So far I know HKI has been implementing homestead gardening program for a couple of decades in Bangladesh in improving income, consumption and, thereby, nutrition. There are different reports on this where the results of the interventions were discussed indicating that homestead gardening increase the income of the women. The point is even after having better income, are the women really able to spend the money for their own welfare according to their choice? There are also examples of agricultural credit programs implemented by BRAC, Bangladesh, where women receive credit for their agricultural activities and may access financial resources. In a study we have found that women who receive agricultural credits less often use it according to their choice. Mostly they handover the money to their male partners who decide on how to spend the money. Even, they don’t have any complain in this regard as they are adapted with such practice. Therefore, in a male dominated scenario it doesn’t matter how much a woman earn or receives, unless she is able to use the resources. We may think of addressing those cultural aspects while planning for any sensitization program in empowering women.
Contributions for 通过妇女赋权转变农业中的性别关系：改善营养成果的益处、挑战和权衡
Recently BRAC Agriculture Programme has taken initiative to promote Nutri-garden model through organic homestead fruits and vegetables cultivation in two most climate vulnerable regions of Bangladesh. Programme participants are being trained on year round production of fruits and vegetables cultivation. Massive campaign has taken on awareness building in producing safe food and restricting the use of chemicals. We envisage that the year round vegetables and fruits cultivation in homesteads will enhance diet diversification and improve nutritional status in household’s level. Only the female participants are being engaged on Nutri-gardening. 13500 Nutri-garden will be established where 324000 participants will be trained on year round production of fruits and vegetables aiming to improve nutritional status of the women and children by the year 2020 in our two project regions.
I have recently finished reporting on work in Burkina Faso on the contribution of tree products derived from baobab, shea and néré to rural livelihoods in Burkina Faso. We wanted to identify and understand the social and environmental factors influencing the utilization of tree products by rural households for home consumption and commercialization, and to explore the contribution of tree products to food security.
We focused on the roles and responsibilities of women for tree product utilization, which we found to differ between tree species, and with household composition. This we think was due to contrasting ecological contexts and evolving social mores. We found no evidence of conflict within households about tree product management and utilization - decision making processes were negotiated and consensual in both regions, even though gender rights and roles were clearly demarcated.
Nevertheless, we concluded that domestication and dissemination of tree planting and regeneration technologies, and tree product processing and marketing initiatives, definitely need a gendered and tree-specific approach in order to build on local norms and capacities - particularly of women.
An extensive report is available at:
And an article is forthcoming in the journal Environmental Conservation:
Poole, N., Audia, C., Kaboret, B. and Kent, R. (2016 forthcoming). Tree products, food security and livelihoods: a household study of Burkina Faso. Environmental Conservation.
I can send a copy to anyone interested if you contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following Barnali's comments on women's involvement in fruit and vegetable production...
I was at a research conference in London on Monday and posed an argument that kitchen gardens for better nutrition don't need much new research - we know that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is really important, probably among most populations and in most countries.
However, I think an important question is about women's involvement in such enterprises and perhaps the potential for empowerment. How kitchen garden development proceeds is more complicated than production models. I worry about the patterns of utilization of kitchen garden products, opportunities for marketing, and I would like to ask if there is any experience of kitchen gardens that do lead to better incomes, better household nutrition, successful commercial marketing - and female empowerment.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BELOW
Les comportements de la femme influencent énormément la situation nutritionnelle des enfants, d'elle-même et tout le ménage. Car, c'est la femme qui gère les choix, les achats et la cuisson des aliments. La disponibilité, les connaissances et l'expérience dont elle est porteuse influencent beaucoup ses choix alimentaires, déterminants de la nutrition. Ainsi, la question de nutrition est toujours liée aux réalités socioculturelles et économiques en présence. Car, les attentes sociales de la femme diffèrent selon les communautés, les pays et les régions. En dehors donc de l'offre de nourriture, les habitudes alimentaires liées à ces réalités sociales influencent fortement la nutrition. Car, les aliments peuvent exister et pourtant la malnutrition peut être remarquée. Il en est de même de la disponibilité et des capacités de la femme qui influencent la nutrition. Mais, on ne doit pas détacher ces questions de disponibilité et de capacité des rôles de la femme dans le système social global où elle se trouve. Les activités économiques (rémunérées ou non) auxquelles elles s'adonnent sont déterminées socialement. C'est dire que l'amélioration de la nutrition relève non seulement de la production alimentaire, mais aussi doit beaucoup être rattachée aux réalités socioculturelles et économiques en présence. C'est ainsi que la quantité d'aliments disponible per capita qui a permis de résorber la malnutrition dans un milieu A peut ne pas permettre de réaliser cette prouesse dans un autre milieu B. Même au sein d'un même continent, le problème doit être abordé différemment.
