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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Mainstreaming gender for sustainable soil management

John Ede
John EdeOhaha Family FoundationNigeria

Gender is a major connect between sustainable soil use and conservation, since most of the post cultivation are often carried out by women and girls, i.e. planting, weeding, and harvesting. There is the need to critically examine weeding and post harvesting practices, to improve on the soil fertility. What happens to the weeds removed, are they gathered and burnt? or are they kept in the farm to be converted to manure, and replenish the soil. After harvesting the crops, what happens to the plant residue? Are they usually left in the farms to manure or gathered and burnt? There is need to teach women to improve on knowledge about soil health through traditional practices that have helped to keep the soil healthy for production despite years of use. Most families still use the inherited lands for Agricultural practices for decades, just by adopting mixed farming techniques, mixed croping, and other traditional practices.

Women and girls are usually not allowed in the community decision making process, and this is a major hinderance to not just women participation, but limits their voices. Women and girls at community level have peer groups, and inviting leaders of women groups to the discusions, conversations, consultations, and decision making at community level, will ensure that women's contributions count, and that women's impact can help improve food production leading to zero hunger.        

People-centered programming, there is the need to ask questions especially at community, farm, field level, to help inform decision and policy making. It has been the practice where decisions are made for women, not by women, and until we reverse this trend, we will keep eclising around the same old food shortages, hunger, malnutrition, and the likes.