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12
2018
About the bulletin
The Bulletin of Tropical Legumes is a
quarterly publication of the Tropical
Legumes III (TL III) project. The project
is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMGF) and is jointly
implemented by the International Crops
Research Institute for the Semi-Arid
Tropics (ICRISAT), the International
Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and
the International Institute of Tropical
Agriculture (IITA) in close collaboration
with the national agricultural research
systems (NARS) of target countries in
sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This
quarter, we focus on components of
objective one of the project, ‘Leveraging
gender analysis and learning to maximise
impacts for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa
and South Asia’. We highlight the analysis
of gender gaps in groundnut production
at the farm level as well as the collective
impact stories from initiatives around
groundnut seed systems’ models that
promote and support the participation
of men and women farmers under the
auspices of the project.
Bulletin of Tropical Legumes
Project:
Tropical Legumes III
(TL III)
Investor:
Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation
Partners:This work has
been undertaken
as part of the
Focus in this edition
Gender mainstreaming and integration activities
in TL III were designed to be customizable for each
country. Gender analysis is better contextualized
for each community situation in a country.
However, that level of customized gender analysis
has the potential of taking on a life of its own in
each case. In attempting to get a general ‘gender
research question’ across countries, a subject
‘boundary’ for TL III analysis was defined. The TL III,
in partnership with other BMGF initiatives, aimed
at accomplishing the Tropical Legumes’ ten-year
vision (2007-2018) of achieving 20% increase in
productivity and 10% increase in production of
legumes in targeted geographies. It was important
to find out if that increase in production was the
same for women and men farmers?
As each country team focused on a unique legume1
, the
starting point was in ‘understanding gender gaps’ in the
production/productivity of the legume crop; identifying
the key drivers that influenced the gap, and commissioning
contextualized interventions to deal with the key drivers
identified as constraints. Deploying this analytical process
led to different experiences for each country team.
Process questions have arisen about ‘women plots and
men plots’; notable differences were observed in gender
dynamics in decision making about a crop when sectors
of its value chain get commercialized. In this quarter,
we share learnings on ‘process’, ‘results’ and ‘stories of
impacts’ by individuals or collective communities, with a
special focus on the groundnut crop systems in selected TL
III focus countries.
Gender gaps in Tropical Legumes
production and productivity
The Tropical Legumes project is committed to gender
equality in the realization of benefits from improved
legume varieties developed and delivered through the
project. Women contribute a significant amount of
labor in sub-Saharan African agriculture. Legumes are
crops that are mostly associated with women. In some
literature, legumes are identified as ‘women’s crops’
for different reasons. In some instances, it is because
these are the crops that, in the division of tasks in the
household, women are expected to grow (on their own
plots) and contribute as a relish for dishes based on
staples provided by the men from the men’s plots. In some
cases where the ‘plots are not so clearly demarcated’,
legumes are identified as women’s crops because they
provide the most labor for its production or because it’s
the crop about whose use and sale women make the
most decisions. Since the publication of the World Bank
report on Leveling the field: improving opportunities
for women farmers in Africa, attention has been drawn
to the fact that ‘women tend to produce less than their
male counterparts’. The difference between what men
and women attain has been presented in literature as
the ‘gender gap’. The concept of ‘gender gap’ is intriguing
for researchers and development workers, and has been
studied extensively visavis labor and wages (science,
technology, engineering and mathematics) across the
world. In agriculture, data has been presented at the
1. These include cowpea and groundnut in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria;
common bean and chickpea in Ethiopia; common bean and groundnut in
Uganda and Tanzania; and chickpea in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Gender yield gaps in groundnut value chains in selected countries
Bulletin of Tropical Legumes2
national level on ‘whole agriculture sector’ production
indices, which shows that women’s production is 20-30% less
than that of men. However, most studies do not disaggregate
the gender gap data at the crop enterprise level.
Since TL III is focused on legumes that are considered
women’s crops among many of the target geographies’
communities, was it possible that women were producing
better than men (reversing the gap), and that the legumes
were the ultimate pathway to women’s empowerment?
With this question in mind, select TL III country teams
investigated the production practices and achievements of
men and women farmers in a specific legume production
system. Based on the evidence, each team was expected
to design transformative interventions that contribute
to ensuring that women farmers benefit from the TL III
project outputs in the same way that men farmers did.
In this issue, we share some findings from the analysis of
gender gaps in two countries, Uganda and Tanzania. We
also share how an intervention was designed to deal with
the gaps Ghanaian women farmers were facing in their
groundnut production.
Uganda: Gender yield gaps decline
when women farmers adopt improved
groundnut varieties
This investigative study was carried out by a team of
scientists from Makerere and National Agricultural
Research Organisation- National Semi-Arid Resources
Research Institute (NARO-NaSARRI) Uganda2
. The team
hypothesized that there is a significant gap in groundnut
yields between men and women (in favor of men), and
that this gap was narrower for farmers using improved
groundnut varieties.
Data was collected in Northern Uganda (Dokolo, Nwoya
and Pader districts) and Eastern Uganda (Kumi, Soroti,
Serere and Iganga) regions. Two sub-counties that led
in groundnut production were purposively selected in
each district. In each sub-county, farmers identified as
women plot owners and men plot owners were selected
randomly. Jointly owned plots were not selected, since the
purpose of the study was to compare the yield differences
in male-owned and female-owned plots. A sample of 228
farmer respondents (58% females) were interviewed.
Gender yield gap was defined as the difference between
the groundnut yields female plot managers obtained
compared to that obtained by their male counterparts.
When farmers were growing local groundnut varieties,
women obtained 41% less than the men farmers; whereas
when farmers adopted improved varieties, women
obtained 14% less than their male counterparts. While
the groundnut yield gap was still there, it was reduced
significantly when women adopted improved varieties.
Among the production resources identified as reasons for
the difference in male and female production in Uganda,
2. Johnny Mugisha, Christopher Sebatta, Elizabeth Ahikiriza, Kai Mausch,
David Kalule Okello and Esther Njuguna-Mungai, upcoming publication
‘decision making on sales of groundnut produce’ was
found to be a key driver. In instances where women were
not involved in decisions about if/how the groundnut crop
would be marketed, they produced significantly less. Only
37% of female farmers growing local groundnut varieties
and 29% of women growing improved varieties reported
that they had the ‘decision-making authority’ over
their groundnut produce. This lack of decision-making
authority could be hypothesized as the reason why female
groundnut plot managers still perform below their male
counterparts even when the model used for econometric
analysis switches the male farmers’ resources coefficients
to those of women farmers. If women in this Ugandan
sample were to have the same production resources as
the men, the yield gap shrinks but it is still skewed against
the women plot managers.
