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.
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.
land use management with organic approach for better quality yields.
took to the cultivation of indigenous, climate resilient paddy varieties and
shared their experiences within their KMM networks.
oriented about production of spices and its marketing.
They are now
being prepared to get into pulses and oil-oriented cultivation.
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”.