09 March, Varanasi, India --- 25 women farmers from Eastern Uttar Pradesh visited the IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (IRRI SARC) for training and knowledge sharing on the 8th of March 2021 as part of the Institute’s International Women’s Day 2021 celebration. This event titled “Training and Field Day Program Engaging Women Farmers from Eastern UP to Develop Climate-Resilient Rice Production Systems” was aimed at increasing the capacity of women farmers in all the steps of rice production. Besides honoring the women farmers for their contribution to food security and uplifting agriculture at a global scale particularly in rice farming, the event also provided interactive sessions wherein queries were entertained. The discussions, led by eminent professors from the Banaras Hindu University and scientists from IRRI SARC, revolved around the following subject areas:
- The role of agricultural conservation practices in improving productivity, profitability, and soil health in Eastern UP
- The use of liquid organic fertilizer to improve soil health and crop productivity
- Integrated nutrient management to improve soil health and crop productivity
- Rice wheat crop manager (RWCM), an effective crop management tool for site-specific nutrient management
- Various livelihood initiatives promoting women empowerment
Further, Mr. Kshitikant Rout, IRRI Research Technician, led the participants’ visit to the Trials and Natural Fertilizer Unit, Farm Machinery Unit. The event ended with positive feedback from the participants having an enriched knowledge and experience on climate-resilient rice production systems that will help them to make informed decisions on their farming activities.
In his message, IRRI SARC Director Dr. Sudhanshu Singh highlighted the role of women in sustainable agriculture. “Women played a critical role in Eastern India’s Green Revolution, especially in nutritional security. It is important that we put women at the forefront of technological development as we work towards agri-food systems transformation,” he said. He also emphasized skill and knowledge development for swavalamban (self-reliance) of women and encouraged them to actively participate in agriculture-related decisions at the household level.
IRRI Associate Manager - Capacity Building Sumit Soni delivered the vote of thanks. The event was also attended virtually by Dr. Sheetal Sharma, IRRI Scientist II - Soil Science, who discussed the importance of women’s role in agriculture, and IRRI Education Head Gopesh Tewari who provided an introduction about IRRI SARC. Dr. Ajay Mishra, IRRI Associate Scientist - Soil Science, served as the event facilitator.