Une étude menée par la FAO en 1989 a révélé que du point de vue habitude alimentaire, l'Afrique subsaharienne peut être divisée en trois groupes, selon la structure ci-après:
Groupe I : République centrafricaine, Congo, Mozambique, Zaïre (actuelle République Démocratique du Congo).
Dans ces pays, le manioc domine, tant au niveau de la production qu’au niveau de la consommation ; sa part dans la consommation d’aliments de base est supérieure à 50 %, contre 30 % pour les céréales, dont près d’un tiers sont importés.
Groupe II : Angola, Bénin, Burundi, Cameroun, Comores, Guinée équatoriale, Gabon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzanie, Togo, Ouganda.
Dans ce groupe de pays, le modèle de production et de consommation alimentaire est beaucoup plus varié. Les racines et les bananes plantains sont les principaux aliments de base, et le manioc est beaucoup moins consommé que dans le groupe précédent. Les pays de ce groupe sont typiques de la « ceinture de l’igname » d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Alors que dans certains pays, la banane plantain, la patate et le taro occupent une place importante dans l’alimentation, les céréales dont environ 30 % sont importées fournissent la moitié des calories consommées.
Groupe III : Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cap Vert, Tchad, Ethiopie, Gambie, Guinée, Guinée Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritanie, Maurice, Niger, Réunion, Sao Tomé, Sénégal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalie, Soudan, Swaziland, Zambie, Zimbabwe.
Ces pays produisent et consomment beaucoup plus les céréales, mais dans certaines régions, les racines sont souvent les aliments de base. Les parts de consommation de céréales couvertes par leurs importations de céréales sont généralement moins importantes : moins d’un cinquième du total en moyenne.
Il s'agit là par exemple d'une réalité que l'on devra prendre en compte en matière de nutrition en Afrique.
Women’s behavior strongly influences children’s, their own, and the household’s nutritional situation because women make the decisions and the purchases, and cook the food. Their availability, knowledge and experience strongly influence their food choices, which are determinants for nutrition. Therefore, the question of nutrition is always connected to the surrounding sociocultural and economic realities because women’s social expectations differ among communities, countries and regions. Apart from the availability of food, eating habits related to these social realities strongly influence nutrition because food can be available and still, malnutrition can be noticed. The same applies to the availability and capacities of the women who influence nutrition. But, we should not separate availability and capacity of women’s role in their overall social system. The economic activities (paid or not) which they devote themselves to are socially determined. This means that the improvement of nutrition not only comes from food production but should also be strongly attached to the surrounding sociocultural and economic realities. This is why the amount of food available per capita which ended malnutrition in place A might not be able to do the same in place B. Even within the same continent, the problem has to be tackled differently.
A study conducted by the FAO in 1989 revealed that, from a food consumption standpoint, sub-Saharan Africa be divided into three groups:
Group I: Central African Republic, Congo, Mozambique, Zaire (current Democratic Republic of Congo).
In these countries, cassava dominates, both in production and consumption; its share in staple crop consumption is over 50%, against the 30% of cereals, where close to a third of these are important.
Group II: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroun, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda.
In this group of countries, food production and consumption habits are much more varied. Roots and plantains are the staple foods, and cassava is much less consumed than in the previous group. The countries in this group are typical of the West African “yam belt”. Although in some of these countries, plantains, potatoes and taro play and important role in nutrition, cereals, about 30% of which is imported, make up half of consumed calories.
