Training Material

Gender-responsive approaches for enhancing the adoption of improved maize seed in Africa: a training manual for plant breeders and technicians


This training manual, written for maize breeders and technicians, explains the importance of gender in maize breeding in Africa, and provides practical guidelines on aspects of gender-responsive maize breeding. It does not, however, provide in-depth guidelines on gender-responsive breeding. The manual draws on the research carried out by CIMMYT and partners on gender, plant breeding and seed systems. It can be used by maize breeders and technicians to improve their knowledge, or by trainers as part of a broader training program for plant breeders. The first section defines the concept of gender and why it is important for agriculture and plant breeding. The second section provides guidelines for carrying out participatory varietal selection (PVS), an approach used by many maize breeding programs in Africa, in a gender-responsive manner. Section three discusses ways to ensure that gender concerns are addressed in promoting and distributing improved maize seed. Based on the argument that gender-responsive breeding should be part of an overall effort to promote gender-responsive agricultural research, the final section suggests ways to create a gender-responsive organizational culture in agricultural research organizations