Labour and Production Relations

Women and men inhabit ‘webs of relationships’ in farming and allied activities in rural areas, relationships that permit them to live and make a livelihood, to produce, and to reproduce. These gendered relations are not always voluntary, and can be substantially influenced by external factors. In turn, women and men, as they go about farming, significantly co-produce labour and production relations.

Many of these are shifting, inexorably, rapidly and sometimes fundamentally, in the contemporary world. As more men move out of rural areas in contemporary times, and more women must take greater roles in agriculture within various resource constraints, are they transforming the ways in which production has been carried out conventionally, while transforming themselves? One is compelled to ask: what are the directions of these gendered changes? How are labour and production in farming altering? What factors are driving these changes? Who is benefitting and in what ways? What are the implications of these dynamics?

This thematic session examines some aspects of these (and other) questions thrown up by the now radically recreated gendered rural and agricultural landscapes, and the resultant complex challenges they pose to researchers, development scholars and practitioners and policy-makers.

Five sessions on this theme were run over the three days.

  1. Gendered Roles and Farm Production. Chair: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
  2. Work and Decision-Making. Chair: Naila Kabeer
  3. Factors Determining Labour Contributions. Chair: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
  4. Agrarian Change and Gendered Division of Labour. Chair: Deepa Joshi
  5. Agrifood Systems Research - Emerging Gender Integration Areas. Chair: Maureen Miruka

Gendered Roles and Farm Production

Chair: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Young women farmers in Indonesia: at the intersection of gender, generation and class

Aprilia Ambarwati

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with Chazali, Charina; Wijaya, Hanny; and White, Ben

Using case studies drawn from a larger study Becoming a young farmer: young peoples pathways into farming in four countries, this paper explores the experiences of young women farmers in five villages in Central Java/Yogyakarta and Flores, Indonesia. After a brief overview of young women and farming in Indonesia, and the five research villages, the main part of the paper focuses on the diversities and similarities of young women’s pathways into farming, taking a life-course perspective (including histories of out-migration prior to farming), and their engagement with intersecting structures of gender, generation and class in matters of access to resources, pluriactivity and recognition as farmers. The last part of the paper reflects on the insights gained and their broader implications for gender equality in future agri-food systems.

Labor scarcity and women’s role in agricultural production: Evidence from Bangladesh

Berber Kramer

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De Brauw, Alan and Murphy, Mike

Increasing rates of migration are reducing the availability of household labor in rural areas. Labor scarcity can pose a major challenge to smallholder farmers in developing countries but can also create opportunities for more equitable empowerment through increased participation in agricultural value chains. This paper hence analyzes the relationship between labor availability, women’s role in agriculture and empowerment within the jute value chain in the Southern Delta region of Bangladesh. The analysis employs rich panel data for a sample of 1,500 households from 50 villages collected over three survey rounds between 2016 and 2018, including a Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index. We find low rates of women’s empowerment, driven by limited group membership, a lack of mobility and a high workload. Women tended to participate mainly in post-harvesting tasks, not in production or marketing. Labor shortages did not empower women in these other tasks: households 25 reporting a reduction in the availability of labor between survey rounds do not use more female household labor for production or marketing, and although hiring more female labor, increasing labor scarcity is associated with an increase in the gender wage gap. Also a jute value chains intervention, randomized at the village level, did not affect women’s empowerment or participation in jute production. Evidence from qualitative interviews suggests that opportunities for women within jute production and marketing remains limited because of the strict gender differentiation of tasks, even in a context of increasing labor scarcity.

The gendered pattern of unpaid care work and its implication for women’s agricultural opportunities in Uganda