Group III: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Reunion, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
These countries produce and consume a lot of cereals but, in some regions, roots are often the staple food. The shares of cereal consumption covered by their cereal imports are generally smaller: on average, less than a fifth of the total.
This is a reality that should be taken into account in terms of nutrition in Africa.
More on poultry:
I was delighted to have further correspondence with Mr Mohammad in Kabul about the project in northern Afghanistan.
I like the focus on capacity building and women, and believe that the model is exciting. I hope it can be extended more widely. The winter food problem for poultry in harsh conditions such as northern Afghanistan is an interesting one. I don't know much about hydroponic forage, but it seems to be a successful solution. The results for food scavenging systems are interesting - my thoughts err towards extensive rather than intensive systems at the household level.
I would be interested to know any differences between districts close to Mazar and those further away. Access to markets is usually so important. It is also good to see how appropriate the system is for women in Afghanistan, because it is a system that they can control within the household/home, and leads to empowerment. I would like to know if women can be involved in the marketing, and maybe the extent to which this is changing. These are probably long-term issues.
It will be good if you can post your recommendations.
DIRE AND URGENT NEED OF AGRICULTURE & LIVESTOCK ENTREPRENEURSHIP EXTENSION SERVICES (FA&LEES) FOR RURAL FEMALES
Dr. Tehmina Mangan* Ghulam Mustafa Nangraj **
Rural females are least empowered segment of society. They work 16 -hour a day but their status is of unpaid family workers. They do not have professional and entrepreneurship capacity building and income earning opportunities that empower them. Gender norms dictate the role of women and their opportunities for type of work. The role that females are given restricts their time and mobility for schooling, training and women empowerment economic activities. Females have limited access to productive resources. Rural females are socially, physically, economically, politically and educationally deprived. These females cannot be empowered until they are capable to initiate and run their own entrepreneurships in their own circumstances within their villages without any contradiction or clashes with local customs.
In this situation ray of hope for the rural female empowerment is folded in the sound and sustainable economic activities for females in rural areas. For that purpose “Agriculture and Livestock Rural Female Entrepreneurship” is the best option and have full potential to be utilized. As rural females are already involved in agriculture and livestock activities just need is to convert those activities in entrepreneurship. In order to achieve this objective professional capacity building of rural females regarding entrepreneurship economic activities are essential.
A research study conducted by Dr. Tehmina Mangan and me (Ghulam Mustafa Nangraj) assessed status and potential of rural females and tested best options for their empowerment. For the assessment of status and potential of females survey was conducted in 8 districts of the Sindh. Study revealed that females of 89% of rural households of study area are involved in Agriculture and livestock activities but no regular agriculture and livestock entrepreneurship extension services are available for females. In this survey 86% female respondents informed that they need agriculture & livestock entrepreneurship extension services for building their capacity in agriculture and dairy value addition and marketing- cultivation of clean vegetable, fruits and ornamental plant nurseries and marketing on commercial basis- poultry farming- kitchen gardening- grain storage- livestock management- handicraft etc. They emphasized that they need services of female extension workers for capacity building for developing their own entrepreneurship and markets linkages establishment which help them to start their own business and earn direct income.
On the basis of results of this survey a Female Entrepreneurship Center (FEC) was established in Village Hot Khan Laghari, District Mirpurkhas Sindh Pakistan under Australia Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Program, Social Research Project executed by Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam and ACIAR-University of Canberra Australia with team of Australian Professors Dr. John Spriggs, Dr. Sandra Heaney Mustafa and Dr. Barbara Chambers and Dr. Robert Fitzgerald. In that center product based groups of females such as; mango value addition group, dairy value addition group, vegetable and fruit nursery raising group etc. were formed and they were given professional entrepreneurship based training. After getting training they started their entrepreneurships. For the sale of their products market linkages were also developed with the help of Social Research Project. Along with that a Female Agriculture & Livestock Entrepreneurship Services (FA&LEES) Model was also developed and tested. Two females of village who were actively participating in Female Entrepreneurship Center (FEC) and Social Research Project’s activities were selected, trained and mobilized for providing extension services to other females. Female extension workers visited their own village households and neighboring villages and conduct entrepreneur extension service sessions of rural females. It was observed from results of Female Agriculture & Livestock Entrepreneurship Services (FA&LEES) Model that experience of female extension workers was very effective and successful to help village females to initiate their own entrepreneurships.
