Read the current issue of AgriGender journal

Agriculture, Gender, Women

LogoThe current issue of the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security focuses on the intersection of gender, agricultural productivity, value chains and nutrition and contains papers from research carried out across the globe including in Cameroon, the Himalayas, Ethiopia, India and Malawi.

Nathalie Me-Nsope and Michelle Larkins, both of Michigan State University discuss the gender based constraints and opportunities along the pigeon pea value chain, their implications for legume adoption/expansion, for income gains, and for the food security status of legume producing/selling households. They find that due to their culturally prescribed role as heads of households, men are mostly responsible for legume cultivation decisions at the farm level and across all regions of the country. Cultural restrictions on women’s mobility and gender disparities in transportation assets exclude women from participating in markets, thereby giving men more access to pigeon pea sales revenue. Men’s predominant role in pigeon pea marketing and their power to make major decisions on the allocation of crop revenue creates a disincentive among women to expand the legume at the farm level, especially since women make major labor contributions towards the cultivation and post-harvest handling of the legume. Our results indicate that income from pigeon pea sales may not always translate to improvements in household food security, especially when intra-household gender differences in market participation, consumption needs and preferences are considered. The authors recommend that development efforts targeting increases in household food security through the promotion of pigeon pea must take into considerations and address these gender barriers.

Read the full paper here

Hannah E. Payne from Brigham Young University, the USA and her co-authors from Freedom from Hunger and the Indian Institute of Health Management Research University in Jaipur India address the critical issue of food insecurity among women and children and describe the associated factors  in rural Rajasthan, India. By surveying pregnant women and women with young children belonging to self-help groups the authors find that factors associated with food insecurity for both women and children include increased poverty, low dietary diversity, belonging to a tribe, and failing to save money to cover food expenses. For women, using more coping strategies and having a husband who made decisions about how money the woman earned was used were associated with food insecurity, while not having received food from an Integrated Child Development Service center was associated with food insecurity in children.  These findings suggest that actions for improving food security may include facilitating saving for food needs, improving decision-making power among women, and increasing ties to organizations that cater to child development needs.

Read the full paper here

Esther Njuguna and her co-authors from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and the Debre-Zeit Agricultural Research Center in Ethiopia explore the cultural norms and practices that influence women’s participation in chickpea participatory varietal selection training activities in Ethiopa.  Using a small-n approach and vignettes, the authors find that  a short radius of movement, labour burden, sex of extension agents, intimacy and harmony in the home emerge as key factors considered by women. The authors propose dialogue between men, women, the old and the young to initiate transformation of gender relations to cede ‘space for women’, to build capacities to support chickpea production, and agriculture in general in Ethiopia.

Read the full paper here

Deepa Iyer and Wynne Wright explore the issue of gender, food insecurity, helplessness, and choice  and how these have influenced diet change in the central Himalaya. The find that the Himalayan diets, along with agricultural and health systems, have been undergoing significant changes over the past fifty years though little research has documented this transition. Using semi-structured interviews and focus groups with elder women villagers in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, India, they explore women’s experience of diet change, recollections of the traditional diet, and the perceived factors motivating contemporary diet change. Their results  show that the Himalayan diet has shifted from a complete reliance on traditional crop varieties and home-grown and foraged foods to an increasing dependence on processed and store-bought foods. Women view the traditional crops and foods as healthier than store-bought foods, yet they have been active participants in erecting market-based foodways. They attribute the support of the contemporary – or market-based – diet  to gender roles. Specifically, women’s experiences with gendered cultural norms of consumption, including regular bouts of food insecurity commonplace within the  traditional diet.

Read the full paper here

Regine Tchientche Kamga from the World Vegetable Center and  co-authors from the World Vegetable Center and the University of Dschang, Cameroon explore gender inequalities in onion production in Cameroon. Their results show that onion is perceived to be a “man’s crop” in the study region with only 22 percent of onion producers being women. Women faced more difficulties in acquiring land and storage facilities and had less access to fertilizers and extension services compared to men. The authors found women’s average onion productivity at (7.9 t/ha) to be lower than the national average of 10 t/ha and  also lower than that of men at 11 t/ha. The low onion productivity of women is a result of social and economic constraints such as lack of funds to ensure timely field operations and lack of time to supervise work in their fields. They recommend  that women farmers should be sensitized on the gender-related inequality they encounter that results in inefficiencies to improve their empowerment status while building their self-confidence.

Read the full paper here

In the practical notes section, Jemimah Njuki, Editor of the Journal explores the difficulties of meaningfully integrating gender in research and development programs and provides some useful practical steps.

Read the full note here

Want to submit a paper to the journal? Contact us at editors@agrigender.net or submit via our online submission system here

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