Brenda Boonabaana


with Musiimenta, Peace; Ahikire, Josephine; and Najjingo- Mangheni, Margaret

Unpaid care work is a fundamental barrier to poverty reduction, equitable and sustainable communities. This paper interrogates the implication of the gendered pattern of unpaid care work on women’s 16 engagement in, and benefits from agriculture in Uganda. It also documents the social norms that reinforce the burden of unpaid care work. The volume of care work by women and men was assessed using a 24 hour recall of their activities in a typical day. Findings depict a heavy burden of unpaid care work on women as follows: Work that produces products for sale (12 hrs for women; 17 hrs men); paid labour and paid services (9hrs for women; 27hrs men); unpaid care work (32 hours for women; 20 hrs for men); unpaid production of products for home consumption (21hrs for women; 10 hrs for men); unpaid community work (4.3hrs for women; 0.6 hrs for men) and non-work time (94hrs for women; 106 hrs for men). The unpaid care burden on women has implications for their engagement in agricultural opportunities and well-being. The paper is part of a bigger study commissioned by Oxfam (Uganda) that drew on the Rapid Care Analysis (RCA) methodology structured around the “Triple R” framework, that proposes recognition, reduction, and redistribution of unpaid care work, informed by a set of 8 exercises (Kidder & Piotti, 2013). The paper will contribute to understanding the relationship between the care economy, gender and agricultural development.

Deconstruction leisure time and workload: Case of women bean producers in Kenya

Eileen Bogweh Nchanji

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and Mutua, Mercy

The notion of leisure became pronounced more than 20 years ago when women who worked on or out of the farm came home to a “second shift” which entailed domestic work and childrearing. This gap continues today not only between men and women but also amongst women and men. Many of the challenges that women face in terms of their leisure arise out of, or are shaped by, life contexts. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) complemented with in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were carried out in five counties in Kenya in 2017. We were interested in assessing the existing leisure gap which needs to be closed for women to reach the same empowerment level as men using a feminist approach from a relational, intersectional and discursive conceptual frame. Results show that 28% of disempowerment (5DE) in women farmers is as a result of lack of time for leisure activities and 18% from being overworked. This means that the time indicator accounts for 46% of disempowerment in Kenyan women bean farmers. Men spend more time than women in leisure activities; while women spend more time in domestic work and cooking. Therefore, work overload is a constraining factor to women empowerment in bean production and agricultural productivity. What is considered leisure for men and women are embedded in the social fabrics. This paper will highlight instances where leisure provides a way for women or men to embody and/or resist the discourses of gender roles in the bean value chain.


Work and Decision-Making

Chair: Naila Kabeer

Woman farm employment, decision-making and sources of irrigation: A study on Upper and Lower Canal Areas of Uttar Pradesh, India

Indranil De

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and Kumar, Mukul

Based on two related surveys conducted in Upper Ganga Canal Area (UCA) and Lower Ganga Canal Area (LCA) in north India, this paper tries to understand empowerment & decision making amongst women in two regions of Uttar Pradesh (UP) state brought about by different configurations of irrigation. The primary source of irrigation in UCA is canal and supplementary source is groundwater. The primary source in LCA is groundwater and supplementary source is canal. Overall, average farm wage rate of women is higher in LCA than UCA. In general, canal irrigation does not benefit women with respect to opportunities to take decisions. Chances of taking decisions increase when women are heads of households, more so in LCA as compared to UCA. The study observes that predominant source of irrigation does not benefit women in terms of employment but the supplementary sources do. Female workforce participation falls as more months of canal irrigation is available in UCA and a higher percentage of farmers avail groundwater irrigation in LCA. More months of canal irrigation in LCA and more farmers using groundwater irrigation in UCA improves female employment. Additional water resource with same coverage has positive impact on female. A higher number of months of more quantity of canal irrigation water in UCA impacts female employment positively but negatively in LCA. The higher the agriculture is driven by market forces such as input market of water, the more the women stand benefitted with respect to employment, land leasing, decision making ability and wage rate.

Impact of short-duration male migration on women’s workload and autonomy: Evidence from rural India

Itishree Pattnaik

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The study analyses the complex impacts of gender-selective outmigration on women’s roles in agriculture: both on workload and autonomy. The analysis is based on primary data from 800 rural households collected through extensive field surveys during 2015–16 in the two Indian states of Gujarat and West Bengal. Males dominate short-duration migration in both states, but the rate is further higher in West Bengal. While short-duration migration is dominant in both states, but the pattern varies. In Gujarat, it has a seasonal pattern whereas in West Bengal, it is irregular (short trips during any time of the year). In Gujarat, short-duration seasonal malemigration has a positive impact on women’s participation in decision making with lesser increase in workload. However, in West Bengal, male short-trips (which are irregular in nature) outside the farm add more work burden on women. The length of absence being smaller leads to no or little change in autonomy in decisionmaking related to farming. The type of migration in West Bengal seems to be more distress-driven desperate moves in their nature and as it takes place in the larger context of changing agrarian relation rather than demographic characteristics of the household. Thus the impacts of migration on women vary according to the nature of short-duration migration, which in turn depend upon the health of the specific agrarian context. The future of Indian farming being feminised short-duration male-migration (mainly youth) raises a serious question on the overall development of the sector, as it provides limited autonomy to the left behind.

