In Haryana, India, women farmers tend to be left out when it comes to accessing climate information and agro-advisory services because of institutionalized socio-cultural barriers, low literacy levels, hectic daily schedules, and a lack of agency in decision-making.
An information and communications technology (ICT) project works with local partners to provide climate information and agro-advisories to farmers to increase knowledge and uptake of climate-smart agriculture and reduce their climate vulnerability. Within the project, household members (couples) subscribe to M(obile) Solution. This shares climate information with farmers and also provides a mechanism for farmers to share their own concerns with the service. The project is supported by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
Contributions to CSA
The project has taken measures to ensure that it is inclusive to women farmers in Haryana, as they typically rely on male household members to get information. At first, including women farmers in the project was met with resistance, but through focus group discussions and by involving local women leaders, women finally signed up. During some of the frank discussions, some people questioned why women needed to receive information if they are not taking any important decisions. However, female farmers provided feedback that indicated they appreciated the awareness the initiative has created on climate-smart agriculture practices and the issue of climate change.
Impacts and lessons learned
Nearly 1,100 farmers received about 325 messages over a period of 9 months between 2013 and 2014. Feedback was randomly sought from 510 farmers, nearly 16 percent of whom were women. Many female farmers indicated that they began to participate more in household decision-making. Several of them also noted they shared the information with other women who were not part of the project.
- Blog - For women farmers in Haryana, change starts with information: https://ccafs.cgiar.org/blog/women-farmers-haryana-change-starts-information
- Closing the gender gap in farming under climate change: New knowledge for renewed action: https://ccafs.cgiar.org/closing-gender-gap
- Presentation - Mittal S, Jat ML, Stirling CM. 2015. Mobile phone –enabled agro-advisory services: a means to empower women farmers: http://www.slideshare.net/cgiarclimate/surabhi-mittal-presentation-cimmyt