Linking FSR/E and Gender: An Introduction
Susan V. Poats, Marianne Schmink, and Anita Spring
NOTE TO THE USER:
This document is a pre-print for the chapter of the same title published as Chapter 1 in
Gender Issues in Farming Systems Research and Extension, edited by Susan V. Poats,
Marianne Schmink, and Anita Spring (Boulder, CO and London, England : Westview
Press, 1988. Layout and editorial differences may exist between this version and the
Linking FSR/E and Gender: An Introduction Susan V. Poats, Marianne Schmink, and Anita Spring
The title of this book is like a code. The two terms "gender issues" and
"farming systems research and extension" are shorthand. Each represents an extensive field of research and practice- women and development or WID, and farming systems or FSR/E, respectively. The two fields have much in common. Both emerged relatively recently in response to dissatisfaction with the results of technological change in agriculture in developing countries, whereas in the 1950s and 1960s development theory and practice emphasized growth in productivity, by the 1970s there was a renewed concern to implement programs that conceived of development more broadly, to mean the possibility of better lives for most people. This perspective challenged a development field dominated by technical and economic expertise. Efforts to develop more comprehensive approaches that would bring together technical, economic, and social considerations led to the two interdisciplinary fields of WID and FSR/E.
In this brief introduction, justice cannot be done to either field in its own terms. Rather, the historical and practical considerations that favor their interaction and the conceptual problems such a union can help to overcome are reflected. The discussion will indicate how the following chapters in this book contribute theoretical and methodological insights that can help to make agricultural development programs more efficient and equitable.
FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION
Most farms in developing countries are small scale, with few resources other than family labor. Their subsistence activities are multifaceted and their goals complex, including both market and non-market considerations. Minimizing risk is especially important when family survival is at stake. Given the constraints they face, small farmers actively seek ways to improve their productivity and to maximize the few resources at their disposal. Agricultural technologies (including equipment, inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, and management practices) are often designed for farmers with greater resources and market orientation based on an essentially economic calculation of costs and benefits. By the 1970s, development practitioners became concerned that the benefits of agricultural innovation accrued most easily to these wealthier farmers. Yet small farmers constituted the majority of producers and, ultimately, those most directly responsible for the welfare of rural families and communities. What were the
social and economic costs of neglecting them? The design of technologies appropriate to the majority of low resource farmers required an understanding of their particular constraints, goals, and practices that went beyond strictly technical and economic criteria. The farming systems concept emerged as a response to this challenge.
FSR/E is not a single approach, but an array of different perspectives and methods. This diversity is a source of debate and dialogue that continually enriches the field. In this book there is likewise no orthodoxy, but rather a collection of different points of view as to how to conceptualize and carry out farming systems work. The common elements that underlie most versions of farming systems include- an explicit commitment to low-resource producers; a systems approach that recognizes the complexity of small farm enterprises; a focus on the farm family or household; and a recognition of the importance of including farmers in the research and extension process. The concept of "domains" is used to denote the specific client group (defined by environmental, ecological, and/or socioeconomic criteria) to whom the project is oriented.
WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT
The WID field, similar to FSR/E, began with a concern for the distribution of development benefits. Like farming systems, women and development is far from a unified field of knowledge. Not only does it include many strands of research and practice, but the field has evolved rapidly over the approximately 20 years of its existence, since economist Ester Boserup published her groundbreaking work Women's Role in Economic Development in 1970. Boserup's work challenged the prevailing notion that economic development, or modernization, would automatically improve women's status by replacing traditional values and economic backwardness with new opportunities and an egalitarian ethos. She argued instead that economic innovations often replaced women's traditional economic activities with more efficient forms of production controlled by men. Examples included the decline of women's cottage industries due to competition from factories hiring predominantly men and, in some parts of the world, the growth of modern service and commerce sectors in which men predominated, in place of women's traditional marketing practices. The recognition that development, as practiced, might actually worsen women's position relative to men's crystallized the new field of women and development around a concern with equity.
By the late 1970s, however, a growing research base on women's economic activities showed that equity was intimately related to more technical problems of efficiency and productivity. If development undermined women's traditional economic contributions, was this loss compensated by the output of new forms of production? Were new economic opportunities opening up for women? What was the impact of these shifts on the welfare and productivity of the poor populations of the world? The new emphasis on the poor focused attention on women's importance as household producers and providers in addition to their domestic roles. No longer were they to be viewed simply ad"-potential welfare beneficiaries whose needs might be neglected by development efforts. Instead, women were a mainstay of family and community welfare, active producers whose potential contributions were often overlooked or undermined. A clearer understanding of changes in women's role in production therefore was essential for the success of agricultural development projects.
