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Potential of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Reducing Women Farmers’ Drudgery in High Climatic Risk Areas

This case study examines the potential for climate-smart agriculture to reduce the labor burden on women farmers in Rupandehi and Chitwan, two Nepalese districts affected by climate change.


This case study analyzes the potential for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) to reduce women farmers’ labor burden in Nepal. CSA practices seek to improve agricultural productivity, build resilient food production systems, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CSA, in addition to reducing labor hours, has a significant role in expanding women’s access to agricultural resources and inclusion in decision-making processes. Therefore, CSA is an important tool in the transformation of global food systems in response to climate change.

Nepal was selected because of its low rank on gender-related development indicators, its increasing feminization of agriculture due to male out-migration, and its increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Rupandehi and Chitwan were randomly chosen as focal areas from a list of predetermined hotspots that have high levels of climate risk, poverty, and women’s participation in agriculture. The study sought to determine which CSA practices most reduced women’s labor burden in agriculture. The authors identify direct-seeded rice, zero-tillage machines, laser land leveling, and green manuring as the most effective practices.