Tanzania: Gender gaps are in the income
benefits obtained at the groundnut
marketplace
In 2016, a national representative household survey was
conducted in Tanzania. Farm-level production data was
collected from 9 regions of Tanzania including Shinyanga,
Mwanza, Geita, Dodoma, Tabora, Songwe, Rukwa, Mbeya
and Mtwara. Groundnut was grown by 938 households
in this farmer sample. The analysis of production data
showed that there was no significant difference in
groundnut yields between men farmers (0.42 t/ha) and
women farmers (0.336 t/h); however, both men and
women are attaining yields below their potential of 0.8
t/ha given the resources they currently have (land, labor,
and seed). A gross margin analysis however revealed that
men make 24% more money from groundnut sales than
women.
Results from these examples seem to suggest that even
in legumes, which are considered women’s crops, there
are gender gaps in production or marketing, to the
disadvantage of women farmers.
The Ugandan case validates the twin objectives of the
TL III project, of investing in improving groundnut varieties,
Figure 1: A women farmer winnowing her groundnut (S14R
variety) produce.
Photo: David Kalule, Uganda
3Bulletin of Tropical Legumes
among other legumes and improving accessibility to
improved varieties by investing in better seed systems.
If all farmers were using improved varieties, the gender
yield gap between men and women plot managers would
be narrower. However, for women to even realise better
benefits, there is a need to promote behavior change
interventions that allow them more decision making
leverage on the groundnut product that eventually gets
to the market. Focusing on generating improved legume
varieties and enhancing efficiencies in the delivery of the
seeds should ideally be accompanied by measures that
enhance women’s performance. Reversing the resources
available to women to the level owned by men in their
communities from the examples shown here won’t lead
to 100% closure of the ‘gender gap’ in the production of
legumes. This is an interesting result because there are
recommendations documented that call for women to
avail ‘equal productive resources’ as have men in order to
level the production level of women farmers. There are
social norms and cultural and institutional challenges that
hold back the productivity of women farmers. Sharing
this intriguing result with a colleague led to an interesting
question: Are these results indicative of lower ‘efficiencies
in time use’ as women are multi-taskers while men focus
on one task? This is an area that needs further research.
Ghana: How to shrink gender gaps
through a Village Savings and Loans
Association
The TL III team in Ghana from the national partner, Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research Institute (CSIR),
Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), conducted
a survey on gender gaps in groundnut productivity
across 10 selected groundnut producing districts. The
survey sought to ascertain the presence or absence of
productivity gaps between men and women groundnut
farmers and identify the underlying factors that account
for them, if any. The result of the survey was shared
at a workshop which brought together stakeholders in
the groundnut value chain to brainstorm on and design
strategies to mitigate the identified gaps.
Access to and affordability of production inputs were
identified as significant causes of the gender productivity
gap in Northern Ghana. Strategies for closing this gap were
discussed, one of which was the implementation of the
Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) across five
districts in northern Ghana in partnership with SEND-
Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization known for its
community advocacy and development initiatives, to
empower women by facilitating their access to affordable
financial credit. SEND Ghana facilitated the enhancement
of the women’s skills in advocacy for better access to
production resources. The VSLA concept was designed
as a community self-help initiative aimed at mobilizing
financial resources at the grassroots through weekly
savings by members.
Monies realized from these savings are loaned to group
members who repay at a low interest rate after a period
agreed upon by the group. The initiative is managed by
group members. Currently, there are 150 VSLA members
(95% women) across the five districts in Northern, Upper
East and Upper West Regions of Ghana. These groups
meet weekly to save and loan out monies to members.
A community volunteer was selected from each VSLA
group and trained on the management plan of the VSLA
in Tamale, the Northern Region’s capital. The volunteers
were given an intensive one-day training on the VSLA
model by a facilitator from SEND-Ghana. The participants
were also trained in drafting the VSLA constitution
and how to keep records on savings passbooks. A
practical session was conducted to assess participants’
understanding of the concept and to identify challenges
they could encounter during record keeping. In the
practical session, they collected member savings, issued
loans to group members, learnt how to calculate interest
rates as well as recover loans from members. A VSLA kit
(comprising of a calculator, a membership card, a metal
box to house the savings and two plastic boxes to collect
money during meetings) was provided to each participant
to enable them to start the savings process in their
respective communities.
Since the inception of this initiative in early 2018, about
90% of the women have been able to borrow money
to establish and expand their businesses, support in
the payment of their children’s school fees and other
household expenses including medical bills, which hitherto
would have required borrowing from external sources
at a higher interest. This has indeed helped to improve
Figure 2: Women and men farmers in a Focus Group
Discussion, Tanzania.
Figure 3: (L) The passbook of a member and (R) a Village
Savings  Loans Association in northern Ghana.
Photo: Jackline Shayo, Tanzania
Bulletin of Tropical Legumes4
women’s household decision-making and control of
production resources.
The Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’ VSLA, located in the Gbimsi
community of West Mamprusi District of Northern Region,
is an all-women VSLA of 30 members, with 9 elected
executives who manage its financial affairs and meet once a
week to make weekly contributions. Mrs Dachia Midana and
Hajia Poanaba Sumani, leaders in the Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’
VSLA say: “We want to use these VSLA savings to cultivate 60
acres of groundnut in the 2018 cropping season”.
In Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’ as with all other communities
where VSLAs were created, a process to sensitize chiefs
and land owners at the community level on the need to
release fertile arable land to female farmers was largely
agreed upon. “This has given hope that women will have
better access to arable land for groundnut and other
crop cultivation,” says Mr Sardi Linus Handua, the male
Secretary of the VSLA Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’.
The survey identified access to high quality seed of
improved varieties as a major contributor to gender
productivity gaps. Farmers were of the view that these
seeds were expensive. Although this was the view among
both men and women farmers, the men were more likely
than women to travel longer distances to buy seed.
To bring quality seed closer to farmers at an affordable
price, the VSLA members were trained in community seed
production by the project. Each group was supported
with 200 kg of foundation seed of an improved groundnut
variety (Nkatiesarie) to produce seed in the upcoming
cropping season in 2018. All production activities will be
financed by these groups, from plowing to harvesting.
The seed certification agency of the Ministry of Food
and Agriculture will be involved in ensuring that seed
produced is certified as Quality Declared Seed (QDS).
The seed will first be sold to members of the group and
the excess to other members of the community. In the
future, the groups will be linked to seed companies to
serve as out-growers. This will not only help strengthen
the community seed delivery systems but also provide an
additional source of income to the group.
Gender integration into breeding programs is very crucial
for product development. Over the years, the participation
of women in trials and demonstrations has brought
about technologies that are gender friendly, improving
their adoption by both men and women. During the
seed production training event, the VSLA members were
introduced to pipeline groundnut varieties (GAF 1665, GAF
1723 and ICGV-IS 08837) earmarked for release by the
end of 2018. During the season, the breeding component
of the project will also conduct field demonstrations
with these groups to showcase the field performance
of these materials under good agricultural practices.
The demonstrations will be established on 1.5 acre-
plots (0.5 acres per line) to quicken seed multiplication,
popularization and dissemination.