Landscape Restoration in Kenya - Addressing Gender Equality

Markus Ihalainen

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The Bonn Challenge, launched in 2011, aims to bring 350 million hectares of land under restoration by 2030. Towards this end, the Kenyan government has committed to restoring 5.1 million hectares of land by 2030. As the implementation of forest landscape restoration (FLR) initiatives often relies on contributions from local land users, outweighing costs with benefits is often critical in order to achieve the dual objective of enhancing ecological integrity and human well-being, encouraging local participation and ensuring long-term sustainability. However, the gendered distribution of costs and benefits has been poorly understood in restoration policy and practice. This study investigates women and men’s participation in and socioeconomic outcomes from four FLR initiatives in Kenya. Through conducting key informant interviews and focus group discussions, the study finds that gender relations significantly influence the distribution of costs and benefits associated with different restoration approaches. In particular, while many restoration activities rely heavily on women’s labor, women tend to lack secure access to many long-term benefits. Importantly, we find gendered cost-benefit dynamics to be influenced by the local sociocultural context, the promoted restoration option and the programmatic delivery mechanism. Our findings 23 hence point to the critical importance of considering context-specific gender relations when designing, implementing and monitoring restoration initiatives. Our findings also problematize conventional, gender-blind cost-benefit assessments, as such assessments risk 1) neglecting gender-biases in the distribution of costs and benefits; and 2) downplaying the importance of gender-responsive programmatic approaches and the delivery of immediate benefits to incentivize and compensate for labor.

Land restoration and changing gender dynamics in the drylands of eastern Kenya

Mary Crossland

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With unprecedented global commitment to land restoration, it is critical to understand the implications of different restoration technologies on men and women’s time and labour, so as to meet their needs, address constraints and ensure that the benefits of restoration outweigh the costs. In the drylands of eastern Kenya, a high proportion of men seek off-farm employment to diversify their livelihoods, often leaving women to take on increasing responsibility for managing both home and farm. These changing household demographics have potential implications on access to resources such as extension services and labour, as well as control over farming decisions and thus, consequently, the uptake and success of land restoration practices. This mix-methods study involving over 1800 farmers provides insights into the implications of two on-farm land restoration technologies (planting basins and tree planting) on men and women’s time, labour and access to resources, amid male out-migration. Our findings suggest both conflictual and collaborative aspects of gender relations may influence labour allocation and decision-making power within the household, and men and women may re-negotiate these relations according to changes in their bargaining power and external factors like agricultural extension and policy.

Factors Determining Labour Contributions

Chair: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt


The role of caste in rural development when engaging women in a dairy extension program

Sobia Majeed

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with Hayat, K.; Iqbal, H.; Afzal, A.; Warriach, H. M.; McGill, D. M.; and Gomersall, K.

A gendered lens of human resources, agency and attitudes was used to assess women’s access to information and the agency to participate in extension activities. The data was collected from registered, non-registered and traditional farmers through semi-structured interviews in one village in Punjab and one in Sindh (7 from each farmer group, total n=42). The study found that there was only one caste represented in Sindh village and women had good mobility within the community; whereas in the Punjab village there were different castes which restricted mobility and limited visits to the other castes in the same village. Registered women with good mobility found more opportunities to access the information about livestock production and hence were more involved in on-farm decisions regarding adoption of extension recommendations. The result indicated that the registered households tended to belong to the same cast and were more involved in livestock activities, hence the program was more pertinent to their farming practice.Reasons for women not participating in the program were domestic work load, a lack of interest in dairy farming and awareness in Sindh whilst in Punjab it was generally due to a lack of permission from the household head and limited mobility. The study concludes that caste structure and social norms impact the mobility of women and hence need to be considered when designing extension activities.

