Volume 1, Number 1
The Gender CG Newsletter is a hard copy complement
to the Gender CG Network, an electronic network that
connects researchers working on gender and intra-
household issues in the areas of agriculture, natural
resource management, food security, and nutrition.
The newsletter is published three times a year. The
objective is to expand access to the network among
researchers who do not have electronic mail and to
provide them with the opportunity to interact with
Often gender researchers are somewhat isolated
within their institutions and need the support of
colleagues with similar interests. Consequently, the
Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR), in collaboration with the
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI),
initiated the Gender CG Network in March 1994. The
network is designed to link researchers at CG Centers,
national agricultural research centers (NARs), and
related nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
involved in food and agricultural policy. The Network
is intended to be a forum for research exchange and
inside this issue ...
gender differentials in
agricultural productivity .............. 1
crop adoption in Zambia and Malawi .... 2
risktaking and gender in pesticide
use in M ali ........................ 3
network and newsletter subscriptions .... 3
meetings, seminars, and conferences ..... 4
resource listing ............... ....... 4
Currently, the Gender CG Network has nearly 100
subscribers worldwide, working in a variety of
disciplines, from anthropology to nutrition to agri-
cultural economics to agricultural sciences. We hope
that subscribers from a variety of backgrounds will
continue to participate in and benefit from it. We also
hope that those who are uncertain about the relevance
of gender research will learn of new approaches for an
improved understanding of the equity, welfare, and
efficiency impacts of agricultural policy.
Each issue of the Gender CG Newsletter will highlight
conversations on the Gender CG Network in the
preceding four months. The newsletter will also list
upcoming international conferences, gender-related job
postings that have been announced over the Network,
and every working paper and research report
mentioned on the electronic Network since the previ-
ous issue, with details for obtaining them. Information
about subscriptions to both the Gender CG Network
and the Gender CG Newsletter appear on page 3.
This edition was compiled by Constance Semler, Ruth
Meinzen-Dick, Lynn Brown, and Lawrence Haddad,
of IFPRI. N
in Agricultural Productivity
Agnes Quisumbing, an economist at the World Bank,
recently introduced her review paper titled "Gender
Differences in Agricultural Productivity: A Survey of
the Empirical Evidence" to Network subscribers.
Subscribers have found the paper valuable because it
reviews the methodologies and findings of many
research papers on gender and agricultural productivity
in language that noneconomists can understand.
First, the paper surveys methods of measuring gender
differences in productivity, such as the estimation of
production functions, wage and earnings functions,
and gender differences in technological adoption. The
paper assesses the econometric evidence generated by
each methodology, highlights the implications of the
assumptions behind each, and discusses policy impli-
cations. The paper concludes that more research is
needed on decisionmaking processes within households
in order to more accurately measure any foregone pro-
ductivity due to gender bias in agriculture.
Geder CG Newslter, IFPRI, 1200 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-3006 U.S.A. V 202-862-5600 fax 202-467-4439 e-mail IFPRI@cgnetcom
2 gender cg newsletter
Quisumbing's announcement led to discussion of a
paper on gender and productivity in agriculture by
Chris Udry of Northwestern University. Udry analyzes
data from Burkina Faso, collected by the International
Crops Research Institute of the Semi-Arid Tropics
(ICRISAT). He found that women's agricultural pro-
ductivity is 30 percent lower than that of men, control-
ling for access to inputs and land quality:
Plots controlled by women have significantly lower
yields than similar plots within the household planted
with the same crop in the same year, but controlled by
men. Neither land quality, measurement error, nor
risk management behavior by the household can
account for the differences in the intensity with which
male- and female-controlled plots are cultivated.
Udrys paper discusses the implications of his findings
for the validity of various economic models of house-
hold behavior, not for policy (namely the rejection of
models that treat household labor as pooled). A sub-
scriber responded that perhaps one of the variables
that explains the difference in yields between women's
plots and men's plots is time of planting. Since women,
particularly in West Africa, must labor on men's fields
before their own, their planting times may be later
than men's. Under rainfed conditions, later planting
may account for yield differences. Also, women may
not be able to spend as much time weeding and culti-
vating their fields as men's fields. Finally, women may
be required to labor in the fields of "compound heads"
as well as in their husbands' fields.
Other subscribers felt that
timing of labor is an important
factor to consider, and noted that
Udry did not miss the point in
his suggestion of a connection be-
tween women's multiple demands
for labor and the fact that their
plots are cultivated less inten-
sively than men's plots. In fact, Udry cautions against
drawing the wrong conclusions from the results, that
is, that women are less efficient cultivators than men.
