new seeds and women’s welfare
johanna bergman lodin, dept of human geography, lund university. johanna.bergman-lodin@keg.l...
new seeds and women’s
welfare
johanna bergman lodin
dept of human geography lund university sweden
johanna.bergman-lodin@k...
nerica (new rice for africa)
new group of high-
yielding and stress-
tolerant upland rice
varieties
nerica in uganda
 rice is becoming an important food!
 NERICA introduced in 2002
 high-level commitment by top leadersh...
our study
2008-2009, main focus: Hoima District
mixed methods research:
 survey of 302 NERICA growers (smallholders)
 ...
nerica is an important crop
 +1/3 of total cultivated acreage
 +75% sold off
 realizing +50% of farm income
 (farm inc...
labor intensity of nerica
 the labor intensive nature of NERICA was the
most frequently raised and returned-to topic
duri...
most time consuming task in
nerica production; 1st rank (%)
sex of respondent
all
N=299
male
N=197
female
N=102
crop prote...
the gendered division of
labor in hoima
women men
land preparation + +++
planting ++/+++ +/++
weeding +++ +
crop protectio...
scores: 1 – 10
time increasing
with score
time consuming
women
Ruhunga
men
Kigabu
rice 10 4
cassava 8 10
bananas 10 10
gro...
scores: 1 – 10
exhaustion
increasing with score
labor exhausting
women
Ruhunga
men
Kigabu
men
Ruhunga
rice 10 7 8
cassava ...
bird scaring
respondents’voices
red-billed quelea
”the greatest biological limit to african cereal
production”
board on science and technology for interna...
diary study log of family labor
hours in nerica production
N=13 total
hours
% of total
hours
hours/
acre
land preparation ...
 time consuming:
 in absolute terms: 12-13 hrs/day for +1 month
 relative other crops: not needed for those
 labor exh...
weeding
respondents’voices
diary study log of family labor
hours in nerica production
N=13 total
hours
% of total
hours
hours/
acre
land preparation ...
seasonal family labor demands for
selected crops in uganda
total family
labor input
family labor
input:
weeding
source of ...
 time consuming:
 relative other crops; (two or) three weedings
instead of one
 labor exhausting / inducing drudgery:
...
synthesis
 household income gain from NERICA
 but extreme labor burden for women (and
children)
exacerbates their time ...
 the suboptimal distribution of costs and
benefits between men and women may
jeopardize future interventions and the
chan...
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New Seeds and Women's Welfare - The Case of Nerica Upland Rice and Labour Dynamics in Hoima District, Uganda

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This study was presented during the conference “Production and Carbon Dynamics in Sustainable Agricultural and Forest Systems in Africa” held in September, 2010.

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New Seeds and Women's Welfare - The Case of Nerica Upland Rice and Labour Dynamics in Hoima District, Uganda