Determinants of gender based wage discrimination of agricultural wage laborer in Bangladesh

Wakilur Rahman

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with Farid, Kazi Shek; Jahan, Hasneen; Palash, Md Salauddin; and Kabir, Mizanul

Present paper portrays the light and heavy works, and document the discriminate wage rates for female and male in rural Bangladesh. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were carried out in different locations to see the regional variations. Rangpur, Dinajpur, Rajshahi and Hilly regions were selected on the basis of higher women’s participation as wage labourer. FGDs were performed with large-scale farmers, who usually hire wage labourer. Flip chart was used to list down the light and heavy works. Findings show that heavy and hazardous tasks (loading and carrying farm inputs and outputs, using spade for land preparation, and spraying pesticide and herbicide) were predominantly performed by male and get higher wages. Light works including pulling seedling & transplanting, weeding, pot watering, harvesting crops and drying were performed by female and get lower wages. Wage difference was estimated at Tk 150-200 (US$1.82-2.44) per-day for male and female labourer. Female were usually get less wages than that of male even when they performed the similar tasks. It reveals that availability of wage labourer plays a crucial role in determining the wages. In peak season, the wage rate settled at higher rate and evidence shows that wage labourer works like as syndicate to increase the wages. In contrast, large-scale farmers take the advantages by offering low wages during lean period. This paper identifies the key features of light and heavy works, and unfold the determinants of discriminate wages that might help in implementing seventh five-year plan in reducing existing agriculture wage discrimination in Bangladesh.

The role of paid and unpaid labour on sorghum production in North and East Uganda

Reachel Gitundu

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with Higenyi, S.; Njuguna-Mungai, E.; Sebatta, C.; and Opie,H.

Labour is one of the important factors of production. How it enters the production process, its pattern of availability and intensity of use determines production outcomes. This study examined the role of paid and unpaid labour on sorghum and finger millet production in Northern and Eastern Uganda. The data were generated through a household survey of 375 sorghum growing households and 192 finger millet growing households and a series of 48 Focus group discussions. The survey data were cleaned and analysed using Microsoft Excel and STATA while the focus groups were analysed using Atlas ti. The results reveal that in the rural households of Uganda, farmers access/utilize labour in three broad ways; family labour, hired labour and communal shared labour. The divisions of labour are gendered with men and women engaging in labour differently and at different stages (ploughing, weeding, harvesting etc). The results obtained also show that labour is a tradeable good which is rewarded differently in different regions of the country either through the moral economy or through the cash economy. This is where, culturally, farmers in these parts of the country solicit unpaid labour from other farmer relatives and neighbors who are then rewarded with sorghum and millet bread (atapa) and local brew (ajon) at work’s end while some farmers utilize paid casual labour in which cash is paid daily at approximately 1.39 dollars per day dependent on number of portions (katara) worked. Besides, we learnt that through the cultural organized labour provisioning strategies mainly communal labour, rural farmers have a platform for germplasm/seed exchange.The study provides insights onto how labour in Northern and Eastern Uganda is organized and recommends that a seed delivery program employs the communal groups as a possible pathway of distributing improved seed varieties as well as an information dissemination channels for farmers within such groups use them as information exchange platforms.

Agrarian Change and Gendered Division of Labour

Chair: Deepa Joshi


Agrarian change, shifting gender relations and labour arrangements: An ethnographic exploration of the implications on women in agriculture in Punjab, India

Sabina Singh

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The paper is based on an ethnographic study conducted to understand agrarian change and gender relations in the study village through lived experiences of men and women engaged in agriculture. In this paper, I have attempted to bring forth complex interaction of gender relations, agrarian change and other structural inequalities in shifting labour arrangements in a village of Punjab. Various classes and categories of research participants in the selected village were identified using the household census survey. The women in the study village primarily belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) increasingly started taking up wage labour in agriculture as SC men nearly stopped working as agricultural labourers and mostly sought employment in the non-agriculture sector. The data was collected primarily using in-depth interviews with farmers (all men) and women agricultural labourers. Quasi-participant observation and key informant interviews also helped in understanding the context. Narratives of farmers and women who worked as agricultural labourers in the study village reflect the shifting labour arrangements as well as shifts in workloads of women in agriculture. Women performed nearly all agricultural tasks including the ones that were earlier performed by men. Not only did women draw attention to the physicality inherent in agricultural work but also referred to the stress associated with managing both agricultural work and housework. They also shared their inability to negotiate for better wages and work conditions given their overall vulnerability in the agrarian structure. It thus follows that agrarian change and shifting labour arrangements affect women in agriculture disproportionately.

