Women’s Advancement in Rural Development & Agriculture, Bihar

TechnoServe is implementing Women’s Advancement in Rural Development & Agriculture (WARDA), a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded program, in partnership with Bihar Transformative Development Project in close coordination with JEEViKA (under the aegis of the Government of Bihar). WARDA develops approaches for graduating women smallholder farmers out of poverty through market-led Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). The program works toward the development of gender-sensitive agricultural value chains and provides technical assistance to market competitive, women-only FPOs. WARDA has pioneered several innovative measures to support smallholder women farmers and has demonstrated the use of new-age technology to successfully pilot and scale up interventions for economically empowering women who are usually heavily dependent on their male counterparts for their sustenance. The program integrates smallholder women farmers into agricultural supply chains and market systems thereby improving their economic status, reducing poverty, bridging gender gaps, and fostering healthy and inclusive communities. The program has the potential to create large scale, sustainable impact on the overall economic development of Bihar and demonstrate a market-oriented model for women’s economic empowerment that can be replicated across other parts of the country.