  1. 1. new seeds and women’s welfare johanna bergman lodin, dept of human geography, lund university. johanna.bergman-lodin@keg.lu.se the case of nerica upland rice and gendered labor dynamics in hoima district, uganda ABSTRACT African women farmers do not always benefit from, and are sometimes adversely affected by, the introduction of new technologies, including high-yielding varieties and their often-associated improved management systems. This paper seeks to further this claim in the wake of what has been referred to as the NERICA revolution in Uganda, by providing an illustration of the impact the introduction of NERICA upland rice has had on the gendered labor dynamics in smallholder households in Hoima District. The concrete effects on women farmers are particularly considered. To date, “the success” of the dissemination of NERICA has mainly been measured econometrically in terms of production growth or household income gain. This type of analysis allows for capturing shifts in physiological deprivations on household level. But it omits the dimension of social deprivation that on an individual level considers the prevalence or absence of empowering elements such as time, influence on decision making, access to information and education, etc. Having researched women’s experiences of the introduction of NERICA both qualitatively and quantitatively, we conclude that while households that have adopted NERICA have, as units, become better off in economic terms (their physiological deprivation reducing), the extreme labor burden NERICA induces on women exacerbates their social deprivations, particularly in terms of time poverty and drudgery. This has policy implications. If NERICA is going to become a sustainable powerful poverty fighter in Uganda, as many hope, it is imperative that this aspect is addressed so as to avoid farmers opting out of the production over time.
  2. 2. new seeds and women’s welfare johanna bergman lodin dept of human geography lund university sweden johanna.bergman-lodin@keg.lu.se the case of nerica upland rice and gendered labor dynamics in hoima district, uganda september 28, 2010
  3. 3. nerica (new rice for africa) new group of high- yielding and stress- tolerant upland rice varieties
  4. 4. nerica in uganda  rice is becoming an important food!  NERICA introduced in 2002  high-level commitment by top leadership and development partners  est. +50,000ha rapid adoption rates decreasing households’ income poverty annual rice import bill cut by 1/3 in 5y
  5. 5. our study 2008-2009, main focus: Hoima District mixed methods research:  survey of 302 NERICA growers (smallholders)  2008 diary study to record precise family labor input (13 households)  more than 50 focus group interviews  key informant interviews with various rice value chain stakeholders  additional interviews in Kampala and in Luwero and Wakiso districts
  6. 6. nerica is an important crop  +1/3 of total cultivated acreage  +75% sold off  realizing +50% of farm income  (farm income share of total income: 85%)  this is the major benefit: MORE MONEY!  BUT: the sharing of benefits is gendered!  and so is the sharing of costs!
  7. 7. labor intensity of nerica  the labor intensive nature of NERICA was the most frequently raised and returned-to topic during interviews and discussions  the farmers claim that the labor intensity of NERICA is their core production concern and constraint  labor intensity perceived by the farmers as being made up of two dimensions: time consumption and labor exhaustion/drudgery
  8. 8. most time consuming task in nerica production; 1st rank (%) sex of respondent all N=299 male N=197 female N=102 crop protection (birds) 58.4 (3,5) 67.6 (4,7) 61.5 (2,8) weeding 28.4 (3,2) 16.7 (3,7) 24.4 (2,5) land preparation 11.7 (2,3) 8.8 (2,8) 10.7 (1,8) other tasks 1.5 (0,9) 6.9 (2,5) 3.3 (1,0) total 100,0 100,0 99,9 Data refer to the second season 2008. Numbers in parentheses indicate standard error means.
  9. 9. the gendered division of labor in hoima women men land preparation + +++ planting ++/+++ +/++ weeding +++ + crop protection, incl. bird scaring +++ + harvesting ++/+++ +/++ threshing + +++ Sources: Interviews with farmers and key informants (extension workers, NGOs, local government staff etc.).
  10. 10. scores: 1 – 10 time increasing with score time consuming women Ruhunga men Kigabu rice 10 4 cassava 8 10 bananas 10 10 groundnuts 7 3 coffee -- 10 maize 7 3 beans 5 2 millet 7 -- sweet potatoes 5 -- tobacco -- -- cabbage 6 -- greens 3 -- tomato 4 -- onions 2 -- women’s and men’s scores for the most important crops they grow with regard to time consumption
  11. 11. scores: 1 – 10 exhaustion increasing with score labor exhausting women Ruhunga men Kigabu men Ruhunga rice 10 7 8 cassava 9 7 2 bananas 3 7 -- groundnuts 6 6 5 coffee -- 7 5 maize 6 7 2 beans 5 7 -- millet 8 -- -- sweet potatoes 7 -- -- tobacco -- -- 10 cabbage 2 -- -- greens 4 -- -- tomato 2 -- -- onions 1 -- -- women’s and men’s scores for the most important crops they grow with regard to labor exhaustion
  12. 12. bird scaring respondents’voices
  13. 13. red-billed quelea ”the greatest biological limit to african cereal production” board on science and technology for international development, national research council, u.k. (1996). lost crops of africa: volume 1: grains; p. 273 photos: www.biodiversityexplorer.org; www.mangoverde.com
  14. 14. diary study log of family labor hours in nerica production N=13 total hours % of total hours hours/ acre land preparation 360 (69) 19,6 (4,2) 329 (79) planting 208 (38) 10,7 (1,3) 143 (21) weeding 265 (55) 11,2 (1,7) 210 (50) bird scaring 652 (102) 36,9 (4,2) 540 (112) harvesting 371 (64) 21,6 (3,3) 314 (64) total family labor 1783 (193) 100,0 1518 (211) Data refer to the second season 2008. The numbers in parentheses indicate standard error means. Except for bird scaring, the data is coherent with the findings by Kijima et al. (2007). The farmers in Hoima use more family labor in bird scaring than what the Kijima study indicated (difference significant on the 1 per cent level).
  15. 15.  time consuming:  in absolute terms: 12-13 hrs/day for +1 month  relative other crops: not needed for those  labor exhausting / inducing drudgery:  you have to run up and down the field, shouting, waving, clapping hands, throwing stones, using rattles and drums  mainly affecting women and children!  some men have started to get engaged, but their participation is not yet undifferentiated
  16. 16. weeding respondents’voices
  17. 17. diary study log of family labor hours in nerica production N=13 total hours % of total hours hours/ acre land preparation 360 (69) 19,6 (4,2) 329 (79) planting 208 (38) 10,7 (1,3) 143 (21) weeding 265 (55) 11,2 (1,7) 210 (50) bird scaring 652 (102) 36,9 (4,2) 540 (112) harvesting 371 (64) 21,6 (3,3) 314 (64) total family labor 1783 (193) 100,0 1518 (211) Data refer to the second season 2008. The numbers in parentheses indicate standard error means. Except for bird scaring, the data is coherent with the findings by Kijima et al. (2007)
  18. 18. seasonal family labor demands for selected crops in uganda total family labor input family labor input: weeding source of information hours/ acre hours/ ha hours/ acre hours/ ha tobacco n.a. n.a. 251 620 our survey data nerica 1518 3749 210 519 our diary study data bananas 158 391 59 144 Bagamba et al. 1998 beans 404 998 111 274 Kijima et al. 2007 maize 291 720 85 209 Kijima et al. 2007 coffee 191 460 75 185 Bagamba et al. 1998 g-nuts 116-160 287-395 64 158 Obuo et al. 2003
  19. 19.  time consuming:  relative other crops; (two or) three weedings instead of one  labor exhausting / inducing drudgery:  backbreaking work  endure it thrice instead of once  hand and hoe weedings combined while usually only hoe weeding in other crops  mainly affecting women and children!  some men have started to get engaged, but their participation is not yet undifferentiated
  20. 20. synthesis  household income gain from NERICA  but extreme labor burden for women (and children) exacerbates their time poverty and drudgery may prevent the formation of their social and human capitals  women not always in control of output and proceeds
  21. 21.  the suboptimal distribution of costs and benefits between men and women may jeopardize future interventions and the chances to achieve sustainable results!  adoption is not an irreversible state – in some districts dropouts are already systematic!  interventions should therefore aim at both improving rice adoption/ production/ productivity and increasing the productive capacity of farming activities in which women are engaged policy implications

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