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Session Overview
PS-4.04: Gender, innovation and development 1
Friday, 14/Oct/2016:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Marina Szapiro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Discussant: Ann Njoki Kingiri, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
Location: Sultan Room (Homann)

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Transformation of gender roles through innovative interventions: Micro-enterprise development and new flexible roles of women in rural Nepal

Sabrina Regmi

University of Basel, Nepal

Rural economic interventions such as microcredit lending and small business creations have been showcased as innovative development initiatives for achieving gender equality outcomes such as transformation of gender roles and relations while their primary goal remains household poverty reduction. Based on my previous studies that looked into the gender dimensions of microcredit lending and micro-business development interventions, the proposed chapter aims to analyze the transformation of gender roles in Nepalese rural societies. In doing so, it focuses on the factors affecting changes throughout the historical period of subsistence economy to the current development era of capitalist economy with focus on women’s roles. The paper sheds light on the transformation of patriarchal extended households to a more egalitarian nuclear household and the impact of innovative micro-business interventions on gender roles/relations of women belonging to older and younger generation.

For example, younger women mostly in the nuclear households may have been able to bargain for equal gender roles and relations with their new found economic roles in the business sector with promotion in the household hierarchy with few able to share (take) the breadwinners role. However, the gender division of labor has become flexible for women that has transformed women’s roles but to the benefits of men burdening women with multiple roles to perform. The other outcome shows, whereas men were able to maintain their roles as economically rational men contributing not only to household economy but also to the nation’s economy by escalating their business to innovative bigger enterprises, women’s role have been more of a household helper or altruistic contributor to poverty alleviation and family’s welfare, eventually marginalizing them from taking up or continuing the roles of an entrepreneur or an income earner.

Sustainable Livelihoods of Female Farmers: A Study on Agricultural Innovation System in Kerala, India

Christabell P J

University of Kerala, India

Livelihood strategies are the range and combination of activities and choices that people make in order to achieve their livelihood goals, including productive activities, investment strategies, reproductive choices, etc. (Ellis 2000). Agriculture plays a major role in determining the livelihood strategies of population of developing countries. Agricultural innovation system, on the other hand, is a set of organizations that jointly and/or individually contribute to the development, diffusion, and use of new agriculture-related technologies, and that directly and/or indirectly influence the process of technological change in agriculture (Temel et al. 2003). Kerala is the southernmost state in Indian subcontinent which possesses a number of peculiarities such as high social development, has high food output per unit area of land; much of the best land is used for cash crops such as spices, rubber, and tea which in turn make her a food-deficit state. When it comes to the specific case of fruits and vegetables, the bulk of its demand is met by the neighbouring states. A well recognized fact is that the quality and size of vegetables produced and supplied from neighbouring states appear to be superior as a result of application of higher measure of fertilizer and pesticides during production process. The Government of Kerala under the aegis of Department of Agriculture in order to enhance vegetable production in the state, Vegetable Development Project (VDP) was launched wherein cluster approach of farmer group as the focal area. The objectives of the Scheme include providing an end to end approach from seed to market incorporating all stakeholders in the society for self sustainability in vegetable area and production by giving importance on ‘safe to eat’ concept from the health aspect of producers and consumers, by advocating the integrated nutrient and pest management principles of cultivation. As part of the scheme, while majority of the clusters were formed in traditional vegetable belts in rural areas, some of them have been set up exclusively by women. Women who were actually not farmers in traditional situation and women those who were from non-farming communities are engaged in farming activities. For the purpose of collecting data, apart from an interview schedule two interview guides were used. The focus of the present paper is to look into how a micro level social innovation contributes to the sustainable livelihoods of female farmers engaged in agricultural operations in a developing part of the world.

Economic Analysis of On-Farm Trial of Drought Tolerant Maize in Kwara State Nigeria: A Gender Approach

Opeyemi Eyitayo Ayinde1, Tahirou Abdoulaye2, Olaide Babarinde1, Adeola Oloyede1

1University of IIorin, Nigeria; 2International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria

Agricultural technological innovation is critical to reducing food insecurity. A gender-balanced agricultural growth is important for a successful agricultural innovation system which can also lead to women’s empowerment, income generation and better household decision-making. This study analyzed the profitability of on-farm trial of Drought Tolerant (DT) Maize in Kwara State Nigeria using a gendered innovation approach. A Two-stage stratified sampling technique was used. The primary data for the study were collected through the use of well-structured questionnaires administered to forty (40) women farmers in an on-farm trial of the DT maize variety. The analytical tools used include Descriptive statistics, Ranking and Farm Budgeting analysis. The result of the analysis showed that the women farmers were all married with only 10% of the farmers had no formal education and with an average age of 41 years. The result of varietal preference differs in some locations. The women farmers ranked the DT maize variety as the best at two of the locations. The profitability of the maize varieties also differs per location with the DT maize varieties having the highest profit at three locations. It is therefore recommended that women farmers should be encouraged through increased access to agricultural inputs and innovations. Furthermore, efforts should be made to involve women farmers in the varietal selection procedure so as to facilitate easy adoption of the drought tolerant maize. This will ensure that the women farmers’ needs and preferences are incorporated in the development of agricultural innovations.

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