Why gender, biodiversity and local knowledge go together
Malkerns Research Station, Swaziland - Despite years of experience as curator of the national gene bank, repository of 850 plant or seed samples of mainly indigenous food crops, Thandi Lupupa learned something new about seeds recently.
At a LinKS workshop, Ms Lupupa found out about women's role in selecting maize seed, even though, as a cash crop, maize is considered a man's preserve.
"It was an eye opener to me that gender was also important," she says. "I had been concentrating on indigenous knowledge and biodiversity."
"It turns out that women go through the maize field before the harvest to choose the seeds they want, whereas men just want to harvest the whole crop in a hurry. I thought women just concentrated on legumes.
"So now I talk to women when I want to collect maize seeds," she concludes.
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