“I’m not a chocolate farmer, I’m just a housewife”: Gendered divisions of labor for small-scale cacao production in Lampung and South-Sulawesi, Indonesia

Sarah Eissler

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In small-scale cocoa producing households, women’s labor contributions are essential to the sustainable supply of quality and demanded cocoa production. Yet, women’s work is often overlooked, unrecognized, or reduced as it is in the form of unpaid labor or care tasks. Much of the current literature is contextualized to West Africa, the leading global producing region of cacao. None has yet to examine the gender dynamics of small-scale cacao production in Indonesia, the third largest global producer of cacao. In this study, results are presented from an exploratory mixed-method case study across two provinces in Indonesia to determine the roles of men and women in small-scale cocoa production. Quantitative data on divisions of labor was assessed from a random sample of 221 small-scale cacao producers. Qualitative data was assessed from 11 focus group discussions with 117 small-scale cacao producers, and 65 indepth interviews. Results indicate that women are actively involved in small-scale cocoa production in Indonesia, however to varying degrees. Women’s participation is greatly influenced by socio-cultural norms and hindered by lack of access to training, skill building, or resources. Climate change has tangible impacts on both men and women’s activities in the cocoa value chain, requiring various adaptation strategies that have implication for production. With impacts of anthropogenic climate change continuing to increase in frequency 20 and severity, it is essential to address women’s participation in the Indonesian cocoa value chain to increase capacity, skills, and empowerment.

A descriptive analysis on the gendered distribution of labour and participation in household economic activities in Manipur, India

Meghajit Sharma Shijagurumayum

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and Loukham, Devarani

The present paper tries to capture the differences in gender distribution and participation in household labour and economic activities. With this notion gender analysis was conducted in the Imphal West district of Manipur, India. 80 farm households were randomly selected from 4 randomly selected villages of the district. For the purpose of intra-household comparison, the primary male and primary female member from each of the selected household were taken as respondents. Thus, a total of 149 respondents constituted the sample of the study as 11 households were female headed with no male figurehead. Data were collected using pre-tested interview schedule. The study revealed that primary female from male headed households had the highest extent of participation in agricultural activities even though there was a discriminatory ownership and autonomy in terms of agricultural productive assets. Female head respondents had the lowest saving average with 21.44 % of their income left for savings while for primary female respondents the savings were 24.64 %, for primary male respondents it was 31.01 %. Female head respondents were found to have the lowest amount of average month saving with just 21.44%, they also had the heaviest workload with 13.14 hours of time engaged in work related activities. Gender sensitization over the equal share of household care work, financial literacy, initiation of local based economic infrastructures and selective intervention with the views to reduce the workload of female head respondents were suggested and recommended.

Agrifood Systems Research - Emerging Gender Integration Areas

Chair: Maureen Miruka


PANEL 5: Nutting out the problem: lens on gender in agroforestry research for development in Indonesia

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  • Samantha Grover
  • Niken Sakuntaladewi
  • Bondan Winarno
  • Sri Lestari

Grover, Samantha with Sakuntaladewi, N; Lestari, S; Winarno, B; Robins, L; Darbas, T; and Mendham, D

Applying a gender lens to community fire management and peatland restoration in Indonesia.

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Gender is everpresent yet often ignored in discipline-focused research for development. This paper explicitly applies a gender lens to research themes centred around fire, livelihoods, soils, policy and knowledge management. The emphasis on gender in previous research in each disciplinary area is compared and contrasted. The overarching project to which these five themes contribute aspires to integrate gender into each aspect of the research. Discussion of the benefits and challenges of this gender mainstreaming approach are discussed. This paper will distil lessons from our experience of beginning a large multidisciplinary project with an explicit gender lens, to take forward as the research progresses. Wider recommendations for agro-forestry research-for-development practitioners on how best to integrate gender into disciplinary research will be distilled.

Sakuntaladewi, Niken Niken with Rumboko, L; Rochmayanto, Y; Siscawati, M

Gender dimensions in the complexity of managing forest resource: learning from Berau District, Indonesia.

