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This training manual focuses specifically on the linkages between local knowledge systems, gender roles the conservation and management of agrobiodiversity, plant and animal genetic resources, and food security. Its aim to promote a holistic understanding of these components. The training objective is to strengthen the agricultural sector and to recognize and foster these linkages in the relevant programmes and policies.

Other manuals may cover these same topics, but there is an obvious lack of integrated training materials that address all three topics. moreover, FAO's local partner organizations have requested specific training materials that focus on these cross-cutting issues. We strongly believe that a better understanding of the key concepts, and their linkages, will lead to improved project planning and implementation.

This manual therefore aims to explore the linkages between agrobiodiversity, gender and local knowledge, and to show the relevance of doing so, within the context of research and development. This manual will not equip you with the skills needed to conduct participatory or action research at the field level, or provide guidance for research tools and methods. however, it is meant to complement existing manuals covering tools, methods and approaches, such as the FAO/SEAGA handbook material for socio-economic and gender analysis (


The manual is aimed at a wide target group. We hope it will be useful as a conceptual guide for trainers, as resource material for participants in training courses, mainly researchers and extension workers, and as reference material for others working within the context of agrobiodiversity management, gender and local knowledge. although this manual was written for the LinKS project1 in eastern and southern Africa, its content is of global relevance.


The manual is divided into five modules. Each module contains fact sheets2, covering key aspects and linkages between agrobiodiversity, gender and local knowledge. The fact sheets include short case examples to show practical evidence of the relevance of the topics. The rationale behind this structure is to permit flexible use of the manual. Each fact sheet contains a list of Key Points at the end, to help the reader synthesize the information covered. Depending on the demand, and need of the participants, modules can be added or taken out. a brief outline of the five modules can be found below.

Additional trainer's guidance sheets (Process Sheets) aim to help the trainer structure and plan each module from the viewpoint of the training process. We want to encourage trainers to adapt the material to each unique training situation and to the information needs and demands of the participants. ideas for exercises are provided in the Process Sheets, which can be adapted to the different training events. Exercises marked with (a) are basic exercises that can be carried out if time is limited. Exercises marked with (b) require more time and can be added if time is available. it is important to show participants, from the beginning, that the training approach is based on the mutual sharing of knowledge and information. moreover, throughout the training, the participants' and trainers' knowledge is equally respected and valued.

The Key Points provided at the end of each fact sheet are to be used as a checklist by the trainer. This will ensure all key issues have been covered and will help the trainer monitor participants' learning progress.

Key readings are suggested for each module. They may form part of the participants' exercises or serve as an additional information source on the topics presented.

MODULE 1 introduces the key concepts of agrobiodiversity, gender and local knowledge in the context of improved food security and provides an overview of the main issues.

MODULE 2 introduces the sustainable livelihoods framework as an analytical tool in order to explore the linkages between agrobiodiversity, gender and local knowledge.

MODULE 3 focuses on the linkages between agrobiodiversity and gender. it explores the complexity of this relationship from a livelihoods perspective.

MODULE 4 analyses the relationship between agrobiodiversity and local knowledge from a livelihoods perspective and explores the dynamic nature of these linkages.

MODULE 5 provides a case study reflecting the conceptual aspects covered in the previous modules.


The SEAGA intermediate handbook (FAO) is written for development planners in all public and private sector groups, including government ministries and community groups. it is designed to assist small- and medium-sized organizations such as community based groups. Some government offices or ministries may find the ideas useful. The analytical concepts and tools in the handbook focus on planning and implementing participatory change that takes into account differences in gender roles, relationships and other socio-economic characteristics of various stakeholder groups. The handbook encourages practical application of the SEAGA concepts and tools. Source:

Law and policy of relevance to the management of plant genetic resources (S. Bragdon, C. Fowler and Z. Franca (Eds) SGRP, IPGRI, ISNAR learning module). Source: IPGRI/ISNAR.

The sustainable livelihoods (SL) approach is a framework, developed by the UK Department for international Development (DFID), to ensure that people and their priorities are at the centre of development. These guidance sheets are intended to be a resource to help explain and provide the tools for implementing the sustainable livelihoods approach to development.

Source: or

1 The LinKS project works to improve rural people's food security and promote the sustainable management of agrobiodiversity by strengthening the capacity of institutions to use participatory approaches that recognise men and women farmer's knowledge in their programme and policies. The LinKS project's three main activity areas are capacity building and training, research and communication and advocacy. The project is funded by the government of Norway. For more information on the LinKS project, please see

2 These fact sheets are also available as hand-outs for the participants, which are in the separate folder.

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