Rather, men put in less labor on women's plots while
women put in nearly as much labor on men's plots as
their own, and children and hired laborers work less
intensively on women's plots than on men's.
Related materials on gender differences in agricultural
productivity can be found in Part 3 of "Working To-
gether", Volume 2, edited by H.S. Feldstein and S.V.
Poats, published by Kumarian Press; and in an unpub-
lished paper by Jane Gleason, using data fromTaiwan,
which demonstrates that farm behavior is better
explained by a linear programming model with gender
disaggregated, rather than aggregate, labor inputs. N3
Crop Adoption in Zambia and Malawi
A forthcoming report on gender effects of
hybrid maize crop adoption in Zambia by
Shubh Kumar of IFPRI prompted a network
exchange of research and findings. Iumar's
report analyzes data from Eastern Province,
Zambia, to determine which farm household
and intrahousehold factors influence
adoption of improved maize varieties.
The report also examines the effects of these factors
on food consumption and nutrition. The analysis
traces the distributional and welfare consequences otf
hybrid maize production. Variables are instrumentedd"
to increase reliability of predictions of effects because
of the endogeneity of crop adoption to key outcome
measures such as household income and women's roles.
The study found that, overall, women are either in-
dependently or jointly responsible for crop manage-
ment of about half the cultivated area, while their labor
share is even higher. Adoption of hybrid maize (a cash
crop) is found to be a contributing factor, independent
of farm size, in reducing women's role in agricultural
and crop management decisionmaking. These findings
are consistent with women's limited access to the
resources and knowledge necessary for growing the
hybrids. The role of resource constraints is evident
because the adoption rate is higher on larger farms
headed by females, who are more likely to be able tc
overcome these barriers.
The impact of the reduction in women's decision-
making power that accompanies hybrid crop adoption
is visible in skewed intrahousehold income gains and
inefficient acreage expansion. Market failure in reach-
ing small farmers in general and women farmers in
particular is found to contribute to productivity and
welfare losses, as measured by low marginal returns to
acreage expansion under the new crop and by limited
improvements in food consumption and child nutri-
tional status. The analysis also considers the welfare
trade-offs that occur when women's labor is shifted
towards household maintenance and their share of
income is reduced under hybrid maize adoption.
Melinda Smale, an agricultural economist at Centro
Intemacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo
(CIMMYT) in Mexico, has also researched issues
related to adoption of maize varieties. Her research has
focused on Malawi. Here there is considerable varia-
tion in gender effects depending on social structure,
diversification of farming systems, means of obtaining
seed and fertilizer, and the surplus or deficit of maize
production in the household. [b
gender cg newsletter 3
Risktaking and Gender in
Pesticide Use in Mali
Bob Hart, a consultant working on the Gender CG
Network project, provided subscribers with a message
posted on another network, SANET (Sustainable Agri-
culture Network), which summarizes a study by the
Natural Resources Institute of the United Kingdom on
the use of ultra-low-volume (ULV) pesticides in Mali.
The study, titled "Pesticides on Millet in Mali", focuses
on the reluctance of many farmers to assume the risks
and costs of ULV pesticides such as ULV Ripcord and
ULV Karate, which in theory are cost-effective for poor
farmers because relatively small quantities are needed
for effective pest management. Following Hart's post-
ing of the message, a lively discussion ensued as to the
gender implications of the pesticide study findings. The
*study noted that the researchers had difficulty recruit-
ing women for the study because they manage plots
too small (less than 1 hectare) for trial purposes. Of
328 farmers participating in the study, only 11 were
women, most of whom were from relatively wealthy
Hart suggested that one possible interpretation could
be that women were more risk-averse than men regard-
ing use of ULV pesticides because women manage
smaller plots. Hart suggested that willingness to
assume risk is influenced not only by size of plot, but
also by amount of total household resources. Hilary
Feldstein, however, did not concur with the view that
the study shows that women are less risk-averse than
men. Rather, she suggested the study was unable to re-
cruit many women because of the size of plots required
for participation in the study. Feldstein emphasized
this point because attempts to include women in
studies such as these often fail because of entry require-
ments such as this one. She concluded that if the pesti-
cides had looked promising, a second set of trials could
have been conducted that included smaller land-
Shubh Kumar of IFPRI also responded to Hart's
message, pointing to findings in her research that
suggest that women may sometimes be less risk-averse
than men. In her research in Zambia on hybrid maize
adoption, Iumar found that women's adoption rates
were low for small farms owned by female-headed
households, while on larger farms owned by female
heads of household adoption rates were higher than for
other households. N
To subscribe, simply send a message to: LISTSERV@CGNET.COM with a text consisting of the line:
SUBSCRIBE GENDER-CG and you will receive an electronic message introducing you to the network and
providing you with information about network correspondence and de-subscription. For those living outside the
United States, a slight delay may occur before you receive this introductory message.
