Women taking the lead on climate change adaptation

Women farmers in Haryana. Blog authors write that an effective way to enhance women’s decision-making and promote gender equity is to teach them to use new agricultural technologies and thus generate higher yields and better income. Photo: P. Vishwanatha

Women farmers in India learn about climate-smart agriculture practices

Studies show that women tend to be more at risk from climate change than are men; they often lack the means to cope with the harmful effects of climate change.

To overcome this challenge, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is working with Aprana Services, a leading NGO that improves health, provides education and enhances livelihoods of people in the region.

A recent blog post on the CIMMYT website describes the project:

CIMMYT will build confidence and awareness among the women’s groups Arpana has formed by instructing them on climate-smart agricultural practices (CSAPs) and their use. CIMMYT and Arpana will merge their areas of expertise to promote CSAP adoption among female smallholders, thereby benefiting farm households. They plan to provide capacity building programs aimed at educating female farmers on technical aspects of sustainable intensification and making them realize the importance of nutrition by introducing legumes into their cropping systems.

The women will also be trained to use a farm lekha jokha book, which is an accounting and farm management tool that allows farmers to understand and compare farm expenses that, though important, are commonly neglected. Keeping such records would make women more knowledgeable and help them manage their farms more efficiently, thereby escalating their decision-making authority at home.

Although the CIMMYT-Arpana initiatives target women’s empowerment, they will also lead to other socio-economic changes. For example, successful women farmers could help promote CSAPs and convince government and policy makers to make recommendations based on conservation agriculture. In this way, a model encompassing the pre-requisites of sustainable agriculture could be established with women as torch-bearers of the future of agriculture.

Read the original story on the CIMMYT website: A leading NGO joins hands with CIMMYT-CCAFS to empower women farmers

The original story was written by H.S. Jat, M.L. Jat, Munmun Rai and Tripti Agarwal.

Lili Szilagyi is Communications student assistant at the CCAFS Coordinating Unit.