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1314- Jeevika Development Society - System of Rice Intensification Program

  2. The Situation of Women in Jeevika’s Operational Area  Jeevika was founded in 1990 and was registered in     1994 The operational area is spread across 47 villages in the district of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India Complicated patriarchal context owing to proximity of some villages to the urban area Religious diversity In spite of diversities, there exists a commonality in the lives of all women
  3. The Situation of Women in Jeevika’s Operational Area Restriction on mobility Rampant violence against women and girls Lack of access to education, hea lthcare and livelihood opportunities Control over sexuality Underprivileged rural women Little control over participation in livelihood activities, inc luding agricultural work Lack of decisionmaking power within and outside the family Lack of control over financial and other resources
  4. Jeevika’s Interventions  Jeevika started its work through a micro-savings and credit program and livelihood generation activities with the aim to ensure women’s access to financial resources  It became apparent that women’s access to financial resources was not necessarily leading to their control over those resources, however  It became necessary to intervene also in the areas of social restrictions that women faced  Financial interventions thus became supplemented with interventions on women’s social rights
  5. SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI) PROGRAM The SRI Program was launched in 2008 with the following objectives :  Ensure environmental    Chhabi Sardar, SRI Field Worker and Farmer  sustainability Ensure food security Make visible women’s work as agricultural producers Currently the Program is being implemented in around 15 villages with 500 farmers 40% of the participating farmers are women
  6. Advantages of the SRI Method  Produces higher- yielding crops  Reduces use of water by 25-50%  Promotes the use of organic manure to improve crop and soil
  7. The Support that Jeevika Provides  Motivating the farmers to shift to the SRI method  Regular methodological assistance  Providing the Package of Practices (a combination of seeds and manures, mainly organic) to the farmers  Regular equipment support in the form of weeders, threshers, tractors, etc. which become community assets  Formation of Farmers’ Clubs that puts emphasis on promoting the voices of women farmers  Regular liaison with government departments and panchayats to promote the SRI method
  8. Production comparison between SRI Method and Traditional Method of Farming Note that farmers often begin their SRI practice on their poorer lands
  9. Challenges  Lack of resources available to farmers  Rapid urbanization  Lack of ownership of women farmers over     lands and others resources Lack of participati0n of women farmers in decision- making processes Dependence on traditional methods of farming Women farmers denied access to markets Lack of financial assistance to further implement the program
  10. Looking Ahead  Increase the number of farmers participating in the     SRI program to at least 1000 over the next one year Establish market linkages for the farmers, mainly women farmers Increase the visibility of women farmers, and increase their decision-making processes Ensure that at least 50% farmers in the program are women farmers over the next two years (currently the share is about 40%) Strengthen the Farmers’ Clubs
  11. Presented by: Dolon Ganguly, Executive Director, Jeevika Development Society, West Bengal, India Website: Thank You November, 2013