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Smallholder women’s empowerment through farmer-participatory design and user-led innovation of labour-saving agricultural tools in Malawi

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Presentation by Una Murray at the Closing the gender gap in farming under climate change event on 19 March 2015 in Paris.

More about the event: http://ccafs.cgiar.org/closing-gender-gap

Published in: Environment
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Smallholder women’s empowerment through farmer-participatory design and user-led innovation of labour-saving agricultural tools in Malawi

  1. 1. Smallholder women’s empowerment through farmer- participatory design and user-led innovation of labour- saving agricultural tools in Malawi Dr. Una Murray 3D4AGDEV, NUI Galway, Ireland Zewdy Gebremedhin, Una Murray, Decolius Kalumo, Ash Tariku, Willem Kamthunzi, Tony Murray, Rowland Chirwa, Rodah Zulu, Paul Wagstaff & Charles Spillane
  2. 2. Smallholder women’s empowerment through farmer- participatory design and user-led innovation of labour- saving agricultural tools in Malawi Dr. Una Murray 3D4AGDEV, NUI Galway, Ireland Zewdy Gebremedhin, Una Murray, Decolius Kalumo, Ash Tariku, Willem Kamthunzi, Tony Murray, Rowland Chirwa, Rodah Zulu, Paul Wagstaff & Charles Spillane www.3d4agdev.org
  3. 3. Women smallholder farmers largely dependent on manual labour and hand-held tools Minimal access to mechanized equipment and farm-level energy sources for cultivation and post-harvest agri-processing Rural Energy, Women’s Labour & Climate Change Adaptation Technology & energy deficit trap can perpetuate rural poverty How can women smallholders move step-by-step towards labour-saving innovations? Foster innovation potential of women smallholders (climate change adaptation) NKHAMENYA KABUDULA
  4. 4. Labour Peaks (over Year) Labour Peaks (during day) Labour Intensive Tasks (& Existing Tools) Rainy Season Tasks (& Tools) 1) Making Ridges (hoe) 2) Banking Ridges (hoe) 3) Weeding (hoe) 4) Planting (sticks, hoes, heels) 5) Clearing land (hoe, panga) Dry Season Tasks (& Tools) 1) Cutting/decobbing maize (Panga, hands) 2) Threshing groundnuts (hands, sticks, sacks) 3) Shelling maize & groundnuts (hands) 4) Grinding maize (mortar & pestle) 1600 women smallholder farmers 192 “best bet innovators” Survey 16 innovator groups Identification of high-labour tasks considered onerous by women smallholder farmers
  5. 5. Participatory design User-led innovation Prototyping
  6. 6. High-labour post-harvest tasks Grinding maize E A B Shelling maize Shelling groundnuts 3D4AGDEV Female farmer designed maize sheller 3D4AGDEV Female farmer designed groundnut sheller C D F 3D4AGDEV Female farmer designed maize grinder women farmer designed tool prototypes offer major post- harvest time savings Post-harvest time savings Maize sheller: 18 hours per tonne (1000 kg) Groundnut sheller: 571 hours per tonne Maize grinder: 58 hours per tonne * * * 00:00 05:00 10:00 15:00 20:00 25:00 30:00 35:00 40:00 Timetocompletion[min] Conventionnal methods New tools Time taken for post-harvest processing Existing Methods 3D4AGDEV Tools Maize sheller Groundnut sheller Maize grinder
  7. 7. Need national & institutional policies that: • Provide supports and incentives to allow identification and fostering of rural women innovators to generate and market livelihood improving products and services. • Engage women smallholder farmers as early as possible in needs-driven participatory technology development where they become the agents of change to promote and market innovations. • Facilitate social enterprise models where women farmer innovator groups are key partners and beneficiaries that can sustain and scale-up social enterprises. Enabling environment for closing gender gaps & scale-up via a social enterprise approach with women farmer innovator groups?  Social enterprises with women innovator groups for climate adaptation and resilience

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