Subscribers to the Gender CG Network automatically receive the Gender CG Newsletter. If you or someone you know
does not wish to subscribe to the Gender CG Network but would like to receive the Gender CG Newsletter, please
complete this form and mail to: Lynn Brown, Gender CG Newsletter, IFPRI, 1200 17th Street, N.W., 4th Floor,
Washington, D.C. 20036-3006 U.S.A
country zip code
interests and expertise
4 gender cg newsletter
Meetings, Seminars, and Conferences
The Association for Women In Development
(AWID) typically hosts a bi-annual conference. There
will be no 1995 conference, however. Because many
people will be using their travel funds to attend the
September 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women
in Beijing and the surrounding preparatory meetings,
AWID has decided to postpone the meeting until late
spring to early summer of 1996. For further
information, contact AWID at Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 24061,
U.S.A. (telephone: 703-231-3765).
The International Development Conference in
association with the Society for International
Development (SID) will hold their 1995 conference
"Achieving Global Human Security" January 16-18 in
Washington, D.C. The conference will focus on the
issues of food and hunger, sustainable human develop-
ment, human rights, environment and population, and
peacebuilding and conflict resolution. For further infor-
mation contact Kathy Morrell & Associates, Inc., P.O.
Box 11276, Alexandria, VA 22312 U.S.A. (telephone:
The UN Fourth World Conference on Women:
Action for Equality, Development, and Peace will
be held September 4-15, 1995, in Beijing, China, at
the Beijing International Conference Center. At this
conference, governments will decide upon a Platform
for Action, a document that will contain strategies and
programs for advancing the status of women. A parallel
nongovernmental gathering open to all interested
parties, the Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO)
Forum '95, will be held at the Beijing Workers' Sports
Service Center, August 30 through September 8, 1995.
IFPRIpapers are available from the authors at the address below.
* Lynn Brown, Yisehac Yohannes, and Patrick Webb, "Rural Labor-
Intensive Public Works Programs: Impacts of Male and Female
Participation on Preschooler Nutrition. Evidence from Niger," July
1994, a Principal Paper prepared for the session on "Strengthening
Agricultural and Natural Resource Policy Through Intrahousehold
Analysis," at 1994 annual meetings of the American Agricultural
Economics Association, San Diego, California, August 7-10.
Available from Lynn Brown at L.Brown@cgnet.com.
* Lawrence Haddad, Lynn Brown, Andrea Richter, and Lisa Smith,
"The Gender Dimensions of Economic Adjustment Policies:
Potential Interactions and Evidence to Date," available from Lynn
Brown at L.Brown@cgnetcom.
* Lawrence Haddad, Christine Pefia, and Alison Slack, "Poverty
and Nutrition within Households: Review and New Evidence,"
available from Lynnette Aspillera at L.Aspillera@cgnetcom.
* Shubh Kumar, "Adoption of Hybrid Maize in Zambia: Effects on
Gender Roles in Agriculture, Food Consumption and Nutrition,"
available from S.Kumar@cgnet.com.
* Agnes Quisumbing, "Gender Differences in Agricultural
Productivity: A Survey of the Empirical Evidence," available from
auisumbing@worldbankor or Agnes Quisumbing, MC 10-322,
world Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, .C. 20433.
* N. D. Jago, A. R. Kremer, and C. West, "Pesticides on Millet in
Mali," Bulletin 50, 1993, available from the Natural Resources
Institute, Central Ave., Chatham Maritime, Kent ME44TB, U.K.
(telephone 44 634 88 00 88).
* Chris Udry, "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of
the Household," available from firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Chris Udry, Economics Department, Northwestern University,
Evanston, Illinois 60201.
* Joseph G. Nagy, Herbert W. Ohm, and Sibiri Sawadogo,
"Burkina Faso: Part 3, Evaluation, Modifications,
Recommendations, and Dissemination," in Hilary Sims Feldstein
and Susan V. Poats, Working Together, Volume 2, pp.104-109,
published by Kumarian Press, West Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
gender cg newsletter
1200 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-3006 U.S.A.