Women in want of better access to credit for Climate Smart Agriculture
Posted on: 9/24/2015
By: Surendra Gautam and Keshab Thapa, LI-BIRD
“In addition to the technologies, we suggest emphasizing on some schemes like provision of loan, crop and livestock insurance to women farmers which will have better access to credits along with more comfort investment in agriculture production particularly income generating activities with climate adaptive technologies,” said Ms. Tulasi Thapa, Chairperson of Women Power Group of Majthana, Kaski during the inception workshop of the ‘Scaling-Up Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Nepal’ project. Women farmers wanted to have better access to credit for promoting CSA in Majhtnana village. She further stressed, “This kind of support doesn’t just help us to become self dependent but also develops our leadership skills and logic to make good decision in the community.” The project is funded by Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). LI-BIRD in partnership with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is implementing the project in Nepal. The project is piloted in Kaski, Lamjung and Nawalparasi districts.
LI-BIRD organized the VDC level Inception Workshop of ‘Scaling-Up Climate Smart Agriculture’ Project in Saurya Bazaar of Majthana VDC of Kaski district on 22nd June 2015. During the workshop, 35 participants including 19 female participated in the meeting representing local institutions, political parties, Mother Groups, and Women Power Group. The workshop intended to sensitize local stakeholders and farmers about climate change, introduce the project to them, and receive their feedbacks in potential CSA interventions.
The workshop included two session. In the first session, the CSA project team provided an overview of climate change issues, and the concept of climate smart agriculture. The team emphasized that the 66% employment in Nepal was highly vulnerable due to climatic hazards and extremes such as floods, storm, heat and cold waves, and drought. Participants also agreed on the issue of climate change that is happening in the country and to address this issue, potential steps and strategies or technologies should be taken into the consideration for making agriculture system more resilient. They also mentioned that they would be ready to incorporate climate smart interventions in their farming system.
In the second session, participants identified the potential climate smart agriculture technologies in the context of Majthana. For that, the project team oriented on the six pillars of climate smart agriculture to categorize the technologies. Participants keenly shared different promising technologies that would suit to local agro-ecology of Majthana. While explaining six pillars of climate smart agriculture (weather, water, soil, knowledge, carbon and energy), much attention was paid on water smart interventions (drip irrigation, mulching, plastic pond construction, water lifting solar pump), weather smart interventions (weather forecast via mobile, crop and livestock insurance) and energy smart interventions (solar dryer, ginger cleaning machine).
The team observed that the workshop allowed the participants to realize the importance of climate smart agricultural interventions. Ms. Kaushila Nepali of Majthana-2, Bhagwatitar shared, “The workshop made us realize about how climate-smart agriculture will be helpful to increase the capacity of local community to use suitable agricultural technologies and decisions against climatic stresses.” She further added, “We will be very happy if this project is able to support us in providing water lifting solar pump together with construction of plastic pond in downstream area. This will help us to grow vegetables even in dry season which creates income generation opportunities in one hand and reduces workload on the other hand.”
There are a number of climate-smart technologies and practices in agriculture. Adoption of these technologies highly relies on farmers’ preferences, knowledge and their capacity to invest. The group work in the workshop brought into the realization that the participants’ preference for technologies and interventions in Majthana VDC were marked by some commonalities and difference. For instance, most farmers preferred drought tolerant crop varieties, crop insurance, water lifting solar pump, weather advisory services through mobile SMS, drip irrigation, irrigation through plastic pond, hand tractor for zero tillage, auto seeder and solar dryer technology for Majthana.
While nearing the end of the session, Stakeholders, specifically representative from VDC, women power group and mother group, stressed that the project should promote women and poor farmers’ friendly CSA technologies. Furthermore, they pledged to support in awareness generation, identification and dissemination of CSA tools and technologies in Majthana.