The Technical Consultation on “Gender Roles in Peanut Sector and Household Food Security” was held from June 9 to 12, 1998, at the Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-industrial Product Improvement Institute, Kasetsart University, Bangkok. The consultation was supported by the Women in Development Programme of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (WID - FAO RAP) and the USAID Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program (Peanut CRSP). The Kasetsart Agriculture and Agro-Industry Product Improvement Institute (KAPI) provided the leadership in organizing the Consultation and technical support. Hence, the Technical Consultation was an outcome of collaboration between three organizations that have a commitment to understand the gender roles in the peanut sector and to improve household food security by enhancing women's participation in production and consumption.
Peanut crop has the unique characteristics of being both food crop and cash crop in small holder production systems. It is a also an important commercial crop, since peanut is the basic commodity for a wide range of commercial products such as oil, snack food and animal feed and other by products use in packing. Peanut is also a key ingredient in Asian culinary preparations. In this region, women play an important role in seed selection, cultural practices, in harvest and post harvest processing of the peanut crop. So, women share significant responsibility along side with men, in the peanut sector, which is important to ensure for food-security in determining both access and availability of food at the household level. Given the wide range of use for peanut crop in food system and commercial enterprises, women's role in the crop is also important in the wider context of national food security. The Technical Consultation focus was to identify the gender differentiated responsibilities of women and men in the peanut sector from production to processing and marketing. From such a review examine the central role women play the peanut sector that have relevance for household food security. The countries represented in the Consultation were Bangladesh, Cambodia, China PR, India, Lao PDR, Nepal, The Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. The Experts at the Consultation represented diverse subject areas of expertise and institutional experiences.