A decade of theoretical experimentation and empirical research on women's role in development moved the field from the stage of raising awareness and clarifying issues to a search for practical applications. How could the WID insights be applied to development work? One solution was to create special projects or components devoted to women. While sometimes successful, these all too often emphasized women's domestic responsibilities rather than their productive work. They also distracted from the more general problem of improving the effectiveness of "mainstream" development projects by making them more responsive to gender differences among the client population. By what practical means could such a formidable task be undertaken? The first attempts to answer this question produced an array of checklists of questions to be asked and data to be gathered in each project setting. A series of case studies were published as examples of how gender affected development projects. Various institutions compiled handbooks that specified how gender issues could be addressed at each step of the project cycle. But there were not enough experts trained in the analysis of such complex and variable matters as household division of labor, decision making, and income management. Some of the basic issues could be specified in advance, but each setting required a unique assessment of their relevance and of the interaction with other important variables. While hiring more women as project staff members appeared to be a good idea, the gender of the researcher or practitioner turned out to be no guarantee of the requisite analytical skills.
In response to this dilemma, WID efforts in the 1980s sought to develop the tools of "gender analysis" and the methods by which development practitioners could learn and adopt them. USAID fostered a major effort to adapt the Harvard
Business School's case study teaching method to training on gender issues in development projects. The Office of Women in Development sponsored the writing of several new analytical case studies that were compiled in a handbook that also provided a framework and set of basic concepts to be used in the case study analysis (Overholt et al. 1985). The cases and the training method have been widely used in training workshops that provide practice in tackling a set of questions that might otherwise seem hopelessly complicated. The strength of this approach is its emphasis on the link between project or development goals and gender differences in the client population. This focus helps to clarify the relevant issues and to indicate priorities for research and action.
GENDER ISSUES IN FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION (FS R/E)
The farming systems perspective is especially appropriate for such a processoriented approach to gender analysis. The FSR/E methodology consists of a series of stages (diagnosis, planning and design of technology, experimentation and evaluation, and dissemination) that facilitate the specification of steps to be taken to address particular aspects of research and extension and how to make the best use of different kinds of data. But FSR/E is also conceived to be an iterative, adaptive process in which, once the project is well underway, the various stages of research take place simultaneously. This philosophy is intended to maximize the potential impact of on-going farmer evaluations on the design and dissemination of future technological changes. The research process allows time to learn about the intricacies of farming systems and to incorporate new insights into more refined measures and project adaptations. Other characteristics of the farming systems approach especially important for gender analysis include its, focus on small farm households and on the participation of farmers in the research and extension process.
Disaqcgregating Development Beneficiaries
The farming systems emphasis on reaching specific low income groups
helped to illuminate women's roles in agricultural development. Identifying small farmer constituencies required the disaggregation of society into "target" or clientn" groups which brought women's activities into greater focus. The interaction of socioeconomic standing and gender was brought home by the growing recognition that women in poor families played essential economic roles that bore little resemblance to the activities of middleclass and elite women in the same societies. These observations were confirmed by mounting evidence from
research that documented poor women's multiple economic activities, low earnings and long work hours, and restricted access to productive resources. Women played a central role in the low-resource farm households that were the focus of farming systems work.
The surprisingly high and growing proportions of female-headed households dramatized women's economic importance in poor populations and revealed the extra constraints under which they often labored to achieve family welfare (Buvinic and Youssef 1979). Rural out-migration of men was rising in many parts of the world as a result of development, leaving many women either temporarily or permanently in charge of their households (Palmer 1986). Their efforts were often undermined by labor constraints or by lack of access to productive resources, in part because research and extension services were primarily oriented to male farmers. The focus on female-headed households illustrated how disaggregation of beneficiary populations could more precisely delineate appropriate interventions for specific social groups. It also undermined the assumption that development projects focused on male farmers always would have the most effective impact on family welfare.
The Whole Farm System
The systems approach endorsed by the FSR/E constituency lent itself well to illuminating women's economic importance. Small farm enterprises encompass multiple activities whose interaction is key to understanding management decisions and practices. The configuration of a given system changes readily over time in response to both internal and external factors. This holistic, dynamic perspective on small farming enterprises provided a framework within which the family division of labor could be a key focus. Social definitions of which tasks would be carried out by men or women vary from one society, region, class, or ethnic group to another. This variability indicates that the division of labor is determined not by the physical difference between the sexes, but by the social definitions of proper relations between women and men. The concept of "gender" serves to distinguish the social character of these relationships, and the "sexual division of labor" describes the allocation of tasks and responsibilities to men and women in a particular situation. In practice, farming systems practitioners may disaggregate only so far, stopping short at the analysis of the division of labor within the household or family. Agricultural research has historically focused on specific commodities whose production is marketoriented. FSR/E recognized that small farm enterprises combine crops and animals. Yet the perspective still overlooked other essential activities carried out by farm families, including off-farm work, home-based production for use or
exchange, and the work required to maintain the home and its inhabitants. WID research revealed that women were often predominant in these activities, especially those based in the home that tended to be overlooked or viewed as merely "domestic" work. While men often specialized in income-generating activities, women typically combined household management, child care, and work to generate earnings (both on and off the farm). These competing demands on their time could serve as a significant constraint to the adoption of new forms of production that relied on women's labor.
