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Women’s access
to agriculture
extension amidst
COVID-19
Insights from India
and Nepal
Muzna Alvi, Prapti Barooah and
Shwet...
Updated: 1 Dec 2020
Extension systems in India and Nepal
• Formal extension system predominantly based on government insti...
Updated: 1 Dec 2020
Background
• India: Gujarat- 9
districts
• Nepal: Dang
district, Province 5
(mid-western
region)- 4
mu...
Updated: 1 Dec 2020
Key findings
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
India Nepal India Nepal
Before lockdown After lockdown
Share
of
H...
Updated: 1 Dec 2020
Towards crisis-resilient inclusive extension
• Crisis increases need for reliable and inclusive extens...
Updated: 1 Dec 2020
Crisis adaptation in action
• Project to test innovative extension methods in Gujarat India
• Initial ...
Updated: 1 Dec 2020
References
Alvi, M., Barooah, P., Gupta, S., & Saini, S. (2021). Women’s
access to agriculture extensi...
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Women’s access to agriculture  extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal Slide 1 Women’s access to agriculture  extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal Slide 2 Women’s access to agriculture  extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal Slide 3 Women’s access to agriculture  extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal Slide 4 Women’s access to agriculture  extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal Slide 5 Women’s access to agriculture  extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal Slide 6 Women’s access to agriculture  extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal Slide 7
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Prepared by Muzna Alvi, Prapti Barooah and Shweta Gupta

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Women’s access to agriculture extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from India and Nepal

  1. 1. Women’s access to agriculture extension amidst COVID-19 Insights from India and Nepal Muzna Alvi, Prapti Barooah and Shweta Gupta International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 14th September 2021
  2. 2. Updated: 1 Dec 2020 Extension systems in India and Nepal • Formal extension system predominantly based on government institutions and on traditional contact/face-to-face methods • “Training and visit” approach • Mostly male extension workers • Caste networks-large landholding farmers get access • Women’s & their role marginalized • In Nepal- formal extension heavily donor funded • Recent changes to more participatory extension • Farmer and demand led extension • Use of technology- eg Andhra Pradesh app based extension • Leveraging cooperatives in Nepal, frontline workers in livestock in Bihar • In India 30% of the total budget allocation for women beneficiaries- but women less than 25% of participants in activities. • Formal systems lacking ▲ reliance on informal sources, vulnerable to crisis
  3. 3. Updated: 1 Dec 2020 Background • India: Gujarat- 9 districts • Nepal: Dang district, Province 5 (mid-western region)- 4 municipalities Objective: Panel phone survey to understand the gendered impact of COVID-19 lockdown • India: Round 1- May-June 2020, Round 2- Aug-Sep 2020 • Nepal: Round 1- July 2020, Round 2- Sep 2020 • India: Round 1- 228, Round 2-222 • SEWA members • Nepal: Round 1- 435, Round 2- 411 • HH listing Results based on agriculture extension module- access, quality & frequency of agricultural information & extension, and impacts on agriculture productivity Location Timeline Sample Size
  4. 4. Updated: 1 Dec 2020 Key findings 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% India Nepal India Nepal Before lockdown After lockdown Share of Households Primary sources of agricultural information Traditional knowledge Group meetings Neighbour/ family Govt extension sources Input dealers • 27% in India and 29% in Nepal reported non- availability of regular source of agricultural information in round 1 • Nepal: 53% felt quality of information was worse during round 1; 62% felt it was more infrequent compared to pre-lockdown Impact on agriculture extension sources Impact on farm productivity • Farm productivity suffered due to limited information access • India: Productivity suffered more for staple/horticulture crops(51%) than cash crops (40%); remote districts faced more challenges • Major issues: India- lower yield and poor quality; Nepal- limited availability of inputs, pest attack, lower yield Heterogeneity of impacts • India- Caste determines primary source of agricultural extension • Nepal: Level of education influences reliance on govt. sources • Nepal: Adverse impact on farm productivity reported less by primary agricultural decision makers
  5. 5. Updated: 1 Dec 2020 Towards crisis-resilient inclusive extension • Crisis increases need for reliable and inclusive extension. • ICT based interventions an entry point for low cost remotely delivered information • Unequal phone access • Heterogeneity in literacy, phone ownership and use • Farmer field schools targeting women • Multiple demands of women’s time • Mobility restrictions • Female extension workers • Group-based extension • SEWA, PRADAN, FECOFUN • Community frontline workers • Tested and successful model- Use in health and livestock • Training and adequate compensation
  6. 6. Updated: 1 Dec 2020 Crisis adaptation in action • Project to test innovative extension methods in Gujarat India • Initial idea- videos and posters on solar pumps • Expensive • Hard to acquire/ subsidy modalities-land ownership etc. • Require market and credit access • COVID affected income and purchasing power • Needs and demands shifted- fertilizer large expense-how to reduce expenditure? • Soil testing for balanced nutrient management • Videos and posters shown in villages, not at SEWA centers
  7. 7. Updated: 1 Dec 2020 References Alvi, M., Barooah, P., Gupta, S., & Saini, S. (2021). Women’s access to agriculture extension amidst COVID-19: Insights from Gujarat, India and Dang, Nepal. Agricultural Systems, 188, 103035. (link)

Prepared by Muzna Alvi, Prapti Barooah and Shweta Gupta

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