successfully managed to prepare organic fertilizers and using these, they have been able to earn profits even during the lean periods. It also extended this initiative to establish climate smart livelihood options, associated with agriculture.

Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are a participatory approach to learning and skill development in agriculture. The FFS approach involves groups of farmers coming together to learn and experiment with new farming techniques, technologies, and best practices. FFS are usually facilitated by extension workers or trained community members who provide guidance and technical support to the farmers. Being an open platform for the farmers to discuss anything related to their farms, this becomes a valuable tool for promoting gender equity in agriculture. They provide a supportive learning environment where women can develop new skills, share knowledge, and build social networks, ultimately leading to increased productivity and empowerment. The FFS for women approach has been successful in many countries around the world. It has been shown to increase women's agricultural productivity, improve their access to markets, and enhance their social and economic empowerment. FFS for women have also been effective in promoting gender equality and women's rights.

1.      Women learnt and practiced methods like mixed cropping (against the usual mono cropping) and managed irrigation facilities to minimize wastage, recharge aquifers and constructed water harvesting pits.

2.     They understood land use management with organic approach for better quality yields.

3.      They actively took to the cultivation of indigenous, climate resilient paddy varieties and shared their experiences within their KMM networks.

4.     They were oriented about production of spices and its marketing.

5.      They are now being prepared to get into pulses and oil-oriented cultivation.

6.    Access of children and adolescent girls with the ICDS services

“Women have shown their potential for adopting and disseminating advanced agricultural knowledge and techniques. This is a step towards women being recognized as central to agricultural knowledge and practice”.