Are We Ignoring a Vital Resource?  Reaching African Women Farmers with Productivity-enhancing Technologies Catherine Ragas...
Women farmers are a vital yet untapped resource <ul><li>Women play major roles in agricultural production, processing & na...
 
Access to agricultural extension services in Ghana World Bank and IFPRI 2010
What are we trying to achieve? To  increase farm productivity  in order bring about  broad increases in income of the poor...
Gender  differentials  in agricultural productivity <ul><li>Women farmers have lower observed yields (from plot-level anal...
Efficiency gains in increasing poor women’s access to resources <ul><li>Evidence suggest that explicitly targeting women f...
Promising approaches in reaching poor women farmers’
(1) Strengthen extension, advisory service, market information delivery to women farmers <ul><li>Increase number of female...
Men and women participants in Farmer Field Schools  in East Africa Impact of participation in FFS on crop productivity acr...
(2) Improve poor women’s access to fertilizer and credit <ul><li>Adopt innovative and gender-responsive fertilizer deliver...
(3) Strengthen land and water rights for poor women farmers <ul><ul><li>Continue low-cost, rapid, and transparent communit...
(5) Involve women at all levels in priority-setting, research, extension, and evaluation <ul><li>Include women as scientis...
Elements of a promising approach  <ul><li>(1)  Holistic and comprehensive manner, and not individual inputs in isolation. ...
Satisfaction with agricultural extension (percent of respondents) Adoption of new technologies (in the last 2 years) Low a...
Elements of a promising approach  <ul><li>(2) Adapting interventions to clients’ needs, and pay attention to the design of...
<ul><li>“ Where women are the majority of smallholder farmers, failure to release their full potential in agriculture is a...
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Catherine ragasa reaching women farmers with technology final july 14 2010

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Catherine ragasa reaching women farmers with technology final july 14 2010

  1. 1. Are We Ignoring a Vital Resource? Reaching African Women Farmers with Productivity-enhancing Technologies Catherine Ragasa Borlaug Symposium July 14, 2010
  2. 2. Women farmers are a vital yet untapped resource <ul><li>Women play major roles in agricultural production, processing & natural resource management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women are responsible for 60-80% of food production in Africa (FAO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women contribute more than 60% of the total time spent in agriculture (Saito et al. 1995; Doss 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the least developed countries, 79 percent of women who report being economically active said that agriculture is their primary economic activity (Doss 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, women face numerous constraints in accessing key assets despite their major role and being as efficient as men farmers. </li></ul><ul><li>This disparity between what women do and what they have indicates a highly inefficient allocation of resources that seriously inhibits growth in agricultural production </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit attention to women farmers is not for political correctness but for resource efficiency and economic development </li></ul>
  3. 4. Access to agricultural extension services in Ghana World Bank and IFPRI 2010
  4. 5. What are we trying to achieve? To increase farm productivity in order bring about broad increases in income of the poor and reduce food prices IFPRI 2008; COMESA Secretariat (2009) <ul><li>Current levels of agricultural productivity is very low in SSA </li></ul><ul><li>Maize and rice yields are < 30% of average yields globally </li></ul>
  5. 6. Gender differentials in agricultural productivity <ul><li>Women farmers have lower observed yields (from plot-level analysis and simple mean comparison) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benin (average rice yield): Women farmers have 3.89 t/ha; Men farmers have 4.95 t/ha (Kinkingninhoun-Medagbe et al. 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>West Kenya (average maize yield): Women farmers have 0.9 t/ha; Men farmers have 1.1 t/ha (Alene et al. 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: FHH have 42% lower yields than MHH (Pender and Gebremedhin 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ada, Lume and Gimbichu Woredas, Central highlands of Ethiopia: significant differences in observed yield between MHH and FHH (Tiruneh and colleagues 2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Observed yield differentials between men and women farmers were largely due to the differences in access to land, education, fertilizer, and other productive inputs (Udry 1995; Quisumbing 1996; Alene et al. 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Studies show that women farmers are equally, if not more, efficient as men farmers given equal access to inputs (Quisumbing 1996; Alene et al. 2008) </li></ul>
  6. 7. Efficiency gains in increasing poor women’s access to resources <ul><li>Evidence suggest that explicitly targeting women farmers with increased access to assets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>. . . could potentially increase agricultural productivity by 10–20 percent (Alderman, Haddad and Udry 1996) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>. . . has positive effects on a number of important development outcomes, including food security, child nutrition, and education (Quisumbing 2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Addressing gender issues in agricultural projects can increase sustainability by 16 percent (Meinzen-Dick and Quisumbing 2009) </li></ul>
  7. 8. Promising approaches in reaching poor women farmers’
  8. 9. (1) Strengthen extension, advisory service, market information delivery to women farmers <ul><li>Increase number of female extension workers and improve their work conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Train male extension agents to work with women </li></ul><ul><li>Formulate extension messages that are easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how social networks spread information </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the use of ICTs, farmer field schools and experimental learning </li></ul><ul><li>Value chain approach to extension services </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening participation of women in formal groups </li></ul>
  9. 10. Men and women participants in Farmer Field Schools in East Africa Impact of participation in FFS on crop productivity across gender of household head Davis et al. 2010
  10. 11. (2) Improve poor women’s access to fertilizer and credit <ul><li>Adopt innovative and gender-responsive fertilizer delivery methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fertilizer and improved seed vouchers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fertilizer-for-work program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microcredit for fertilizer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller bag sizes of fertilizer for sale so that poor women can afford them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce a cash crop into women’s cropping systems so they can pay for fertilizer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Innovative ways to provide credit to poor women farmers </li></ul>
  11. 12. (3) Strengthen land and water rights for poor women farmers <ul><ul><li>Continue low-cost, rapid, and transparent community land registration process , ensuring that name of female member/s are in the land certificate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen legal knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen land rental markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen water rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop & disseminate small scale water management technologies </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. (5) Involve women at all levels in priority-setting, research, extension, and evaluation <ul><li>Include women as scientists, managers, researchers, producers, processors, traders, and consumers, in the agricultural research and development system – from priority setting and research to extension and evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Rwanda, bean varieties selected by women farmers increased production up to 38% over breeder–selected varieties (Sperling and Berkowitz 1994) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Elements of a promising approach <ul><li>(1) Holistic and comprehensive manner, and not individual inputs in isolation. Adopt value chain approach, avoid looking just on the production and supply side, but focus on marketability and profitability </li></ul>
  14. 15. Satisfaction with agricultural extension (percent of respondents) Adoption of new technologies (in the last 2 years) Low adoption – not because of technology or extension services but because of no complementary inputs World Bank and IFPRI 2010
  15. 16. Elements of a promising approach <ul><li>(2) Adapting interventions to clients’ needs, and pay attention to the design of alternative delivery mechanisms, and the culture and context specificity of gender roles </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Investing in girl’s education </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time magazine (July 2010): “The key driver of China’s stellar success in the past 20 years has not been government policy or the technocratic skills of its public-sector managers . . . It is that for two generations, China has educated its women.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>(4) Avoiding women’s token participation. Focus on interventions’ impacts on women’s income and household welfare </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>“ Where women are the majority of smallholder farmers, failure to release their full potential in agriculture is a contributing factor to low growth and food insecurity.” (WDR 2008) </li></ul>

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