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Gendered Varietal Trials and Participatory Evaluation and Learning

Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Started In: 
Supported By: 
International Rice Research Institute

GEAG collaborated with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the year 2017 on gendered varietal trials and participatory evaluation and learning. The project acknowledges that increased participation of women in agricultural research for development and extension will accelerate the realization of development goals, such as reducing poverty and increasing food security.

Gorakhpur district is one of the leading rice producers of the Trans-Saryu plain in Uttar Pradesh.  It is favoured by its geographical location, fertile monotonous plain surface with deep fertile clayey and loamy alluvial soil of river's floodplain, humid tropic climate with sufficient rainfall during monsoon season, abundant supply of cheap labour and assured irrigation by canal and tubewell tapping the groundwater of high water table.

The project is assisting the farmers in selecting the best varieties for rice cultivation under their own management practices. The project has also monitored the performance of released and promising varieties of paddy in farmer’s field. Several platforms for women and men farmers for self-learning, participatory evaluation and capacity building for decision making around variety selection have been created.  Keeping in mind the increasing impacts of climate change and disasters on agriculture, good seeds were also provided.

The key activities undertaken are:

  • Cluster Trials of 13 seed varieties in 10 different villages by women self-help groups (SHGs)
  • Individual Trial (Head-to-Head Trial) with 5 women SHGs and 5 Non-SHGs (total 200 farmers, 100 men and 100 women) from 20 villages
  • Training of Farmers at Farmers Field School to provide technical knowledge of rice plant protection wherein the farmers were oriented on the identification of rice pest and diseases.
  • Farmers were motivated to attend the “Kisan Mela” organized by the State Government Agriculture Department to enrich their knowledge and understanding through deliberations/speeches/lectures of scientists. GEAG had also set up a stall at the Mela

The key outcomes are:

  • Women farmers made a significant contribution at every stage of rice cultivation and should therefore be included for capacity building and varietal trials
  • Since the women farmers actively participated in all the planned activities in participatory varietal selection (PVS) trials, it is likely that their attitude will change and they will initiate adoption of new technologies developed for stress-prone rice growing areas