Nigeria: Bridging gender gaps in
groundnut production3
Nigeria is the largest groundnut producing country in West
Africa, accounting for 51% of production in the region and
contributing 10% of the total global production. Despite
the availability of high performing varieties, their adoption
continues to be low in the country due to poor access
to quality seed. Smallholder farmers in Nigeria obtain
yields that are less than half the potential yields and the
3. Jourdain Lokossou, Benjamin Ahmed and Hippolyte Affognon
Figure 4: (L) VSLA kits and (R) Mr Desmond S Adogoba (Gender and Social Scientist, SARI/TLIII) presenting a VSLA kit to a
community volunteer.
Figure 5: A cross section of the Salankpang VSLA members
training on community seed production.
5Bulletin of Tropical Legumes
situation is even worse with female groundnut producers.
A gender gap in productivity has been documented from
agriculture in general among male and female farmers
even when they have access to similar resources (World
Bank 2014).
A household survey was conducted in Bauchi, Jigawa,
Kano, Katsina and Kebbi States in North West Nigeria
aimed at investigating the TL III project’s contribution to
closing gender gaps in groundnut production in northern
Nigeria. These States lie in the Northern Guinea and Sudan
Savanna regions of the country. A purposive selection
was done of three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in each
State where groundnut is extensively cultivated. In each
of the LGAs, 2-3 communities were chosen from which
100 groundnut farmers were randomly selected; in total
1,476 households were interviewed. The respondents
represented the project’s male and female plot managers
who are project participants and non-participants. The
project’s contribution to closing the gender gap that
was based on four indicators (access to and adoption of
improved varieties, yield and income) are summarized in
Table 1.
Among the non-project participants, the group of male
farmers had more access to improved varieties compared
to female farmers. The percentage of males (96.9%) with
access to improved varieties was statistically significant (p
 0.001) compared to the percentage of females (79.17%)
with access to improved varieties. The project has
significantly improved female access to improved varieties
by reversing the trend; 100% of the female participants
had access compared to 98.9% of the male participants.
Overall, the gender gap in terms of access to improved
seeds was 17.74% among non-participants and 1.1%
among participants, showing a significant reduction of
16.63%.
Coming to the adoption of improved groundnut varieties,
among both non-participant and participant groups,
female groundnut producers have a significantly higher
adoption rate compared to the males (p  0.001). Both
male (49.62%) and female (62.66%) participants in TL III
had higher adoption rates compared to non-participating
female (52.94%) and male (27.80%) farmers. The gender
gaps were 25.13% and 13.04% for non-participants and
Figure 6: Showcasing the pipeline varieties to participants. Figure 7: Participants take part in a hands-on demonstration
on row planting.
Photo: TL III
Table 1. The project’s contribution to closing productivity
gaps between male and female farmers.
TL III
Non-participants
(n=509)
Participants
(n=961)
Access to improved varieties (%)
Male (n=1,353) 96.9 98.9
Female (n=117) 79.17 100
Gender gap 17.74*** 1.1
Reduction in gender gap
between participants and
non-participants
16.63***
Adoption of improved varieties (%)
Male (n=1,353) 27.80 49.62
Female (n=117) 52.94 62.66
Gender gap -25.13*** -13.04**
Reduction in gender gap
between participants and
non-participants
-12.09***
Yield (kg/ha)
Male (n=1,353) 738.94 716.26
Female (n=117) 326.63 649.79
Gender gap 412.31*** 66.47
Reduction in gender gap
between participants and
non-participants
345.84***
Income per ha (Naira/ha)
Male (n=1,353) 159,554 155,177
Female (n=117) 72,630 140,355
Gender gap 86,924*** 14,822
Reduction in gender gap
between participants and
non-participants
72,102***
** = p 0.05; *** = p 0.01.
participants, respectively. This represents a significant
gap reduction of 12.09% in favor of men who were less of
adopters.
The yield gap between male and female non-participants
was estimated at 412.31 kg/ha and was statistically
significant (p  0.001). With project interventions, the
yield gap between male and female farmers was reduced
Bulletin of Tropical Legumes6
project’s support. The 180 women are members of three
Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) in Burkina Faso, 60
members representing each MSP.
It all started in 2015 in the MSP of the Centre East, when
three women in Pagou underwent training in improved
agronomic practices and improved groundnut varietal
testing on 0.25 ha each using two released varieties (SH
470P and QH 243C) for seed production. Fifty-year-old-
Bambara Alizeta was among the three pioneers selected in
2016 to produce the first-ever improved groundnut seed
in Pagou. With their produce in hand, these women then
shared the seeds with 10 other women the following year.
With this, a community-based system was initiated!
Pagou now has 23 women trained from different farmer’s
organizations to be community seed producers. According
to Dr Amos Miningou, Groundnut Breeder at the Institut
de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles du Burkina
Faso (INERA), nearly 180 women have been introduced
to groundnut community seed production and 540 are
expected by the end of the project in 2018. “The initial
foundation seed was provided by the project to the first 3
pilot women farmers. Each member was responsible for
producing enough seeds for her own use and to share it
with two new members; that’s how we aim at reaching
more members of MSPs,” he explains.
Each community seed producer (about 90% female) in
each MSP is trained in improved seed production and
good agronomic practices. “I used to grow a local variety
which yielded very little. Since I got access to improved
seed, I can harvest up to 2 bags (200 kg) over 0.25
hectare, where I could barely harvest a bag of 100 kg,”
says Bambara, who now grows SH470P, an early-maturing
(90 days) large seeded variety. “The local variety was
unproductive and its seeds were too small and difficult to
decorticate,” she clarifies.
These seed producers have been successful not only
because of the improved varieties but also due to the
good agronomics practices they followed. “I used to sow
any way I liked. Now I sow in rows. I follow many other
improved agronomic practices since I am trained for seed
Figure 8: Women in a groundnut field in Shagari Local
Government, Sokoto State, Nigeria.
significantly from 412.31 kg/ha to 66.47 kg/ha (reduction
of about 346 kg/ha). This was because the participating
women had significantly increased their groundnut yields.
The difference in yield between non-participating and
participating females was estimated at 323.16 kg/ha and
was statistically significant (p  0.001).
The difference in income derived from groundnut between
non-participating male and female farmers was estimated at
86,924 Naira/ha and was statistically significant (p  0.001).
The project interventions reduced the gap in income
between male and female participants significantly, from
86,924 Naira/ha to 14,822 Naira/ha (reduction of 72,102
Naira/ha). The participating women increased their incomes
significantly. The difference in income between female
participants and non-participants was estimated at 67,725
Naira/ha and was statistically significant (p  0.001).
Burkina Faso: Women farmers lead the
way in creating community seed systems
In Pagou village, 200 kilometers from Ouagadougou,
Bambara Alizeta is happy to explain how dramatically
her life has changed over the past two years. She is one
of the 180 pilot women farmers involved in groundnut
community seed system in Burkina Faso with the TL III
Photo: TL III team
Figure 9: (R to L) Mrs Bambara Alizeta (groundnut seed producer) and Mrs Zombra Maimouna (with bicycle) and members of the
Pagou women farmers group, Burkina Faso.
