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5.1 Background

The Technical Consultation on “Gender Roles in Peanut Sector for Household Food Security,” was held at Bangkok from June 9 to 12, 1998. The hosting organizers were Thailand based institutions, namely Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-industrial Product Improvement Institute, Kasetsart University, Bangkok. The sponsors were the FAO Women in Development Programme and United States Development Agency's Peanut Collaborative Research Support Programme. 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.

5.2 Objectives

The primary purpose of the meeting was to examine the gender differentiated roles in the various aspects of Peanut sector, from production through marketing with associated impacts on household food security. Hence it was also important to review the consumption aspects of peanuts directly contributing to food security and through increase in cash income.

The specific objectives were to:

  1. assess the linkages among gender roles in peanut system and household security in selected countries within the sub-region,
  2. evaluate the peanut system with reference to access, stability, and accessibility to food with focus on women as producers and consumers,
  3. evaluate gender differentiated access to peanut sector on technology transfer and training,
  4. generate recommendations and support to strengthen regional network focusing on gender and peanut system to create link with the Peanut CRSP global network and FAO's sub-regional activities related to household food security.

Technical Consultation Participation and Field Visits

DiscussionsField Visit

5.3 Participation

The meeting was attended by 20 participants, including invited experts and resource persons (see the list of participants in Annex 1). The invited experts were representatives from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China PR, India, Lao PDR, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. Resource persons were invited from India. The Philippines and Thailand. Other participants were representatives from the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Faculty Members of the Department of Agro-Product Development, Kasetsart University, and interested observers from Kasetsart University and Department of Agriculture Extension (DOAE). The participants represented a wide range of academic expertise and diverse sector interests. The range of expertise included agricultural production, processing and consumption and sectoral interests were in research, extension and development.

5.4 Programme and Officers of the Meeting

The programme was organized as plenary sessions and small group discussions. Presentations included both resource and country papers. A copy of the programme is included as Annex 2. A field visit was organized to Mae-Ruay Snack Food Factory Co. Ltd. in Bangkok. The purpose was to view the production plant of a successful snack food commercial enterprise.

The Session chairs were elected and reporters were assigned. The officers were: Dr. Patricia C. Jimenez, Philippines; Dr. M.F.U. Mia, Bangladesh; Mr. Chen Changbing, China PR; Ms. Shova Patrabansh, Nepal. The reporter was Ms. Sumalee Sunthornnarurangsee, Thailand. She was supported by Dr. Revathi Balakrishnan, FAO RAP, Bangkok, Dr. Penkwan Chompreeda, KU, Thailand and Dr. Hathairat Rimkeeree, KU. Thailand

5.3 Opening Session

The opening session was held on June 9, 1998 and participants were welcomed by Dr. Hathairat Rimkeeree. Dr. Vichai Haruthaithanasan Director KAPI, presented a introductory report on the Technical Consultation.

Dr. Soetatwo Hadiwigeno, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative of FAO, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, opened the Technical Consultation and welcomed the participants on behalf of FAO/RAP. In his opening remarks he stressed the importance of women's role in the food sector and the extensive contribution women make to household food security. The women's role in the peanut sector is important, since peanut is both a cash crop and a basic home garden crop that directly enters the food system. He welcomed the institutional partnership forged in support to organize this Consultation and expressed hope for future similar institutional partnerships.

Dr. Thira Sutabutra, President, KU also, welcomed the participants and stressed the importance of addressing intra-household and inter-sector gender concerns in the peanut sector.

Dr. Revathi Balakrishnan, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, presented an overview of the purpose of the Technical Consultation, particularly its relevance to FAO Plans of Actions for Women in Development and World Food Summit. Dr. Penkwan Chompreeda, Department of Agro-Product Development gave an overview on the Peanut CRSP and reviewed the KU collaborative activities with CRSP. She also read a message from Dr. Tim Williams, Associate Director, Peanut CRSP, based in the University of Georgia, USA.

5.4 Closing Session

The closing session was held on June 12, 1998 in which Ms. Shova Patrabansh, Chairperson, presented a report. Dr. Suree Bhumibhamon Associate Director for Foreign Affair, on behalf of Kasetsart University closed the programme and thanked the participants. In his remarks he stressed the importance of women's role in food security. All closing remarks acknowledged an appreciation to FAO/RAP and USAID Peanut CRSP and KAPI for their support.

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