Promoting the careers of women scientists in CRPs MAIZE and WHEAT

Professional advancement is a challenge for all scientists. Women and men scientists, however, face different constraints and opportunities in advancing their careers. In order to address this, MAIZE CRP sponsored a study from the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) into how the MAIZE and WHEAT CRPs approach the professional capacity enhancement of men and women scientists, and what can be learned from other organizations that have successfully addressed the advancement of women’s careers in science.

Women representation CIMMYTIn addition to a literature review, the study involved interviews with managers and women scientists in several organizations working within the two CRPs.

The Skywalker Project: Soaring to New Heights

Charles Mutimaamba, Chief Research Officer and Maize Breeder at the CBI, pauses for a photo with the Skywalker in a field.

Charles Mutimaamba, Chief Research Officer and Maize Breeder at the CBI, pauses for a photo with the Skywalker in a field.

Though its name implies science fiction, Skywalker’s results have been incredibly real. A small, unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with remote sensing devices, Skywalker flies over maize fields collecting images and data. It is able to measure several hundred plots in one take. Spectral reflectance and thermal imagery cameras on its wings allow scientists to conduct non-destructive screening of plant physiological properties such as crop growth and water use, at enough resolution to obtain information at plot level.

Gender Analysis of Small-Scale Farm Mechanization in Ethiopia and Kenya

Smallholder farmer prepares maize plot for planting with CIMMYT improved varieties, Embu, KenyaA Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) study funded under the Competitive Grant Initiative of the MAIZE CRP, “Gender Matters in farm Power,” investigates how gender matters in small-scale farm power mechanization in African agriculture, particularly in maize-based systems in Ethiopia and Kenya. KIT collaborated with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’s (CIMMYT) Farm Power and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) project on the study in order to leverage FACASI’s experience with national project partners and to build on and complement the project’s work.