Photo: A Diama, ICRISAT
7Bulletin of Tropical Legumes
production. I even apply fertilizer to my groundnut field,”
says Bambara.
Bambara produced her first improved groundnut seeds in
2016 and reached out to other women in the community.
“I sold the rest and used the money earned to pay for the
fertilizer in my field in 2017. Without the support of the
project and the multi-stakeholder platform, I would not
have accomplished all this,” states Bambara, who has been
a groundnut producer for the past 20 years. The project has
introduced the entire community to the production of QDS.
There are many others who can’t wait to start groundnut
production again.
Zombra Maimouna is another pilot groundnut producer
of the project. “When I and two other women started in
2016, it was for the first time that this type of seed was
produced in our community. In my first year, I produced
63 kg of seed. The following year, I produced 90 kg. It is an
important breakthrough for me,” says Zombra.
Following the women’s success, the men in the community
have started showing interest. “When I saw the quantity of
harvest from my wife’s seed production plot in 2016, I was
wondering why the project is investing only in women? If
only I could get this improved variety, I could compete with
her,” says Biyen Gaston, whose wife is a community seed
producer in To, Burkina Faso.
The community seed system is not just effective for
groundnut but is also being used by women in crops
such as cowpea. Madam Cécile Belem, mother of six,
participated in the Zondoma multi-stakeholder’s platform
of cowpea. Inspired by the success of a cowpea varietal
testing plot organized by the project in 2016, she produced
1250 kg of improved varieties Tiligré and Komcallé over
1.5 ha. Like for many producers in the region, Tiligré is
her preferred variety for its high yield and better taste
compared to the local varieties and many other improved
cowpea varieties. “When there is insufficient rainfall,
Tiligré seeds yield better; they do not blacken like other
varieties of cowpea,” she explains. Cécile has already sold
nearly 200 kg of her produce and says the money will be
used not to expand her farm but to help in intensification
of production on the same plot.
Groundnut and cowpea are important crops in Africa as
they allow producers not only to feed themselves and
their animals, but also serve as an important source of
income for producers, especially women. Several efforts
have gone into introducing improved varieties and
enhancing their adoption under the project in order to
help smallholder farmers improve yields and ensure better
incomes with varieties that are resistant to early and late
leaf spot, aflatoxin contamination and are also drought
tolerant.
Within innovation platforms, researchers from several
partner organizations are responsible for the introduction
and dissemination of new high-yielding groundnut and
cowpea varieties. The platforms allow farmers to access
the best varieties suitable for their use. The role of local
partners such as INERA and extension workers is crucial
in selecting varieties adapted to the socio-economic
conditions of producers.
First spinoff course on ‘Capacity building for
gender responsive research and reporting’
What does it mean to have gender responsive product
profiles? How can gender be integrated into breeding
programs? These were some of the important issues
addressed at a spinoff course on ‘Capacities Building for
Gender Responsive Research and Reporting’ from 26
Nov - 1 Dec 2018, in Kampala, Uganda, funded by the
Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural
Transformation (GREAT) and TL III projects, both funded by
the Bill  Melinda Gates Foundation.
The activity was part of the MoU between ICRISAT and
Makerere University in April 2018, for the University to
train biophysical and social scientists of the TL III project.
Attended by 18 participants (9 social scientists and 9
legume breeders) from sub-Saharan African countries
working in NARS and universities, the training aimed to
build the capacities of participants for gender integration
in their breeding programs, implementing gender
responsive activities, and having gender responsive
product profiles.
Figure 10: (L to R) Community groundnut seed producer
Madam Clarisse along with three members she shared her
seed with. In return, these women will share their produce
with 3 other women.
Photo: A Diama
Figure 11. Instructors and participants at the course.
The course was intended to be practical so that each
team could examine the data they had already collected
on gender gaps, delve into the interpretation of results
they were obtaining and design interventions that would
tackle gender gaps they had in their breeding programs.
A few breeding programs that had made progress in
data collection shared the results and plans they had
designed for interventions. Teams that had not collected
any data on gender gaps started off by making plans
for data collection. The training was organized for broad
application to impact country breeding programs. The
workshop led to some participants writing blogs on their
experiences and learnings which will be uploaded on the
TL III and GREAT websites.
For more, go to website.
Change in roles and responsibilities
Here’s an update on the changes in personnel and their
roles and responsibilities within the project:
At ICRISAT
▪▪ Dr Kai Mausch who has moved to ICRAF has been
replaced by Dr Esther Njuguna as Objective 1
Coordinator; she will continue her work as gender
scientist.
▪▪ For economics work of Objective 1, Dr Michael Hauser
will assist temporarily until an Economist comes
on board. Dr Hauser is Theme Leader for Markets,
Innovations, Nutrition and Diversity (MIND) Theme at
ICRISAT, based in Nairobi.
▪▪ Dr Pooran Gaur is now the Research Program Director,
Asia at ICRISAT and he remains the Leader for
Objective 5 (Chickpea Crop Improvement).
At the Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR)
▪▪ Dr Sushil K Chaturvedi is now Dean (Agriculture), Rani
Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi (Uttar
Pradesh). His role in the project has been taken over
by Dr GP Dixit as PI for TL III Project at IIPR. Dr Dixit is
well known in the chickpea community and is serving
the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) as
coordinator for the All India Coordinated Research
Project (AICRP) on Chickpea. He is based at IIPR,
Kanpur.
At ICRISAT - WCA
▪▪ Dr Issoufou Kapran joined us under Seed Systems in
WCA. He will be working closely with Dr Lucky Omoigui
from IITA and Dr Akpo Essegbemon in ESA.
▪▪ The Tanzania beans team too has undergone a change
with the joining of Edith Laurence Kadege.
Our thanks to Dr Kai Mausch and Dr SK Chaturvedi for
their incredible work and outstanding contribution to the
project. We wish them and Dr Pooran Gaur all the best in
their new roles.
We welcome Dr Michael Hauser, Dr GP Dixit, Dr Issoufou
Kapran and Edith Laurence Kadege on board!
Obituary
We are sad to announce the demise of
Patience Kalat Duniya, a PhD student
from the Nigerian Groundnut Breeding
Program in an accident in Nigeria on 14
June 2018 while on a visit from Ghana.
Duniya was pursuing a TL III project-
sponsored PhD in Communication
and Gender at the University of Development Studies,
Ghana, under the guidance of Prof Ben Ahmed. As part
of her thesis, she collected data on improved groundnut
adoption and impacts and sampled groundnut grains for
DNA fingerprinting, actively participated in field monitoring
visits, and collected farmers’ views and success stories on
the groundnut breeding program of Nigeria. The dataset
she contributed to is a critical asset for the project.
The TL III community extends its condolences to her family,
friends and colleagues.
Acknowledgments: With contributions from Esther Njuguna-
Mungai and the TL III Gender team in ESA and WCA.
