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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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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Grace Cañas on Apr 08, 2011
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Adoption of technology by rural women in a ricebased 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, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur 492006 (CG), India E-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 the economy 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 to agriculture. To make women workers aware of advanced technologies in a ricebased agroecosystem and to help them earn more, KVK scientists conducted a study to determine women farmers’ adoption of technologies. A participatory rural appraisal (PRA) was done in five villages in Durg (Anjora, Hasda, Parastarai, Karanja-Bhilai, and Beloudi) from 2000 to 2006. During the PRA survey, the rural women farmers showed interest in trying different technologies related to rice—paddy seed treatment, harvesting the crop with a serrated sickle, safe grain storage, enriching paddy straw for animal feed, and preparing different rice products. One hundred women farmers, all decision-makers for the household, were randomly selected from the five villages. They were categorized on the basis 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 the different training programs (Figs. 1 and 2), spending 2–7 d on technology components. They were given the essential technology inputs. Demonstrations were set up for five individuals in each category. After 2 years, a field survey using semistructured interview schedules was conducted (Bargali et al 2007). Adoption indices (AI = [total number of women farmers who adopted the technology/total number of women farmers who attended the technology training)/100]) were calculated following Bargali et al (2007) and the reasons for adopting/not adopting the technology were obtained. Women farmers with big farms adopted all five technologies. With AI ranging from 67 to 100, they reported an increase in rice production with the seed treatment. They claimed that the use of a serrated sickle shortened their harvesting time and they were able to store their grains longer. Feeding their animals with enriched paddy
2011, Vol. 36

International Rice Research Notes (0117-4185) 



straw resulted in improved animal health and milk production. Different rice products became part of their daily diet. The highest AI was observed in the small women farmer category for safe grain storage (AI = 80); the adoption of other technologies was less than 40%. Women farmers in the medium category had 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 women farmer groups: the adoption rate of small farmers was lower than that of medium and big farmers due to smaller landholding, limited resources, and moderate literacy. Average adoption of technologies was highest among big women farmers (AI = 83), followed by women farmers in the medium group (AI = 52). Adoption was low among small women farmers (AI = 38) who had smaller land, meager resources, and moderate literacy. Depommier et al (2002) noted that the needs and strategies of small farmers usually correspond to subsistence agriculture with low inputs. Seed treatment before sowing, harvesting by a serrated sickle, and preparation of different rice products were maximally adopted by the big women farmers (78–100%), followed by medium women farmers (50–75%) and small women farmers (16–36%). Maximum adoption of safe grain storage and enrichment of paddy straw was also observed among big women farmers (67– 87%), followed by small women farmers (40–80%); the medium women farmers had the lowest AI with respect to these two technologies (29–50%).
Adoption index
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 Enrichment of paddy straw Harvesting by serrated sickle Preparation of rice products Safe grain storage Seed treatment Average adoption 0

Technology components

Small farmers Big farmers

Medium farmers Average adoption of technology

Fig. 1. Technology adoption by different categories of farm women.

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International Rice Research Notes (0117-4185) 




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 biasi system and these have poor germination and quality (Singh and Shrivastava 2004). Their use of healthy seed resulted in better seed germination, better seed quality, and optimum plant population. The lower seeding rate reduced the cost of quality seed. • Women farmers have always used traditional sickles for harvesting because they are not aware of the advantages of using serrated sickles. These workers now experience less drudgery with the use of this farm implement. Labor efficiency increased by 50%. • Safe grain storage protected grains from insect damage and lengthened storage time (Pandey et al 2006). • Women farmers in the area feed rice straw to cattle, but the animals remain undernourished. Adding 4% urea to rice straw increased the nutritive value and consequently improved animal health and milk production. This study suggests that providing information and technical support to small women farmers would enable them to adopt new technologies. Demonstrations of improved technologies in their fields could motivate poor rural women to adopt innovations.

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 traditional agroforestry 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-based agroecosystems. 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 trees and agroforestry practices for sustainable development and conservation of environment in south India: linear plantations and living fences in the dry lands of Karnataka and Tamil 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 methods and 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 of farmers through PRA. Int. Rice Res. Notes 29(1):72-73.

We thank ICAR for financial support and the referee for valuable suggestions to improve the manuscript.

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International Rice Research Notes (0117-4185) 









Fig. 2. (A) Women farmers watch a demonstration of paddy harvesting (B) using a serrated sickle.






Fig. 3. (A) The women farmers add urea to rice straw to (B) improve feed quality.

2011, Vol. 36

International Rice Research Notes (0117-4185) 



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