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Adoption of technology by rural women in a rice-based agroecosystem

Adoption of technology by rural women in a rice-based agroecosystem

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Published by Grace Cañas
2011 SocioEcon_IRRN 2010-013
2011 SocioEcon_IRRN 2010-013

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Published by: Grace Cañas on Apr 08, 2011
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Socioeconomics
2011, Vol. 36
 
International Rice Research Notes
(0117-4185)
 
1
Adoption of technology by rural women in a rice-based agroecosystem
 
K. Pandey, S.S. Bargali,* and S.S. Kolhe**
 
Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Anjora, Durg 491001, Chhattisgarh, India*Department of Forestry, ** Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, IndiraGandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur 492006 (CG), IndiaE-mail: surendrakiran@rediffmail.com
 
Rice is the main crop cultivated in Durg District of Chhattisgarh State, India(Bargali et al 2007, 2009a). Grown on 0.37 million ha, this staple drives theeconomy in rural areas. In India, women do more than 50% of the farm work(Bargali et al 2009b), but they are not so keen about new technologies related toagriculture. To make women workers aware of advanced technologies in a rice-based agroecosystem and to help them earn more, KVK scientists conducted astudy to determine women farmers’ adoption of technologies. A participatoryrural appraisal (PRA) was done in five villages in Durg (Anjora, Hasda,Parastarai, Karanja-Bhilai, and Beloudi) from 2000 to 2006. During the PRAsurvey, the rural women farmers showed interest in trying different technologiesrelated to rice—paddy seed treatment, harvesting the crop with a serrated sickle,safe grain storage, enriching paddy straw for animal feed, and preparingdifferent rice products.One hundred women farmers, all decision-makers for the household,were randomly selected from the five villages. They were categorized on thebasis of landholdings—30 had big (>4 ha) farms, 41 had medium farms (2–4 ha),and 29 had small farms (1–2 ha). All groups of women farmers attended thedifferent training programs (Figs. 1 and 2), spending 2–7 d on technologycomponents. They were given the essential technology inputs. Demonstrationswere set up for five individuals in each category. After 2 years, a field surveyusing semistructured interview schedules was conducted (Bargali et al 2007).Adoption indices (AI = [total number of women farmers who adopted thetechnology/total number of women farmers who attended the technologytraining)/100]) were calculated following Bargali et al (2007) and the reasons foradopting/not adopting the technology were obtained. Women farmers with bigfarms adopted all five technologies. With AI ranging from 67 to 100, theyreported an increase in rice production with the seed treatment. They claimedthat the use of a serrated sickle shortened their harvesting time and they wereable to store their grains longer. Feeding their animals with enriched paddy
 
Socioeconomics
2011, Vol. 36
 
International Rice Research Notes
(0117-4185)
 
2
straw resulted in improved animal health and milk production. Different riceproducts became part of their daily diet. The highest AI was observed in thesmall women farmer category for safe grain storage (AI = 80); the adoption ofother technologies was less than 40%. Women farmers in the medium categoryhad adopted all the technologies, with AI values of 29 to 75 (Fig. 1). Bargali et al(2007, 2009b) also found variations in technology adoption among the womenfarmer groups: the adoption rate of small farmers was lower than that ofmedium and big farmers due to smaller landholding, limited resources, andmoderate literacy.Average adoption of technologies was highest among big women farmers(AI = 83), followed by women farmers in the medium group (AI = 52). Adoptionwas low among small women farmers (AI = 38) who had smaller land, meagerresources, and moderate literacy. Depommier et al (2002) noted that the needsand strategies of small farmers usually correspond to subsistence agriculturewith low inputs. Seed treatment before sowing, harvesting by a serrated sickle,and preparation of different rice products were maximally adopted by the bigwomen farmers (78–100%), followed by medium women farmers (50–75%) andsmall women farmers (16–36%). Maximum adoption of safe grain storage andenrichment of paddy straw was also observed among big women farmers (67–87%), followed by small women farmers (40–80%); the medium women farmershad the lowest AI with respect to these two technologies (29–50%).
Fig. 1. Technology adoption by different categories of farm women.
 
0102030405060708090100
Adoption index
SeedtreatmentHarvesting byserrated sickleSafe grainstorageEnrichment ofpaddy strawPreparation ofrice productsAverageadoption
Technology components
Small farmers Medium farmersBig farmers Average adoption of technology
 
0102030405060708090100
Adoption index
SeedtreatmentHarvesting byserrated sickleSafe grainstorageEnrichment ofpaddy strawPreparation ofrice productsAverageadoption
Technology components
Small farmers Medium farmersBig farmers Average adoption of technology
 
Socioeconomics
2011, Vol. 36
 
International Rice Research Notes
(0117-4185)
 
3 
The reasons for adopting the new technologies were given by Bargali et al (2007):
 
Most women farmers in the locality use their own seeds under the biasisystem and these have poor germination and quality (Singh and Shrivastava2004). Their use of healthy seed resulted in better seed germination, betterseed quality, and optimum plant population. The lower seeding rate reducedthe cost of quality seed.
 
Women farmers have always used traditional sickles for harvesting becausethey are not aware of the advantages of using serrated sickles. These workersnow experience less drudgery with the use of this farm implement. Laborefficiency increased by 50%.
 
Safe grain storage protected grains from insect damage and lengthenedstorage time (Pandey et al 2006).
 
Women farmers in the area feed rice straw to cattle, but the animals remainundernourished. Adding 4% urea to rice straw increased the nutritive valueand consequently improved animal health and milk production.This study suggests that providing information and technical support tosmall women farmers would enable them to adopt new technologies.Demonstrations of improved technologies in their fields could motivate poorrural women to adopt innovations.
References
 Bargali SS, Singh SP, Shrivastava SK, Kolhe SS. 2007. Forestry plantations on rice bunds: farmers’perceptions and technology adoption. Int. Rice Res. Notes 32(2):40-41.Bargali SS, Bargali Kiran, Singh L, Ghosh L, Lakhera ML. 2009a. Acacia nilotica-based traditionalagroforestry system: effect on paddy crop and management. Curr. Sci. 96(4):581-587.Bargali SS, Pandey K, Singh L, Shrivastava SK. 2009b. Participation of rural women in rice-basedagroecosystems. Int. Rice Res. Notes Vol. 34,http://irri.org/knowledge/publications/international-rice-research-notes.Depommier D, Laurent J, Cassou J, Demenois J, Heurtaux A, Grard P. 2002. Multipurpose treesand agroforestry practices for sustainable development and conservation of environmentin south India: linear plantations and living fences in the dry lands of Karnataka andTamil Nadu. In: Proceedings of the National Seminar on Conservation of Western Ghats,Tirupati. p 161-168.Pandey K, Bargali SS, Shrivastava SK. 2006. Comparative study on low-cost traditional methodsand advanced technology for safe storage of grain seeds. Environ. Ecol. 24S(4):1202-1203.Singh SP, Shrivastava SK. 2004. Rice yield constraints and production technology: perception offarmers through PRA. Int. Rice Res. Notes 29(1):72-73.
 
Acknowledgment
We thank ICAR for financial support and the referee for valuable suggestions toimprove the manuscript.
 

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