Contacts: To contribute or participate in Tropical Legumes III:
Dr Rajeev K Varshney, TL III - PI, Email: r.k.varshney@cgiar.org and/or
Dr Chris Ojiewo, TL III - Coordinator, Email: c.ojiewo@cgiar.org or
Address: ICRISAT-Nairobi, UN Avenue, Gigiri, Po.Box 39063 – 00623,
Nairobi, Kenya, Phone: +254-20 722 4566, Cell: +254 720 351 323
Webpage: http://tropicallegumes.icrisat.org/
For TL III updates follow:
/tropicallegumesIII
/tropicallegumes
/tropicallegumes
/TLIII
ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR System Organization
About ICRISAT: www.icrisat.org
ICRISAT’s scientific information: EXPLOREit.icrisat.org
Dec 2018
Figure 12. Dr Esther Njuguna of ICRISAT at the opening ceremony.

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Twelfth bulletin of Tropical Legumes III

  • 1. 12 2018 About the bulletin The Bulletin of Tropical Legumes is a quarterly publication of the Tropical Legumes III (TL III) project. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and is jointly implemented by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in close collaboration with the national agricultural research systems (NARS) of target countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This quarter, we focus on components of objective one of the project, ‘Leveraging gender analysis and learning to maximise impacts for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia’. We highlight the analysis of gender gaps in groundnut production at the farm level as well as the collective impact stories from initiatives around groundnut seed systems’ models that promote and support the participation of men and women farmers under the auspices of the project. Bulletin of Tropical Legumes Project: Tropical Legumes III (TL III) Investor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Partners:This work has been undertaken as part of the Focus in this edition Gender mainstreaming and integration activities in TL III were designed to be customizable for each country. Gender analysis is better contextualized for each community situation in a country. However, that level of customized gender analysis has the potential of taking on a life of its own in each case. In attempting to get a general ‘gender research question’ across countries, a subject ‘boundary’ for TL III analysis was defined. The TL III, in partnership with other BMGF initiatives, aimed at accomplishing the Tropical Legumes’ ten-year vision (2007-2018) of achieving 20% increase in productivity and 10% increase in production of legumes in targeted geographies. It was important to find out if that increase in production was the same for women and men farmers? As each country team focused on a unique legume1 , the starting point was in ‘understanding gender gaps’ in the production/productivity of the legume crop; identifying the key drivers that influenced the gap, and commissioning contextualized interventions to deal with the key drivers identified as constraints. Deploying this analytical process led to different experiences for each country team. Process questions have arisen about ‘women plots and men plots’; notable differences were observed in gender dynamics in decision making about a crop when sectors of its value chain get commercialized. In this quarter, we share learnings on ‘process’, ‘results’ and ‘stories of impacts’ by individuals or collective communities, with a special focus on the groundnut crop systems in selected TL III focus countries. Gender gaps in Tropical Legumes production and productivity The Tropical Legumes project is committed to gender equality in the realization of benefits from improved legume varieties developed and delivered through the project. Women contribute a significant amount of labor in sub-Saharan African agriculture. Legumes are crops that are mostly associated with women. In some literature, legumes are identified as ‘women’s crops’ for different reasons. In some instances, it is because these are the crops that, in the division of tasks in the household, women are expected to grow (on their own plots) and contribute as a relish for dishes based on staples provided by the men from the men’s plots. In some cases where the ‘plots are not so clearly demarcated’, legumes are identified as women’s crops because they provide the most labor for its production or because it’s the crop about whose use and sale women make the most decisions. Since the publication of the World Bank report on Leveling the field: improving opportunities for women farmers in Africa, attention has been drawn to the fact that ‘women tend to produce less than their male counterparts’. The difference between what men and women attain has been presented in literature as the ‘gender gap’. The concept of ‘gender gap’ is intriguing for researchers and development workers, and has been studied extensively visavis labor and wages (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) across the world. In agriculture, data has been presented at the 1. These include cowpea and groundnut in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria; common bean and chickpea in Ethiopia; common bean and groundnut in Uganda and Tanzania; and chickpea in Uttar Pradesh, India. Gender yield gaps in groundnut value chains in selected countries
  • 2. Bulletin of Tropical Legumes2 national level on ‘whole agriculture sector’ production indices, which shows that women’s production is 20-30% less than that of men. However, most studies do not disaggregate the gender gap data at the crop enterprise level. Since TL III is focused on legumes that are considered women’s crops among many of the target geographies’ communities, was it possible that women were producing better than men (reversing the gap), and that the legumes were the ultimate pathway to women’s empowerment? With this question in mind, select TL III country teams investigated the production practices and achievements of men and women farmers in a specific legume production system. Based on the evidence, each team was expected to design transformative interventions that contribute to ensuring that women farmers benefit from the TL III project outputs in the same way that men farmers did. In this issue, we share some findings from the analysis of gender gaps in two countries, Uganda and Tanzania. We also share how an intervention was designed to deal with the gaps Ghanaian women farmers were facing in their groundnut production. Uganda: Gender yield gaps decline when women farmers adopt improved groundnut varieties This investigative study was carried out by a team of scientists from Makerere and National Agricultural Research Organisation- National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute (NARO-NaSARRI) Uganda2 . The team hypothesized that there is a significant gap in groundnut yields between men and women (in favor of men), and that this gap was narrower for farmers using improved groundnut varieties. Data was collected in Northern Uganda (Dokolo, Nwoya and Pader districts) and Eastern Uganda (Kumi, Soroti, Serere and Iganga) regions. Two sub-counties that led in groundnut production were purposively selected in each district. In each sub-county, farmers identified as women plot owners and men plot owners were selected randomly. Jointly owned plots were not selected, since the purpose of the study was to compare the yield differences in male-owned and female-owned plots. A sample of 228 farmer respondents (58% females) were interviewed. Gender yield gap was defined as the difference between the groundnut yields female plot managers obtained compared to that obtained by their male counterparts. When farmers were growing local groundnut varieties, women obtained 41% less than the men farmers; whereas when farmers adopted improved varieties, women obtained 14% less than their male counterparts. While the groundnut yield gap was still there, it was reduced significantly when women adopted improved varieties. Among the production resources identified as reasons for the difference in male and female production in Uganda, 2. Johnny Mugisha, Christopher Sebatta, Elizabeth Ahikiriza, Kai Mausch, David Kalule Okello and Esther Njuguna-Mungai, upcoming publication ‘decision making on sales of groundnut produce’ was found to be a key driver. In instances where women were not involved in decisions about if/how the groundnut crop would be marketed, they produced significantly less. Only 37% of female farmers growing local groundnut varieties and 29% of women growing improved varieties reported that they had the ‘decision-making authority’ over their groundnut produce. This lack of decision-making authority could be hypothesized as the reason why female groundnut plot managers still perform below their male counterparts even when the model used for econometric analysis switches the male farmers’ resources coefficients to those of women farmers. If women in this Ugandan sample were to have the same production resources as the men, the yield gap shrinks but it is still skewed against the women plot managers. Tanzania: Gender gaps are in the income benefits obtained at the groundnut marketplace In 2016, a national representative household survey was conducted in Tanzania. Farm-level production data was collected from 9 regions of Tanzania including Shinyanga, Mwanza, Geita, Dodoma, Tabora, Songwe, Rukwa, Mbeya and Mtwara. Groundnut was grown by 938 households in this farmer sample. The analysis of production data showed that there was no significant difference in groundnut yields between men farmers (0.42 t/ha) and women farmers (0.336 t/h); however, both men and women are attaining yields below their potential of 0.8 t/ha given the resources they currently have (land, labor, and seed). A gross margin analysis however revealed that men make 24% more money from groundnut sales than women. Results from these examples seem to suggest that even in legumes, which are considered women’s crops, there are gender gaps in production or marketing, to the disadvantage of women farmers. The Ugandan case validates the twin objectives of the TL III project, of investing in improving groundnut varieties, Figure 1: A women farmer winnowing her groundnut (S14R variety) produce. Photo: David Kalule, Uganda