Significance of this model:
- This model can help government to utilize huge untapped potential of human capital of rural female
- The model ensures entrepreneurship based capacity building of rural females rather than traditional crop based extension trainings
- It helps rural females to initiate their own businesses which provide them direct and personal income which will empower them
- The model have income earning opportunities for rural females within their villages this will resolve the issue of their restricted mobility
- Replication of this model can enhance contribution of rural females in increasing gross domestic productivity (GDP) and export of agriculture and dairy value added products of country
In order to replicate this model it is suggested that Government can initiate a policy to start “Female Agriculture & Livestock Entrepreneurship Extension Services (FA&LEES)” based on female entrepreneurship and empowerment approach through existing Agriculture Extension Services System.
*Associate Professor & Chairperson, Department of Agricultural Economics, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam
**Assistant Publicity Officer, Agriculture Extension, Agriculture, Supply & Prices Government of Sindh
Feminisation of agriculture is a reality in the context of migration of male workers, reduced land holding and above all legal equity for land among male and female members of family for ancestral properties. Nutrition garden or back yard kitchen garden or backyard poultry both caged and open, housed goat rearing with jack fruit leaves providing roughage and feed are emerging as sustainable household activities carried out by female members of the family. In the Panchayat system of local governance, the councillor presides over the "ayalkootam" - neighbourhood assembly - where activities for self-reliance for food and nutrition are discussed and future plans worked out. Fifty % of the total councillors in local panchayat, block and district are reserved for women. There are women mayors in districts like Thrissur, Ernakulam etc. where political power is held by them. Much progress has been made in empowering women and in making them financially independent.
*The following case study highlighting women's empowerment through agriculture and improved nutrition in India appears in Global Harvest Initiative's 2014 Global Agricultural Productivity Report, Global Revolutions in Agriculture: The Challenge and Promise of 2050, pages 39-40.
Woman Overcome Barriers to Introduce Improved Agricultural Practices
The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is supporting the Tejaswini Rural Women’s Empowerment Program (TRWEP) to facilitate social and economic empowerment in the six poorest districts in the State of Madhya Pradesh, where there is little resource or technology utilization and limited livelihood options or access to markets and credit. The state government, banks and beneficiaries are co-funding the project and the Department of Women and Children’s Development is the implementing agency. Since the Tejaswini Program’s start in 2007, more than 12,000 SelfHelp Groups (SHG) have been formed, which provide the platform for social/gender equity discussions, savings groups and livelihoods, skills and leadership training.
The program targets 166,000 of the poorest households by supporting 12,442 SHGs. The key achievements as of September 2013 were:
- 82 percent of the households now have cash income and need not rely solely on bartering, compared to 47 percent with cash income in control villages;
- 86 percent of participating households have improved food security and reduction in occasional food shortages; and
- in participating villages, 1,809 SHG members were elected to Panchayati Raj Institutions (village assemblies that develop economic and social plans) and 62 percent of the members of the assemblies were women, exceeding the 50 percent reserved for women by law.
The Tejaswini Program introduced the System for Rice Intensification (SRI), using high-yielding certified seeds that are first tested for germination and then sown in a nursery with the right amount of water to ensure quality seedlings. Within eight days, the seedlings are transplanted to the fields with uniform spacing. An NGO, PRADAN, demonstrated how the system worked and trained 124 village-level agents to provide field training and support to women farmers at each critical stage — nursery raising, transplantation and weeding. The Madhya Pradesh Department of Agriculture provided the certified seeds and inputs — including weeders, sprays, pesticides, manure and rope for lining up the rows.
At first, many women had difficulty convincing their families to allow them to try the new technologies. As one participant, Mrs. Kulasti, explained, “Neither my husband nor my father-in-law believed that I could learn something that would be useful for the entire family.” Mrs. Kulasti’s family acquiesced to allow her to use half a hectare of their land to demonstrate the technique, but if her production was lower than their side (with the traditional method), then she would have to leave the house or work extra hours as a laborer to earn the deficit.
