Getting more women into the business of agriculture

Agricultural researchers and development workers have been struggling with the dilemma of how to address gender issues in their activities. No clear targets have been set on how to make an activity gender responsive or how to collect gender disaggregated data. Thus, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA) has embarked on a move that is aimed at engendering all project processes from planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. ASARECA is rolling out a series of training on gender in the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARI), which is intended to help build capacity in gender mainstreaming at ASARECA and NARI as the key broad areas of intervention. Read more here.
Peter Mutai


Gendered Terrain: Women’s Rights and Access to Land in Africa

IDRC is hosting a policy symposium, “Gendered Terrain: Women’s Rights and Access to Land in Africa” in Nairobi, Kenya on 14-16 September 2010. The event will provide a forum for researchers from across Africa to share their findings and policy recommendations, engage with policy makers to facilitate policy influence, and promote the development of sub-regional networks. It will enable researchers to share their findings with relevant African stakeholders including key government policy makers, civil society activists, and regional and international agencies. Read more here.

Women farmers can play big role in reducing world hunger

Investing in women smallholder farmers is the key to halving hunger in Africa and results in twice as much growth as investment in any other sector, a new ActionAid report reveals. Less than one per cent of the agriculture budget is targeted at women in the three countries researched by ActionAid – Malawi, Kenya and Uganda – despite women’s central contribution to the production of food. Read more here.

Agricultural Innovation for Food Security and Poverty Reduction in the 21st Century: Issues for Africa and the World

Many voices are questioning how the world can feed 9 billion people in 2050. Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2011 (SOW11) report, seeks to highlight innovations that can address the challenges: innovations that will reduce hunger, improve environment and agriculture, improve the lives of women, and be economically feasible for farmers and the donors/investors. The paper provide an overview of the issues, disputes, and approaches so that contributors to SOW11 can share a common framework. Read more here.

Female participation in African agricultural research and higher education

Female farmers play a vital role in African agriculture, accounting for the majority of the agricultural workforce. There is an urgent need for greater representation of women in the field of agricultural science and technology. Gender-disaggregated data on S&T capacity are scarce, often lack sufficient detail, and focus more generally on S&T rather than on agriculture specifically. Data are not always comparable due to different methodologies. The Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators initiative and the CGIAR Gender & Diversity Program partnered together to address this information gap. Read more here.

New database on gender and land

A new database launched by FAO puts the spotlight on one of the major set backs to rural development – widespread inequalities between men and women in their access to land. See more about the database here (currently hosts information about 78 countries).