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The transformation of policies related to natural resources, rapid economic development, and the inclusion of various population groups (ethnicities) have important implications for access and control of forest, land and other natural resources. Berau Regency cannot avoid the impact of increasing migration and massive intervention by government policies at the central, regional and corporate sector activities, for development purposes. This paper will discuss the acceptance and rejection of capital intervention and its impact on the Punan Dayak community in Long Okeng village and Dayak Kenyah community in Tepian Buah Village, Berau Regency. Aspects to be discussed include: ownership of land and forest resources; forms of land management, groups that obtain benefits and disadvantages, and the impact of the mechanism of access and control of these resources for women, men and children from various social groups.

Winarno, Bondan with Rahmat, Mamat; and Nurlia, Ari

Gender Issue in Rural Lowland Management and Development in Southern Sumatra.

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The issue of gender in the rural lowland management of southern Sumatra is frequently not involves in the rural development agenda. This writing highlights the existing and potential role of gender in rural lowland (mineral and peat land) management and development. Data were collected from interview with key informants and in depth interview to the households with qualitative analysis. The role of men in mineral land management is traditionally dominant and recently there is a change with more role of women in deciding the crops commodities and land management activities from planting until marketing the products. However, the involvement of women in land-based rural development program was still limited. In marginal peat land, there was more gender balance situation where men and women in the household shared the idea and responsibility in finding the prospective commodities 45 from crops, fruits, timber and non-timber forest products. In famine situation, men became migrant worker outside the rural area to get better income and the women are taking over the land management for certain times. This compromise was one of the strategies for securing their livelihood and increasing their welfare. Compromising the responsibility between men and women doesn’t realize fully by local decision maker as a potential role of women involving in development program. Mainstreaming gender in rural development agenda is important to improve the capabilities of women and men in sustainable land management and livelihoods.

Lestari, Sri and Premono, Bambang Tejo

Gender Role in Agroforestry of Areca Nut and Coffee in Peatland Area: Case of Jambi Province, Indonesia.

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The role of women in agriculture is influenced by economic, socio-cultural conditions and the norms in their environment. Women are responsible in domestic activities, while men are more dominant in various works in the field. We examined women’s participation and benefits from agroforestry system of areca nut and coffee in the peatland area of Jambi Province, Indonesia. Methods included survey and in depth interview to the key stakeholders and farmers as respondents. Data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Result revealed that women and men have important role and both actively involved in peatland agroforestry system. Higher percentage of men participated in determining the types of plants planted, planting activities, and harvesting activities. Women tend to do lighter types of agricultural work and some activities that require greater patience and precision. Women played specific role in maintaining plants and handling the crop yields, namely processing and packaging the products. These were important to increase added value of the areca nut and coffee for their household income. Women in peatland area of Jambi Province will participate in agricultural work in the field after their domestic activities were done. Monopoly in farming decision making occurred because men's access to the natural resources, information and knowledge was higher than women. Improving women participation in decision making and community organization would increase women’s role in increasing agricultural productivity.


PANEL 7: Gender dynamics in seed systems: Insights and analysis

  • Rhiannon Pyburn
  • Alessandra Galie
  • Ranjitha Puskur
  • Margaret McEwan
  • Esther Njuguna
  • Netsayi Mudege

The papers presented are the outputs of research funded by CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research (2017-2019) as part of the cross-CGIAR gender research agenda. The papers address themes emerging across the five projects. Pyburn, Rhiannon

Galiè, Alessandra

What is quality seed? Male and female farmer concepts, perceptions and parameters.

This paper explores male and female farmers` perceptions and parameters of seed quality, whether it differs from expert`s perceptions and parameters and how it influences farmers seed selection and adoption decisions. These insights are key for seed sector development interventions and breeding programs, not only in terms of ensuring gender equity but also in increasing uptake of improved varieties and the use of quality seed among poor farmers. The paper synthesizes findings of four case studies, from Ethiopia, India, Uganda and Tanzania. The study demonstrates that farmers predominantly define seed quality based on varietal traits and sources of seed, while experts define seed quality based on genetic characteristics, physical purity, physiological quality and phytosanitary parameters. In some cases, men and women farmer express different varietal trait preferences based on their personal experiences about the varieties. Gender norms dictate men and women farmers’ perceptions of, parameters and access to quality seed. Findings from the four case studies consistently indicate that yield and productivity are the main parameters used by farmers in determining seed quality. These are also the main parameters that influence adoption decision among both male and female farmers. For farmers seed quality encompasses both varietal traits and physiological and phytosanitary quality bundled together. It is the combination of the genetically determined production potential and the physical quality of the seed that is considered as a quality seed among farmers. In most cases farmers do not dissociate varietal trait from seed quality like the experts. Therefore, an integrated approach, addressing varietal turn-over and ensuring sources of reliable high quality seed for seed stock renewal is a good strategy for improving adoption, increasing production and ensuring food security.

