Developing on-farm practices and technologies

Her opinion matters

A Southeast Asia project sets an example

Scientists and extension workers are actively seeking the participation of women in devising on-farm strategies. This project illustrates the benefits reaped through gender inclusivity.

A farmer in Vietnam showing an improved variety of groundnut.

A farmer in Vietnam showing an improved variety of groundnut.       Photo: PM Gaur, ICRISAT

From selecting crop varieties that met their requirements to updating farming and business skills through trainings on improved crop and seed production practices, women farmers in Vietnam, Laos, Nepal and India played a key role in improving the productivity and sustainability of rainfed agriculture in their respective project regions.

On-farm practices and technologies introduced in 2014

  • Intercropping with grain legumes
  • Improved farm practices
  • New/improved crop varieties
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Seed treatment
  • Community-based seed production groups for treating and storing seed
  • On-farm technologies  for income-generation activities.

Gender component in trainings

Among the 3,000 farmers and extension workers trained to facilitate adoption of new technologies, close to 50% were women.

Participation of women in trainings was monitored and efforts are being made to increase their involvement in Laos and the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where participation is low.

Family farming initiatives involve women

In Rajasthan 4,650 households

cultivated improved pearl millet hybrids

In Vietnam 248 households

cultivated improved mung bean

Project Highlights
Women Self-Help Groups in Nepal.

Women Self-Help Groups in Nepal.   Photo: PM Gaur, ICRISAT



  • A Farmer Field School was launched. Lead women farmers outnumbered men (527 vs 51). TheypearlMillet took the lead in the demonstration of crops and helped other farmers (10-15 each). Farmers were exposed to new varieties and practices. The leaders met with Self-Help Groups (SHGs) regularly.
  • Women play a vital role in farm operations and taking decisions on what crop and variety to grow. Women SHGs are involved in procurement and distribution of farm inputs.
  • Introduced improved pearl millet varieties and intercropping of pearl millet with moth bean/green gram or with green gram/sesame/cluster bean.


  • Women SHGs took up seed production
    Chickpea: 55 SHGs; groundnut: 62 SHGs; pigeonpea: 177 SHGs.goat-1
  • Farmers get 20-25% higher yields due to improved cultivars.
  • Improved varieties of chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut were introduced.
  • Communities took up feed production for livestock.

Madhya Pradesh

Women farmers were given training in preparing snacks from legumes, soymilk, and pickling of local low-cost fruits like Phyllanthus emblica (amla) andZiziphus mauritiana (ber). Machines were provided for food processing. These products added to the household’s nutritional security as well as helped the women earn additional income.

Farm practices introduced

  • Chickpea treated with molybdenum (Mo), showed 22-25% yield increase.
  • Chickpea and lentil treated with biofungicide had a yield advantage of 17%.chickpea
  • Ridge planting of pigeonpea prevented waterlogging and phytophthora disease giving
    27% higher yield.
  • Intercropping of pigeonpea with soybean was introduced.

Women farmers play an active role in the choice of crop varieties, seed production and sales.

  • Improved varieties of green gram and soybean earned about $720-838 per ha above the local variety.
  • Intercropping of maize with groundnut was introduced.
  • The local government in Cao Bang province plans to advocate cultivation of green gram in summer season.

Women farmers formed 12 community-based seed production groups. They were supplied seed and storage bins. They were trained in preparation of snacks and provided bag-sealers, plastic bags and chickpeaother equipment needed to start a mini agro-enterprise.

Farm practices introduced

  • Integrated Pest Management for pod borer gave up to 50% increase in chickpea yield.
  • Promotion of micronutrient-rich lentil lines was conducted in six farmers’ fields.
  • Lentils treated with molybdenum had enhanced yield of 25-30%.
  • Intercropping of maize with groundnut and pigeonpea was also introduced.

Seed production farmer groups headed by women were identified and provided training in groundnut seed production and initial funding.peanut

Farm practices introduced

  • Dry season cultivation of groundnut increased yield of wet-season rice by 50% (additional income of about $614 per household).
  • A seed drying house was constructed.
  • Chickpea and pigeonpea are new crops.
  • Intercropping of maize with groundnut was started.


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