Gender integration in the Plantwise programme: an assessment
Published: December, 2021
Gender integration focuses on applying a gender lens to look at how social relations of gender and underlying power dynamics affect men’s and women’s participation in and benefit from development programmes. In Plantwise, gender mainstreaming aimed to (1) understand gender relations and how they affected access to agricultural advisory services and adoption of plant health management practices, and (2) remove gender related barriers to access and adoption and improve gender equity.
This study used desk reviews and key informant interviews to understand how the different measures taken by Plantwise countries helped improve women’s participation, as well as, the overall constraints women faced in participating and benefitting from the programme interventions. Findings showed that while efforts were made to mainstream gender in Plantwise, the efforts were not consistent and systematically designed, and there were limits in ensuring that services were delivered equally to women and men farmers. However, innovations and adaptations within the studied countries (Ghana, Uganda, Bolivia, Afghanistan and India) did increase women’s participation and benefit from Plantwise, even if more can be done.
Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.