Puskur, Ranjitha

Quality seed provision: Business models that work for women.

Significant gender gaps prevail in access to information and good quality seed due to prevailing social norms in several socio-cultural contexts in Africa and Asia, despite the key role women play in farming. Seed systems for non-hybrid crops, which are often only partly profit driven and hence receive less private and public investment, but are important for livelihoods and resilience of smallholder farmers, pose particular challenges of timely access to good quality affordable seed. This paper explores the dynamics of different institutional models of seed production and distribution and their effectiveness in providing inclusive access to good quality seed, with a particular focus on women. Using qualitative and quantitative evidence across several crops and geographies, it provides an account of the factors including risk management, food and nutrition security, access to varietal diversity and quality seed that influence women and men farmers to engage with these models, particularly when the returns are low or nonmonetary. The analysis explores whether women-producer led models provide better seed access to women seed users. It investigates women’s economic empowerment through their engagement in seed value chains as producers and entrepreneurs. This paper initiates the discussion on factors that influence the sustainability of quality seed production and distribution and opportunities for scaling out effective models to provide continued inclusive access to quality seed of non-hybrid crops for smallholder farmers, with specific attention for women. The paper investigates which seed business models provide inclusive, and in particular female, access to quality seed and economic empowerment. It tries to answer questions such as what motivates women and men farmers to engage with seed production and distribution and how can low or no-profit seed production be made sustainable? Do women-led seed businesses provide better access to women? What are the consequences of transition to more formal seed systems for inclusive and female access to quality seed? Finally the paper debates what are the implications for development strategies to promote and scale out various models?

McEwan, Margaret

Changing gender roles in new seed production models and implications for inclusion/equity.

Interest is booming in terms of the development of new seed production and marketing models. New business models for seed production and marketing are being piloted, to ensure higher efficiency, lower costs and wider reach. However, without an understanding of the gender-based constraints and intersectional dynamics (age, socio-economic status) at play in seed production, we risk assuming that men and women will benefit equally from participation in these models. Seed sector innovation is needed to address imperfections in service provision to the diversity of seed users. The consequences of such seed sector innovation for the roles of women and men in the production and marketing of seed need to be understood and anticipated by seed sector interventions. This article reviews how gender roles in seed production have changed, drawing from four separate studies, which provide insights into different crop and country contexts. Findings illustrate shifts in the gender division of labor with new production models and that in some cases, these shifts have been transformative. The paper explores the gender division of labor for seed production tasks. It assesses what are the resource needs for seed production and marketing, and what are the associated consequences for inclusion. In addition the question is addressed who decides on the use of income from seed sales. With the introduction of new seed business models, what has changed in the gender division of labor, access to resources and income use. Finally, the paper will debate whether access to, and decisions about, and the use of resources for seed multiplication have influenced intra-household and community gender norms.

Njuguna-Mungai, Esther

Provisioning and sourcing of information on non-hybrid seed in Africa and Asia.

