CGIAR Gender News

When women take the lead in improving income and nutrition

Business Photo: D. Dufour/CIAT-CIRAD

Successful introduction of parboiled rice in Madagascar.

The importance of rice in the culture and diet of the Malagasy people is well known. However, the ordinary rice that they consume is poor in nutrients, while the country’s malnutritional level is among the highest in the world. This is one of the main reasons why AfricaRice is introducing parboiled rice to Madagascar, using the new energy-efficient and women-friendly parboiling system called "GEM".

In the first stage of the project, a training of a dozen of agricultural equipment manufacturers was conducted in the fabrication and installation of GEM equipment; the first unit was installed in the Highlands of Madagascar and was given to nine women's associations, including 95 women. These associations are members of the Volivary Platform in Ankazomiriotra.

These associations are members of the Federation of Rural Women in Madagascar or FVTM which has as the main objective the defense of the rights of rural women who often spend more time on all the reproductive and household tasks, do not receive education and are not considered as legal heirs in some regions. Through FVTM, these women are working together to better address these inequities and promote sustainable sources of income for rural women.