Posts Tagged ‘gender’

MAIZE and WHEAT Global Gender Study: coding large-scale data to reveal the drivers of agricultural innovation

From left to right: Patti Petesch, Diana Lopez, Paula Kantor, Vongai Kandiwa, Dina Najjar, Lone Badstue, Anuprita Shukla and Amare Tegbaru. Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

From left to right: Patti Petesch, Diana Lopez, Paula Kantor, Vongai Kandiwa, Dina Najjar, Lone Badstue, Anuprita Shukla and Amare Tegbaru. Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

MAIZE and WHEAT CRP investigators from the global cross-CRP study on gender in agricultural innovation met at CIMMYT headquarters in El Batán, Mexico from 26 Feb to 1 March to take stock of progress so far and plan the next steps in the implementation of this unique research initiative.

Research, Reorganized

Agricultural research is changing. In order to have a greater impact, research must be relevant to a greater variety of farmers in different contexts, while being both applicable and adaptable.

Ways must also be found to solve institutional constraints, which are very often beyond the researchers’ sphere of control. Policies can be changed to allow community seed production, better connections established between maize producers and traders, extension systems strengthened or willing agro-dealers found to commercialize new seeds.

Gender Matters in Farm Power

By Frédéric Baudron, System Agronomist, CIMMYT

FACASI Launch DemoThe goals of the Farm Power and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) project are to address the issue of declining farm power in eastern and southern Africa, and reduce the labor burden that comes with low farm mechanization, by promoting small-scale mechanization based on two-wheel tractors. Farm power is particularly scarce for female-headed households (FHHs), who have limited access to human labor and often don’t own (or are culturally forbidden to operate) draft animals. FHHs are often the last households to access land preparation services, which leads to lower yields. Even in households headed by men, women supply most of the farm labor and perform highly labor-intensive tasks, such as weeding, threshing, shelling or transport of inputs and agricultural commodities to and from the market by head-loading.

The role of gender transformative approaches

Ladies-cobs-01The persistence of gender disparities in access to resources, markets and technologies, even after decades of research and interventions, calls for a gender transformative approach, says Paula Kantor, WorldFish Senior Gender Scientist and keynote speaker at the 12th Asian Maize Conference* to be held in Bangkok next October 2014.

Being ‘gender transformative’ means addressing the underlying causes of gender inequality in order to set the scene for the sustained achievement of positive agricultural development outcomes. It takes on the task of fostering community-led changes in unequal gender relations to promote shared power, control of resources and decision-making.