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 Discussing the fertilizer deep placement technology in Bangladesh.
 Discussing the fertilizer deep placement technology in Bangladesh.
 
Agricultural Technologies and Gender Dynamics

Agricultural technologies - broadly categorized as intangible (knowledge-based or management practices), tangible/physical, or biological - are the foundation for improved productivity, food security, and income for farmers. But do both women and men farmers benefit from agricultural technologies? 

The new Technology Assessment Toolkit from INGENAES, developed by Cultural Practice, LLC, introduces a framework that considers the social context (such as common ideas about appropriate roles for men and women that influence their access to resources and opportunities) of agricultural technologies, and the specific challenges that women and men farmers face in using the technology. It focuses on three areas: (1) time and labor, (2) food availability, access, quality and safety, (3) and income and assets. This toolkit offers technology developers, organizations, and actors using agricultural technologies the opportunity to assess what the real and potential impacts are on gender and nutrition outcomes for men, women, and their households.

 
 Nepali women with their healthy goats.
 Nepali women with their healthy goats.
 
Key Resources and Announcements
 
 Extensionist interviews women about cooking practices.
 Extensionist interviews women about cooking practices.
 
New Extensionist: Gender Module

GFRAS's New Extensionist Learning Kit (NELK) consists of 13 modules designed for self-directed, face-to-face, or blended learning. Module #12, "Gender in Advisory Services" was co-developed by INGENAES. It is now available in English and French. Public and private sector extension field staff, managers, educators, and non-governmental organizations will find the kit useful as global extension continues to rapidly change. 

The term gender plays a very important role in all cultures. It describes or refers to the different expectations and beliefs people have about men and women, what they do and how they interact. It should be noted that because the expectations and beliefs differ between cultures, the concept of gender also changes. Understanding that the concept of gender changes between cultures is very important for you as it will help you see through the complex and changing rural livelihoods to recognise exactly who does what, with what, where and why. This module on gender (#12) helps you identify why different community members have different needs from extension and how you can begin addressing them. 

 
 Extension training on maize production in Malawi.
 Extension training on maize production in Malawi.
 
Agriculture Extension Field Notebook

Agricultural extension workers have a critical role in development. They are the direct link to all agriculture stakeholders to help facilitate exchanges between farmers, researchers, vendors, input dealers, and buyers. The Malawi Agriculture Extension Field Notebook is a manual for all types of agriculture extension frontline workers: those working with the private sector, government, or non-governmental organizations engaging with men and women farmers.

Be sure to check out the gender-themed section (#3, pg. 18): Gender and HIV Mainstreaming in Agriculture, as well as the nutrition section (#2, pg. 6), which includes a seasonal food availability calendar to support year-round availablity of nutritious foods. 

 
 Sweet potato harvest.
 Sweet potato harvest.
 
Farmer Leads Kitchen Garden Planting

Isaac Noel Bwayo, a lead member of Tororo District Farmer’s Association, attended a Farmer Based Organization training lead by INGENAES that allowed him to recognize the need to spread nutritional awareness to a greater number of people within the Tororo District in Uganda. 

After receiving a grant from Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (UFAAS), the farmer’s association has established 100 kitchen gardens to help improve household nutrition in Tororo District, with the demonstration gardens providing access to a variety of nutritious foods like kale and sweet potatoes close to the home.

Bwayo recollected, “Because of the [INGENAES] trainings, I knew we had to do something to reach more of our members with what we learned, but we didn’t have the funds to do anything on a large scale. Thanks to the grant we were finally able to do that”. INGENAES then linked the farmer’s association with Harvest Plus, through which they purchased and arranged transport for 200 bags of sweet potato vine cuttings, 200 kg of iron-enriched beans, and 100 50g tins of kale seeds. Households in this district now have access to more balanced nutrition as they incorporate a variety of crops to harvest from their kitchen gardens.

Now that the kitchen gardens have been planted, Mr. Bwayo says, “The demos have sparked a lot of interest and conversations about nutrition, especially when we explain the purpose each one serves. And that’s what we wanted to do: get more people talking about nutrition.”

Cover Photo: Bukinda Beans Grower Cooperative Society, a farmer-based organization working with INGENAES in Kabale District, Uganda. 

 
 
 
 

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