SRI4Women brings the advice and experience of women and men rice farmers, researchers, academics, extension workers and policy-makers to a wider audience through video, photography and text-based stories. We work and network with variety of experts and take their stories to others at the grassroots, in the public domain or at a policy level in order to share knowledge on the benefits of SRI and how and why it works. Since SRI is a knowledge-based technology, this is all it takes to encourage uptake, help resolve issues and introduce innovations.
Already, through video stories, innovations in upland SRI experimentation in Sierra Leone have been shared with extension workers in Odisha, India and basic SRI principles applied in Burundi have been shared with novice SRI growers in Laos. Farmers in Togo have been convinced of the value of SRI by watching videos where farmers like them across the continent explain how their lives have changed thanks to SRI. There are numerous other examples.
The aim of SRI4Women is to take these experiences and help to transform approaches to rice growing, further an understanding of the difficulties faced in conventional rice cultivation, particularly by women, and to illustrate compellingly that SRI can help to alleviate those problems. We will share our work with farmers who we hope will take note of stories from farmers like them and see that SRI is worth trying. We will share with policy-makers the compelling evidence from the field and make the case for further extension and research to help the experimentation and adoption that makes SRI a constantly innovating technology. We will share SRI stories in the mainstream media because if the general public discovers how SRI benefits women and the environment, they may help to influence policy and generate a market for SRI-produced rice, which, if applied in its purest form, is fairly produced and organic.
As we gather more stories and more material, it will all be posted here on the SRI4Women website and also on our blog: www.sri4women.blog
We will look at as many different areas of importance as possible: mechanical tools and designs for women; pest control; rain fed water control; upland, midland, lowland, coastal, mountainous and other terrain and agro-environmental zone types. We will record the ways in which women are benefitting and the advice they have for other women: working in groups; forming labour associations; physical issues and how to address them. And so on. But we also welcome contributions from anyone who is involved in SRI and who has a story to share. Please get in touch if you’d like to contribute to our blog. And please keep coming back; the website will be constantly updated.