Women meet at Ganger village, Haryana. Photo: CIMMYT
Haryana is traditionally an agrarian state where many farm operations are undertaken by women; however, in this male-dominated farm society, decision-making does not involve women folk. Under CIMMYT-CCAFS, we developed a farm budgeting booklet that was distributed to women and men farmers in climate-smart villages (CSVs) and got very good response from young educated women farmers. To further empower them, we have been training women farmers in these CSVs to make them confident farmers so that in this world of changing climate, they are knowledge-empowered and able to increase their family income and develop stable rural livelihoods by actively contributing to decision-making.
During training, women farmers are taught technical aspects of agriculture such as how to sow direct-seeded rice (DSR) and the importance of fertilizer management and crop yield.
They also become acquainted with 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. This book was designed keeping in mind the situation of women farmers in Haryana. Keeping a record of farm practices makes women more knowledgeable, thereby escalating their decision-making authority at home. Their decision-making is supported by their understanding of technological interventions that help them manage their farms more efficiently and reduce the errors of current farm practices by analyzing data which they record in this book.
Training makes women farmers realize that their knowledge is not only technical but valuable. We hope this realization will lead them to consciously explore, strengthen and share the expertise they have acquired.
Direct sowing of rice (DSR) in Unchasaman village, Haryana. Photo: CIMMYT