  • 3. 3Bulletin of Tropical Legumes among other legumes and improving accessibility to improved varieties by investing in better seed systems. If all farmers were using improved varieties, the gender yield gap between men and women plot managers would be narrower. However, for women to even realise better benefits, there is a need to promote behavior change interventions that allow them more decision making leverage on the groundnut product that eventually gets to the market. Focusing on generating improved legume varieties and enhancing efficiencies in the delivery of the seeds should ideally be accompanied by measures that enhance women’s performance. Reversing the resources available to women to the level owned by men in their communities from the examples shown here won’t lead to 100% closure of the ‘gender gap’ in the production of legumes. This is an interesting result because there are recommendations documented that call for women to avail ‘equal productive resources’ as have men in order to level the production level of women farmers. There are social norms and cultural and institutional challenges that hold back the productivity of women farmers. Sharing this intriguing result with a colleague led to an interesting question: Are these results indicative of lower ‘efficiencies in time use’ as women are multi-taskers while men focus on one task? This is an area that needs further research. Ghana: How to shrink gender gaps through a Village Savings and Loans Association The TL III team in Ghana from the national partner, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Institute (CSIR), Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), conducted a survey on gender gaps in groundnut productivity across 10 selected groundnut producing districts. The survey sought to ascertain the presence or absence of productivity gaps between men and women groundnut farmers and identify the underlying factors that account for them, if any. The result of the survey was shared at a workshop which brought together stakeholders in the groundnut value chain to brainstorm on and design strategies to mitigate the identified gaps. Access to and affordability of production inputs were identified as significant causes of the gender productivity gap in Northern Ghana. Strategies for closing this gap were discussed, one of which was the implementation of the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) across five districts in northern Ghana in partnership with SEND- Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization known for its community advocacy and development initiatives, to empower women by facilitating their access to affordable financial credit. SEND Ghana facilitated the enhancement of the women’s skills in advocacy for better access to production resources. The VSLA concept was designed as a community self-help initiative aimed at mobilizing financial resources at the grassroots through weekly savings by members. Monies realized from these savings are loaned to group members who repay at a low interest rate after a period agreed upon by the group. The initiative is managed by group members. Currently, there are 150 VSLA members (95% women) across the five districts in Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana. These groups meet weekly to save and loan out monies to members. A community volunteer was selected from each VSLA group and trained on the management plan of the VSLA in Tamale, the Northern Region’s capital. The volunteers were given an intensive one-day training on the VSLA model by a facilitator from SEND-Ghana. The participants were also trained in drafting the VSLA constitution and how to keep records on savings passbooks. A practical session was conducted to assess participants’ understanding of the concept and to identify challenges they could encounter during record keeping. In the practical session, they collected member savings, issued loans to group members, learnt how to calculate interest rates as well as recover loans from members. A VSLA kit (comprising of a calculator, a membership card, a metal box to house the savings and two plastic boxes to collect money during meetings) was provided to each participant to enable them to start the savings process in their respective communities. Since the inception of this initiative in early 2018, about 90% of the women have been able to borrow money to establish and expand their businesses, support in the payment of their children’s school fees and other household expenses including medical bills, which hitherto would have required borrowing from external sources at a higher interest. This has indeed helped to improve Figure 2: Women and men farmers in a Focus Group Discussion, Tanzania. Figure 3: (L) The passbook of a member and (R) a Village Savings Loans Association in northern Ghana. Photo: Jackline Shayo, Tanzania
  • 4. Bulletin of Tropical Legumes4 women’s household decision-making and control of production resources. The Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’ VSLA, located in the Gbimsi community of West Mamprusi District of Northern Region, is an all-women VSLA of 30 members, with 9 elected executives who manage its financial affairs and meet once a week to make weekly contributions. Mrs Dachia Midana and Hajia Poanaba Sumani, leaders in the Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’ VSLA say: “We want to use these VSLA savings to cultivate 60 acres of groundnut in the 2018 cropping season”. In Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’ as with all other communities where VSLAs were created, a process to sensitize chiefs and land owners at the community level on the need to release fertile arable land to female farmers was largely agreed upon. “This has given hope that women will have better access to arable land for groundnut and other crop cultivation,” says Mr Sardi Linus Handua, the male Secretary of the VSLA Gbimsi ‘Tilanngum’. The survey identified access to high quality seed of improved varieties as a major contributor to gender productivity gaps. Farmers were of the view that these seeds were expensive. Although this was the view among both men and women farmers, the men were more likely than women to travel longer distances to buy seed. To bring quality seed closer to farmers at an affordable price, the VSLA members were trained in community seed production by the project. Each group was supported with 200 kg of foundation seed of an improved groundnut variety (Nkatiesarie) to produce seed in the upcoming cropping season in 2018. All production activities will be financed by these groups, from plowing to harvesting. The seed certification agency of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture will be involved in ensuring that seed produced is certified as Quality Declared Seed (QDS). The seed will first be sold to members of the group and the excess to other members of the community. In the future, the groups will be linked to seed companies to serve as out-growers. This will not only help strengthen the community seed delivery systems but also provide an additional source of income to the group. Gender integration into breeding programs is very crucial for product development. Over the years, the participation of women in trials and demonstrations has brought about technologies that are gender friendly, improving their adoption by both men and women. During the seed production training event, the VSLA members were introduced to pipeline groundnut varieties (GAF 1665, GAF 1723 and ICGV-IS 08837) earmarked for release by the end of 2018. During the season, the breeding component of the project will also conduct field demonstrations with these groups to showcase the field performance of these materials under good agricultural practices. The demonstrations will be established on 1.5 acre- plots (0.5 acres per line) to quicken seed multiplication, popularization and dissemination. Nigeria: Bridging gender gaps in groundnut production3 Nigeria is the largest groundnut producing country in West Africa, accounting for 51% of production in the region and contributing 10% of the total global production. Despite the availability of high performing varieties, their adoption continues to be low in the country due to poor access to quality seed. Smallholder farmers in Nigeria obtain yields that are less than half the potential yields and the 3. Jourdain Lokossou, Benjamin Ahmed and Hippolyte Affognon Figure 4: (L) VSLA kits and (R) Mr Desmond S Adogoba (Gender and Social Scientist, SARI/TLIII) presenting a VSLA kit to a community volunteer. Figure 5: A cross section of the Salankpang VSLA members training on community seed production.
