Posts Tagged ‘Tanzania’

Women in seed systems in Africa: Zubeda Mduruma

By: Rahma I Adam, Florence Sipalla, Pauline Muindi and Vongai Kandiwa

The maize seed sector in eastern and southern Africa is male-dominated. Most seed companies operating in the region are owned and run by men. Often access to land and financial capital can be a constraint for women who are keen on investing in agriculture. However, there are women working in this sector, breaking social barriers, making a contribution to improving household nutrition and livelihoods by providing jobs and improved seed varieties.

The gender team within the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) Socioeconomics Program interviewed 9 women involved in the seed business in this region as part of a collection of stories that will be published as a book this May. In honor of International Women’s Day, held March 8, 2019, the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) and CIMMYT would like to share some of their stories to recognize these women—and many others like them—and highlight the important work that women do in seed systems in Africa.

This is Zubeda Omari Mduruma, and this is her story:

Dr. Zubeda Mduruma, 65, is a plant breeder. Raised by farmers, Zubeda took to agriculture from a young age as she enjoyed helping her parents in the farm. After high school, Zubeda obtained a BSc in Agriculture then joined Tanzania’s national agriculture research system, working at Ilonga research station. She then pursued her MSc in Plant Breeding and Biometry from Cornell University in the U.S. and obtained a PhD in Plant Breeding at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania, while working and raising her family. “I wanted to be in research, so I could breed materials which would be superior than what farmers were using, because they were getting very low yields,” says Zubeda. In the 22 years she was at Ilonga, Zubeda was able to release 15 varieties.

New GENNOVATE videos highlight changing gender norms in agriculture

Just in time for International Women’s Day, a series of videos have been published by the GENNOVATE initiative to raise awareness about and explore the interlinkages between gender norms, agency, and innovation in agriculture and natural resource management.  The videos include stories of men and women from Mexico, Tanzania, and Nepal from the perspectives of local women and men themselves.

IWD 2016: Super women of Africa

By Brenda Wawa and Johnson Siamachira

For International Women’s Day 2016, CIMMYT and MAIZE celebrate women farmers in Africa, who through their resilience, bravery and commitment have weathered challenges in maize farming to put food on the table. These women contribute to enhancing agricultural growth and food security.

Valeria and her daughters and part of their bountiful maize harvest from ‘ngamia’ seed. Photographer: CIMMYT/Brenda Wawa

Valeria and her daughters and part of their bountiful maize harvest from ‘ngamia’ seed.
Photographer: CIMMYT/Brenda Wawa

Of maize farmers, coming calves, waxing oxen, and comely camels: a Tanzanian tale of triumph over tribulations

Valeria and her daughters and part of their bountiful maize harvest from ‘ngamia’ seed. B. Wawa/CIMMYT’

Valeria and her daughters and part of their bountiful maize harvest from ‘ngamia’ seed. B. Wawa/CIMMYT’

By Brenda Wawa

About her last maize harvest in August 2015, Valeria Pantaleo, a 47-year-old wife and mother of four from Olkalili village, northern Tanzania, waxes lyrical: “I finally managed to buy a calf to replace my two oxen that died at the beginning of the year due to a strange disease.” Valeria relies on the oxen to plow her two-acre land.