Everisto Mapedza, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Chiara Perelli, Tuscia University, Italy
Gender equality and sustainable development. How women’s contribution to farm management systems influence the adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture approach
Women play an important role in Sub-Saharan farming systems. However, they face severe gender-specific constraints and have minimal part in the farm decision-making systems (Ogunlela & Mukhtar, 2009). This determines additional barriers in the adoption of agricultural technologies based on the Climate-Smart approach (Nelson and Huyer, 2016). This paper contributes to the gender debate in developing systems by assessing evidences from Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania. A two-step methodology is applied to estimate: (i) influence women have on CSA adoption intensity through a Poisson regression model; (ii) socio-economic and environmental factors affecting women involvement in the farm management system by using a multinomial regression model. Results obtained suggest that households headed by women and characterized by the availability of physical and economic resources adopt more CSA practices than ones managed by men. Furthermore, while in Malawi women participation to agricultural groups and their contribution to the farm decision-making process affect positively the CSA adoption intensity, in the other countries their role remains marginal or negatively related with farm sustainability. Among factors affecting women involvement in the farm management systems, female ownership of agricultural land, participation of women in agricultural groups and their involvement in some field activities play a crucial role. The present study illustrates that cultural barriers continue to persist in some contexts. This implies the need for a review of government policies aimed to close this “gender gap” and determine significant gains for society by increasing agricultural productivity, reducing poverty and promoting economic growth.
Sarah Mayanja, International Potato Center (CIP)
Gender Responsive Communication tools and approaches for scaling the Triple S Technology in Ethiopia and Ghana
This study aimed to assess communication methods best suited to the needs of women and men in transmission and delivery of the Triple S technology. The Triple S (Sand, Storage, Sprouting) is a root-based sweet potato vine conservation and multiplication technology suitable for arid and semi-arid areas. First trialed in Uganda, it was scaled out in Ghana and Ethiopia under the RTB Triple S Scaling project. The outreach strategy was based on three treatments (i) core communities (ii) informed communities (iii) spillover communities. Various communication tools and approaches were used for the three treatments; and were qualitatively assessed to ascertain their effectiveness in technology dissemination, uptake and scaling. Findings indicate that face-to-face communication channels was the most preferred by men and women in both countries. Women did not prefer radio given limited access to radio sets and accessories, and timing of the programs. Video was deemed a new and educative channel especially by men who likened it to being in a classroom but was mostly appreciated by women in Ghana. A digital divide was evident between men and women in Ethiopia where women unlike men perceived radio and video inaccessible, the information delivered difficult to comprehend, apply and share. Future interventions need to obtain a deeper understanding of the intrahousehold dynamics related to communication equipment as well as existing gender norms before designing communication strategies. This could enable better reach and utilization of technological information by women and men farmers.
Joan Kimaiyo, World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
Women and Technology Adoption: does capacity building really count?
Adoption of fodder technologies could improve smallholder farmers productivity and alleviate poverty in rural areas. Fodder shrubs provide alternative protein supplement that is less costly and can sustainably be produced year-round. Besides significantly increasing milk production, fodder shrubs improve soil fertility and provide fuelwood. Despite all these benefits, adoption by smallholder farmers is still very low. Access to knowledge and trainings has been identified as one of major factors hindering adoption. Using a randomized control field experiment, this study looked at differences in adoption of fodder shrubs in two districts in eastern Uganda, Kapchorwa and Manafwa. The experiment saw male and female farmers trained in fodder shrubs planting, management, and utilization as well as its benefits on milk production. Levels of adoption were measured pre- and post-intervention using a weighted fodder adoption index. Results show access to information is critical but not sufficient to improve adoption by women. Female participants significantly adopted less than their male counterparts: they had less fodder on farm and significantly less knowledge on fodder compared to males. Further analysis found that decision-making and control over resources played a key role in the overall levels of adoption. In both districts, men had more control not only over land use decisions but also on the management of dairy cows including decisions related to feeding. The study also found that post-project intervention women participated more in decisions on dairy management and sale of milk. We conclude that understanding gender roles and decision-making dynamics are fundamental in technology adoption
Irina Andrianina Tefy and Gaudiose Mujawamariya, AfricaRice
A gendered assessment of production and technical efficiency for rice in Vakinankaratra region- Madagascar
This study investigates the adoption of the good agricultural practices in rice farming and their efficiency, applying quantitative data collection methods to determine if the adoption of these good agricultural practices leads to more efficiency while demonstrating the importance of considering gender aspects. The study was carried out in Vakinankaratra region in the Highlands of Madagascar with a sample of 228 male and 232 female rice farmers. The descriptive data analysis and the stochastic frontier production function model explored gendered differences for the adoption of those key agricultural techniques and the technical efficiency of the producers. Results show that concerning the adoption levels of good agricultural practices, two-thirds of the farmers apply at least four of the good agricultural techniques components for the irrigated rice farming ecology, while it is the case for only one third of those practicing rainfed rice farming. Men are significantly more familiar with the key good agricultural practices than women, and the households of the male farmers are more likely to practice these key good agricultural practices than those of the women. The stochastic frontier production function model shows that female rice farmers are more efficient than male farmers. Facilitating access to resources and rice farming trainings for women should enable them to be even more efficient.