  • 5. 5Bulletin of Tropical Legumes situation is even worse with female groundnut producers. A gender gap in productivity has been documented from agriculture in general among male and female farmers even when they have access to similar resources (World Bank 2014). A household survey was conducted in Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina and Kebbi States in North West Nigeria aimed at investigating the TL III project’s contribution to closing gender gaps in groundnut production in northern Nigeria. These States lie in the Northern Guinea and Sudan Savanna regions of the country. A purposive selection was done of three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in each State where groundnut is extensively cultivated. In each of the LGAs, 2-3 communities were chosen from which 100 groundnut farmers were randomly selected; in total 1,476 households were interviewed. The respondents represented the project’s male and female plot managers who are project participants and non-participants. The project’s contribution to closing the gender gap that was based on four indicators (access to and adoption of improved varieties, yield and income) are summarized in Table 1. Among the non-project participants, the group of male farmers had more access to improved varieties compared to female farmers. The percentage of males (96.9%) with access to improved varieties was statistically significant (p 0.001) compared to the percentage of females (79.17%) with access to improved varieties. The project has significantly improved female access to improved varieties by reversing the trend; 100% of the female participants had access compared to 98.9% of the male participants. Overall, the gender gap in terms of access to improved seeds was 17.74% among non-participants and 1.1% among participants, showing a significant reduction of 16.63%. Coming to the adoption of improved groundnut varieties, among both non-participant and participant groups, female groundnut producers have a significantly higher adoption rate compared to the males (p 0.001). Both male (49.62%) and female (62.66%) participants in TL III had higher adoption rates compared to non-participating female (52.94%) and male (27.80%) farmers. The gender gaps were 25.13% and 13.04% for non-participants and Figure 6: Showcasing the pipeline varieties to participants. Figure 7: Participants take part in a hands-on demonstration on row planting. Photo: TL III Table 1. The project’s contribution to closing productivity gaps between male and female farmers. TL III Non-participants (n=509) Participants (n=961) Access to improved varieties (%) Male (n=1,353) 96.9 98.9 Female (n=117) 79.17 100 Gender gap 17.74*** 1.1 Reduction in gender gap between participants and non-participants 16.63*** Adoption of improved varieties (%) Male (n=1,353) 27.80 49.62 Female (n=117) 52.94 62.66 Gender gap -25.13*** -13.04** Reduction in gender gap between participants and non-participants -12.09*** Yield (kg/ha) Male (n=1,353) 738.94 716.26 Female (n=117) 326.63 649.79 Gender gap 412.31*** 66.47 Reduction in gender gap between participants and non-participants 345.84*** Income per ha (Naira/ha) Male (n=1,353) 159,554 155,177 Female (n=117) 72,630 140,355 Gender gap 86,924*** 14,822 Reduction in gender gap between participants and non-participants 72,102*** ** = p 0.05; *** = p 0.01. participants, respectively. This represents a significant gap reduction of 12.09% in favor of men who were less of adopters. The yield gap between male and female non-participants was estimated at 412.31 kg/ha and was statistically significant (p 0.001). With project interventions, the yield gap between male and female farmers was reduced
  • 6. Bulletin of Tropical Legumes6 project’s support. The 180 women are members of three Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) in Burkina Faso, 60 members representing each MSP. It all started in 2015 in the MSP of the Centre East, when three women in Pagou underwent training in improved agronomic practices and improved groundnut varietal testing on 0.25 ha each using two released varieties (SH 470P and QH 243C) for seed production. Fifty-year-old- Bambara Alizeta was among the three pioneers selected in 2016 to produce the first-ever improved groundnut seed in Pagou. With their produce in hand, these women then shared the seeds with 10 other women the following year. With this, a community-based system was initiated! Pagou now has 23 women trained from different farmer’s organizations to be community seed producers. According to Dr Amos Miningou, Groundnut Breeder at the Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles du Burkina Faso (INERA), nearly 180 women have been introduced to groundnut community seed production and 540 are expected by the end of the project in 2018. “The initial foundation seed was provided by the project to the first 3 pilot women farmers. Each member was responsible for producing enough seeds for her own use and to share it with two new members; that’s how we aim at reaching more members of MSPs,” he explains. Each community seed producer (about 90% female) in each MSP is trained in improved seed production and good agronomic practices. “I used to grow a local variety which yielded very little. Since I got access to improved seed, I can harvest up to 2 bags (200 kg) over 0.25 hectare, where I could barely harvest a bag of 100 kg,” says Bambara, who now grows SH470P, an early-maturing (90 days) large seeded variety. “The local variety was unproductive and its seeds were too small and difficult to decorticate,” she clarifies. These seed producers have been successful not only because of the improved varieties but also due to the good agronomics practices they followed. “I used to sow any way I liked. Now I sow in rows. I follow many other improved agronomic practices since I am trained for seed Figure 8: Women in a groundnut field in Shagari Local Government, Sokoto State, Nigeria. significantly from 412.31 kg/ha to 66.47 kg/ha (reduction of about 346 kg/ha). This was because the participating women had significantly increased their groundnut yields. The difference in yield between non-participating and participating females was estimated at 323.16 kg/ha and was statistically significant (p 0.001). The difference in income derived from groundnut between non-participating male and female farmers was estimated at 86,924 Naira/ha and was statistically significant (p 0.001). The project interventions reduced the gap in income between male and female participants significantly, from 86,924 Naira/ha to 14,822 Naira/ha (reduction of 72,102 Naira/ha). The participating women increased their incomes significantly. The difference in income between female participants and non-participants was estimated at 67,725 Naira/ha and was statistically significant (p 0.001). Burkina Faso: Women farmers lead the way in creating community seed systems In Pagou village, 200 kilometers from Ouagadougou, Bambara Alizeta is happy to explain how dramatically her life has changed over the past two years. She is one of the 180 pilot women farmers involved in groundnut community seed system in Burkina Faso with the TL III Photo: TL III team Figure 9: (R to L) Mrs Bambara Alizeta (groundnut seed producer) and Mrs Zombra Maimouna (with bicycle) and members of the Pagou women farmers group, Burkina Faso. Photo: A Diama, ICRISAT