This paper focuses on information that contributes to decision making and behaviour change in the acquisition and use of high quality non-hybrid seeds, and if and how this differs for men and women farmers. We investigate the information provision by non-hybrid seed producers towards their clients, as well the information seeking behaviour of women and men farmers in different crops in 4 countries: sweet-potato in Tanzania, sorghum in Uganda, rice in India and forage in Kenya and Ethiopia. Information flow plays a critical role in adoption of new varieties and the purchase of high quality seed. Adoption of a new variety and the purchase of quality seed is a choice made based on information obtained, and a mental process of thinking and judging the merits and demerits of multiple options. For the non-hybrid seed producers, providing information about their ‘offer of superior traits and quality’ at a certain price , is therefore imperative for marketing their produce. Farmers require information to generate the knowledge that allows them to make an informed choice, maximizing benefit and reducing risks . This paper explores the asymmetry in the information the non-hybrid seed producers communicate and what the male and female farmers access. Non-hybrid seed business is, as a consequence of the option to recycle seed a number of generations without dramatic yield loss, characterised by modest profitability, making it less attractive than hybrid seed for seed companies. Consequently, advertising/communication budget for the nonhybrid seed is low or non-existent. Still, both men and women farmers need to ‘know’ about these non-hybrid varieties and sources of seed to make informed choices about variety replacement and seed stock renewal. In this paper therefore, we investigate how non-hybrid seed producers package information and the channels they use. At the same time it is assessed how seed clients access information on non-hybrid seed The paper presents an analysis of the existing gap between information provision and access and concludes by suggesting innovative communication options to bridge the gap between the non-hybrid seed producers and users in the rural communities.

Puskur, Ranjitha and McEwan, Margaret

Dynamics of moral economy in access to quality seed and sustainability.

This paper explores the role ‘moral economy’ plays in providing access to crop diversity and quality seed to women and men farmers in different geographic and social contexts. The various manifestations of moral economy in the seed systems of various crops are highlighted, as also the motivations for women and men seed producers to engage in the moral economy. The co-existence of moral and market economies and the highly dynamic nature of these in response to changing contexts and external drivers is discussed. The role of social norms, social networks, culture and gender dynamics within the moral economy and, for whom this might be important and why are discussed. The conditions under which moral economy can be inclusive or result in reinforcing inequities in access is explored. Women’s collectives as a pathway for sustaining moral economy to provide preferential access to women is also examined. This paper analyses characteristics and dynamics of moral economy that hinder or drive sustainable production and the distribution of quality seed. The paper initiates discussion as to whether volume or scale create natural barriers to moral economy. Further, it looks at the conditions under, and extent to which moral economy can enhance women’s access to improved varieties and quality seed. The associated policy and institutional implications are discussed. The overarching question the research tries to answer is whether the moral economy is a driver or barrier for inclusive access to seed by men and women farmers, and to the sustainability of business models for seed production and marketing. Under which circumstances can moral economy contribute to access to quality seed for vulnerable groups, and how can how can the mechanisms of moral economy be actively used to improve access to varieties and quality seed? The paper will investigate what the incentives to engage in and the social norms governing the moral economy, and is it socially and geographically defined? Finally the paper will address the gender dynamics of moral economy, for whom is the moral economy more important?

Mudege, Netsayi

Gender dimensions of seed policy.

Seed sector related policies are in many countries under review or development with the objective to govern the sector such that farmers are assured access to high quality seed, and protected from procuring poor quality seed. The consequences of seed policy changes on inclusivity of access, and women access, to high quality seed remain poorly understood. This paper is presenting evidence on the gender dynamics of seed policy change, and explores how guidelines can be more inclusive particularly in relation to integration of gender considerations and the needs of young people into seed system rules and guidelines. The paper is based on in-depth research in Kenya, and draws additional experience from other countries for comparison. In 2016, Kenya introduced far-reaching legislation designed to modernize seed systems and markets for an entire range of crops cultivated in the country. Currently, rules, guidelines, and organizational roles and responsibilities are being revised to remain consistent with the legislation. Based on policy research conducted in Kenya in 2018, this paper seeks to offer insights on how seed policies can affect men and women farmers, by bringing out the intended and unintended effects. Seed policies do not use an enduser perspective, but focus pre-dominantly on the technical aspects of seed production, by prescribing standards and norms. These standards and norms are derived upon based on technical and phytosanitary considerations, rather than socio-economic considerations. They are not client oriented, and do not consider the different quality demands of the diversity of seed users, including different demands of male and female farmers. In the sweet potato and potato sector in Kenya farmers largely rely on informal seed, for sound economic reasons. The seed law in Kenya however, is based on the assumption that 100% of the seed can come from the formal sector. In this manner it leaves no provision for the promotion of alternative options to improve the quality of seed in the informal sector where most potato and sweet potato planting material is found. The paper discusses seed policy trade-offs between seed sector efficiency and inclusiveness, both at the level of seed production and marketing, as well as at the level of providing inclusive access to quality seed for diverse seed users.