Mrs. Kulasti produced twice as much rice as her family on the same amount of land using substantially less seed. Her experience was similar to many other women and the high levels of productivity convinced other families to adopt the technology as well.
The success of SRI changed attitudes in the village — people were open to new ideas. Villagers started growing maize as a second crop and are also growing tomatoes, eggplant, coriander, spinach, spices and chilies in their backyards or on upper land. The village started making collective decisions about agricultural production — something they had never been done before.
Now, the Gadhar village has surplus food, extra income and almost no cases of child malnutrition. Men help with farming since they are willing to use the mechanical weeders, while hand weeding was considered women’s work. Women have more confidence and leadership roles, and they do not have to work as laborers in order to earn additional wages.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BELOW
Las relaciones de género realmente son muy marcadas en los sistemas agropecuarios y en las familias campesinas a nivel mundial. Todos somos conocedoras de que las mujeres hemos hecho un aporte muy grande a la agricultura pero desafortunadamente no se reconoce y por lo tanto no se valoriza. Las mujeres somos las que empezamos a guardar semillas, y de alguna manera inicia la agricultura cuando iniciamos el proceso de recolección y guarda semillas.
Actualmente vemos que la mujer se encuentra muy marginada, aporta ampliamente en la producción de las fincas, pero en el momento de repartir los beneficios obtenido en las cosechas, no es tenida en cuenta. De la misma manera se observa esta situación con las mujeres y hombres jóvenes, y niños, trabajan y aportan en las fincas, pero su trabajo es invisible a la luz del padre, que es el encargado de coger el dinero, esto desmotiva mucho a los jóvenes y de ahí que los jóvenes no deseen seguir en el campo y no vean la agricultura como una actividad rentable, súmele a estas situaciones, la situación de violencia que se vive en los campos, en el caso de Colombia los diferentes grupos armados; y no es muy diferente en los demás países de América del Sur, Centro y el Caribe. En todos se observa estos tipo de violencia de genero.
De mi experiencia de trabajo en República Dominicana, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador y Bolivia puedo mencionar que el mayor nivel de desnutrición y vulnerabilidad en la parte sanitaria lo presentan las mujeres y muy en especial la mujer campesina, y es el claro resultado de un machismo marcado y sistema patriarcal aún vigente, en donde aún se cree que el hombre debe recibir las mejores porciones y las mejores comidas en la familia.
En las ciudades es una situación muy dura ver como mujeres jóvenes campesinas vienen a trabajar de empleadas domésticas y se ven explotadas sin un pago justo y sin tener reconocimiento de ningún tipo de prestaciones social.
A nivel de las ciudades es clara la afrenta que sufrimos las mujeres profesionales a las cuales para contratarnos nos colocan un sinnúmero de trabajos y cuando somos contratadas nos pagan un salario más bajo que el salario que recibiría un hombre, estos es típico en nuestra América.
Actually, gender relations are clearly defined in farming systems and peasant families worldwide. We all know that women have played a key role in agriculture but, unfortunately, our contribution has not been recognized or valued. Agriculture kicks off somehow when we started collecting and storing seeds.
Currently, women are highly marginalised. Their contribution to farm production is substantial, but they are left out when it comes to benefit sharing. Similarly, young women and men (and children) work in farms and contribute to their output. However, their work is invisible to their father, who manages the money. This situation has a highly demotivating effect on youth, who no longer wish to stay in the field and do not regard agriculture as a profitable activity. In addition to the above, violence in rural areas –in the form of armed groups in Colombia and similar forms in other countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean– worsens their prospects. This type of gender violence exists in all the region.
Based on my work experience in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador and Bolivia, I believe that women, and particularly rural women, suffer the highest levels of undernutrition and health vulnerability. This is clearly due to the marked machismo and the patriarchal system still in force, by which men must be allocated the best portions and the best food in the family.
Young women farmers come to the cities to work as maids and are exploited, unfairly paid and have no access to any social benefit.
In the cities, discrimination against professional women is evident. When we are hired, we are assigned innumerable tasks and we are paid a lower salary than men. This is typical in America.