  • 7. 7Bulletin of Tropical Legumes production. I even apply fertilizer to my groundnut field,” says Bambara. Bambara produced her first improved groundnut seeds in 2016 and reached out to other women in the community. “I sold the rest and used the money earned to pay for the fertilizer in my field in 2017. Without the support of the project and the multi-stakeholder platform, I would not have accomplished all this,” states Bambara, who has been a groundnut producer for the past 20 years. The project has introduced the entire community to the production of QDS. There are many others who can’t wait to start groundnut production again. Zombra Maimouna is another pilot groundnut producer of the project. “When I and two other women started in 2016, it was for the first time that this type of seed was produced in our community. In my first year, I produced 63 kg of seed. The following year, I produced 90 kg. It is an important breakthrough for me,” says Zombra. Following the women’s success, the men in the community have started showing interest. “When I saw the quantity of harvest from my wife’s seed production plot in 2016, I was wondering why the project is investing only in women? If only I could get this improved variety, I could compete with her,” says Biyen Gaston, whose wife is a community seed producer in To, Burkina Faso. The community seed system is not just effective for groundnut but is also being used by women in crops such as cowpea. Madam Cécile Belem, mother of six, participated in the Zondoma multi-stakeholder’s platform of cowpea. Inspired by the success of a cowpea varietal testing plot organized by the project in 2016, she produced 1250 kg of improved varieties Tiligré and Komcallé over 1.5 ha. Like for many producers in the region, Tiligré is her preferred variety for its high yield and better taste compared to the local varieties and many other improved cowpea varieties. “When there is insufficient rainfall, Tiligré seeds yield better; they do not blacken like other varieties of cowpea,” she explains. Cécile has already sold nearly 200 kg of her produce and says the money will be used not to expand her farm but to help in intensification of production on the same plot. Groundnut and cowpea are important crops in Africa as they allow producers not only to feed themselves and their animals, but also serve as an important source of income for producers, especially women. Several efforts have gone into introducing improved varieties and enhancing their adoption under the project in order to help smallholder farmers improve yields and ensure better incomes with varieties that are resistant to early and late leaf spot, aflatoxin contamination and are also drought tolerant. Within innovation platforms, researchers from several partner organizations are responsible for the introduction and dissemination of new high-yielding groundnut and cowpea varieties. The platforms allow farmers to access the best varieties suitable for their use. The role of local partners such as INERA and extension workers is crucial in selecting varieties adapted to the socio-economic conditions of producers. First spinoff course on ‘Capacity building for gender responsive research and reporting’ What does it mean to have gender responsive product profiles? How can gender be integrated into breeding programs? These were some of the important issues addressed at a spinoff course on ‘Capacities Building for Gender Responsive Research and Reporting’ from 26 Nov - 1 Dec 2018, in Kampala, Uganda, funded by the Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) and TL III projects, both funded by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation. The activity was part of the MoU between ICRISAT and Makerere University in April 2018, for the University to train biophysical and social scientists of the TL III project. Attended by 18 participants (9 social scientists and 9 legume breeders) from sub-Saharan African countries working in NARS and universities, the training aimed to build the capacities of participants for gender integration in their breeding programs, implementing gender responsive activities, and having gender responsive product profiles. Figure 10: (L to R) Community groundnut seed producer Madam Clarisse along with three members she shared her seed with. In return, these women will share their produce with 3 other women. Photo: A Diama Figure 11. Instructors and participants at the course.
  • 8. The course was intended to be practical so that each team could examine the data they had already collected on gender gaps, delve into the interpretation of results they were obtaining and design interventions that would tackle gender gaps they had in their breeding programs. A few breeding programs that had made progress in data collection shared the results and plans they had designed for interventions. Teams that had not collected any data on gender gaps started off by making plans for data collection. The training was organized for broad application to impact country breeding programs. The workshop led to some participants writing blogs on their experiences and learnings which will be uploaded on the TL III and GREAT websites. For more, go to website. Change in roles and responsibilities Here’s an update on the changes in personnel and their roles and responsibilities within the project: At ICRISAT ▪▪ Dr Kai Mausch who has moved to ICRAF has been replaced by Dr Esther Njuguna as Objective 1 Coordinator; she will continue her work as gender scientist. ▪▪ For economics work of Objective 1, Dr Michael Hauser will assist temporarily until an Economist comes on board. Dr Hauser is Theme Leader for Markets, Innovations, Nutrition and Diversity (MIND) Theme at ICRISAT, based in Nairobi. ▪▪ Dr Pooran Gaur is now the Research Program Director, Asia at ICRISAT and he remains the Leader for Objective 5 (Chickpea Crop Improvement). At the Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR) ▪▪ Dr Sushil K Chaturvedi is now Dean (Agriculture), Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh). His role in the project has been taken over by Dr GP Dixit as PI for TL III Project at IIPR. Dr Dixit is well known in the chickpea community and is serving the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) as coordinator for the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Chickpea. He is based at IIPR, Kanpur. At ICRISAT - WCA ▪▪ Dr Issoufou Kapran joined us under Seed Systems in WCA. He will be working closely with Dr Lucky Omoigui from IITA and Dr Akpo Essegbemon in ESA. ▪▪ The Tanzania beans team too has undergone a change with the joining of Edith Laurence Kadege. Our thanks to Dr Kai Mausch and Dr SK Chaturvedi for their incredible work and outstanding contribution to the project. We wish them and Dr Pooran Gaur all the best in their new roles. We welcome Dr Michael Hauser, Dr GP Dixit, Dr Issoufou Kapran and Edith Laurence Kadege on board! Obituary We are sad to announce the demise of Patience Kalat Duniya, a PhD student from the Nigerian Groundnut Breeding Program in an accident in Nigeria on 14 June 2018 while on a visit from Ghana. Duniya was pursuing a TL III project- sponsored PhD in Communication and Gender at the University of Development Studies, Ghana, under the guidance of Prof Ben Ahmed. As part of her thesis, she collected data on improved groundnut adoption and impacts and sampled groundnut grains for DNA fingerprinting, actively participated in field monitoring visits, and collected farmers’ views and success stories on the groundnut breeding program of Nigeria. The dataset she contributed to is a critical asset for the project. The TL III community extends its condolences to her family, friends and colleagues. Acknowledgments: With contributions from Esther Njuguna- Mungai and the TL III Gender team in ESA and WCA. Contacts: To contribute or participate in Tropical Legumes III: Dr Rajeev K Varshney, TL III - PI, Email: r.k.varshney@cgiar.org and/or Dr Chris Ojiewo, TL III - Coordinator, Email: c.ojiewo@cgiar.org or Address: ICRISAT-Nairobi, UN Avenue, Gigiri, Po.Box 39063 – 00623, Nairobi, Kenya, Phone: +254-20 722 4566, Cell: +254 720 351 323 Webpage: http://tropicallegumes.icrisat.org/ For TL III updates follow: /tropicallegumesIII /tropicallegumes /tropicallegumes /TLIII ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR System Organization About ICRISAT: www.icrisat.org ICRISAT’s scientific information: EXPLOREit.icrisat.org Dec 2018 Figure 12. Dr Esther Njuguna of ICRISAT at the opening ceremony.