Evaluating gender differentials in farmers’ access to agricultural advice in Tanzania: An intra-household survey
Published: December, 2020
The Gender and the Legume Alliance (GALA) project aimed to support smallholder farming households, especially women and youth, to achieve sustainable legume intensification and increase their participation in markets, by improving access to information and knowledge on farming techniques using multi-media communication approaches and input brokerage. This study provided baseline information aimed at understanding gender differentials in access to agricultural information, information sharing, and important channels for reaching men, women and youth farmers. Data were collected from 332 households (and 998 respondents) in five regions in Tanzania. An intra-household approach was used where up to four members, aged 15+ years old, per household were interviewed. Results show that farmers relied mainly on their own experience (67%), and on a limited array of sources of information represented mainly by extension agents, neighbours and radio. Men were more likely to receive information from radio while women relied on their own experience, and other household members for their information. There were significantly low proportions of young people and older people accessing information from all sources. Demonstration plots and agro-dealers were important information sources in promoting production inputs and more recently introduced practices (such as soil testing, use of inoculants and Purdue Improved Crop Storage [PICS] bags), while farmers’ experience was mainly important for traditional practices, for example early field operations. At least 82% of farmers shared information within their households or community, but primarily for traditional agricultural practices. Sharing information on new technologies such as Rhizobium inoculants, soil testing and PICS bags was minimal, representing practices that were least used by farmers due to limited awareness, limited access to inputs and high purchase costs. Overall, there is still margin for improving learning and knowledge of newly introduced practices and facilitating input brokerage to enhance access by farmers. Given the varied sources of information used by household members, enhancing information sharing through integrated gender programming is a key strategy.
Legume crops play a key role in household nutritional security and incomes but production is in decline. To rectify this, the Legume Alliance is trying to get information about growing common beans into as many smallholder farming households in Ghana and Tanzania as possible. This work will also look at information targeting different gender groups. Allowing them to achieve sustainable intensification that will increase incomes and help attain nutritional security in the region.
Start: 01/06/16 -End: 31/12/19