Ag Tech and Research News

Empowering Women Farmers through STIBs: Insights from Multi-stakeholder Dialogues in Makaltala and Balarampur Learning Labs, West Bengal, India

28 February 2024, Balarampur: Climate change is exacerbating the uncertainty and risks for farmers and other food systems actors in unprecedented ways. Farmers are dealing with the harsh realities of increasing intensity and frequency of shocks like flooding and extended drought, and higher weather variability. This requires greater resilience to protect and improve their livelihoods. The vulnerabilities are particularly high for women farmers and farmers from marginalized communities as they usually face additional barriers due to constraining social and gender norms. Adoption of adaptive technologies and innovations is critical to building greater resilience in the face of higher variability and uncertainty. However, technology adoption is complex, given the diversity of farmers and their preferences.

On February 8th and 12th, the CGIAR Initiative on Gender Equality, HER+ Work Package EMPOWER, led by IRRI, organized two inception dialogues in Makaltala and Balarampur villages of the North and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal, respectively. These villages are the pilot learning lab sites for the implementation of Socio-Technical Innovation Bundles (STIBs), co-designed with local stakeholders and  women farmers. The dialogues provided an opportunity to the participating women farmers to get acquainted with the partners implementing different social and technical innovations. These dialogues were designed with two objectives: to familiarize the farmers with the planned interventions and of what to anticipate in the coming months, and to have the women farmers articulate their perceived role in this process as well as the challenges they face or might face moving forward.

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