In small farm households, decisions reflected priorities and constraints related to a variety of activities and goals, not just to those related to cash crop production. The potential trade-offs between resources devoted to agricultural production and investments in improved family nutrition were of particular concern to farming systems practitioners whose objective was to stabilize or enhance rural welfare. The systems approach adopted by FSR/E practitioners provided a starting point for integrating the diversity of farm and non-farm activities within a more complex model of the whole farm-household system. WID practitioners collaborated by focusing attention on women's importance in agricultural production, but also in focusing on activities not generally defined as "production" that are nevertheless essential to the well-being and economic livelihood of rural households and communities.
The focus on farm families brought development work much closer to the
realities of poor families than was possible using the country level statistics. The concept of "household", sometimes used to denote a residential unit, sometimes synonymous with the nuclear family, was useful in the field of development and in the social sciences in general (Schmink 1984). It provided an intermediate level of analysis (between the individual and the aggregate society) and a convenient unit for the collection of empirical data. The existence of such primary domestic units in virtually all societies implied an attractive universality for the concept of household that was familiar to researchers and practitioners from their own personal existence. These perceived advantages, however, had hidden drawbacks. Development practitioners often generalized from their own experience, presuming that households elsewhere were similar to those in which they lived, when in fact household structure and functioning is highly variable. Whereas in advanced industrial society productive work is largely separated from the home, the same is not true for agrarian communities. Home-based food processing, handicrafts, care of animals, kitchen gardens, and manufacturing of such useful items as soap and clothing for a peasant family are not analogous to
the domestic chores of a middle-class urban housewife. They are productive tasks essential to household welfare. Whereas a U.S. household typically depends on one or two monetary wages for its sustenance, rural families in the developing world rely on a diverse set of paid and non-paid activities for survival.
In many societies women and men have quite separate responsibilities,
access to distinct resources, and differentiated control over returns from their own activities. In fact, households are themselves systems of resource allocation (Guyer 1981). The unitary neoclassical view of household income inherited from the advanced industrial nations is especially inappropriate for such complex situations in which household members have access to different resources and work opportunities, and exercise differing degrees of control over separate income streams that flow through the household. Household decision-making is neither necessarily unitary nor harmonious. Different members may decide about production strategies, contribute labor to specific tasks, or bear responsibility for the use of the commodities produced. The complexity of intrahousehold dynamics implies that the possibility of competing goals or priorities may require negotiation among household members. Households are also fluid-, variability stems from responses to exogenous changes (such as male out migration), from internal differentiation based on class, income, ethnicity, and culture, and from demographic variables within the household unit (that is, the pattern of family formation, or the "life cycle" of the family).
The internal dynamics of small farm households affect the process of client involvement in the research and extension process. If work responsibilities, control over resources, and decision-making are fragmented within the family unit, who are the appropriate partners in the research process and potential beneficiaries of the proposed technologies? Since male household heads are typically the public representatives of family groups, it is often assumed that information and resources conveyed to them will "trickle across" to others in their household. But indirect communications strategies are inefficient and may omit the actual "user" from the process of FSR/E. This omission represents a loss of valuable indigenous knowledge and may lead to inadequate or incomplete application of technological innovations. Since women and men may know about different factors relevant to agricultural production, the labor of one may not necessarily substitute for the other. If farming systems projects are to succeed in forging effective collaborative ties with their client population, they must include both women and men farmers as partners in the research process.
CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK
The chapters of this book are a selection of the papers concerned with
developing countries in Latin America, Asia, Middle East, and Africa presented at the Conference in 1986 at the University of Florida (see Preface). The Conference's primary objective was to bring together scholars and practitioners with expertise and interest in FSR/E to discuss state-of-the-art issues related to gender in FSR/E. In order to maximize coherence, participants were asked to prepare papers that would address specific issues of theory, method, and policy related to FSR/E across developing regions. The following questions were posed under several topical areas:
The Whole Farming System. How can key components of a farming
system, including non-farm activities, livestock, secondary crops, food storage, and food processing, be identified? How does the division of labor by age and gender constrain or facilitate specific economic or productive goals? What is the potential impact of improved agricultural technology on each of these goals and on household members responsible for specific production activities?
Intra-Houselhold Dynamics. What are the key aspects of internal
heterogeneity of household units- differential access and use of resources within households; multiple enterprises and their interactions; substitutability and specialization of labor in agricultural activities; marketing outlets and their relationship to differing or conflicting priorities and needs within farm units; and how might proposed interventions alter the balance of power and advantage?
Institutional and Policy Concerns. How does the surrounding environment beyond the farm gate at household, community, and other social levels differ for men and women? What specific constraints to production are posed by these gender differences? How can FSR/E address constraints such as legal status, restrictions on mobility, domestic obligations, property rights, access to credit, markets, and employment?
Definition of Research Domains. How can the key components and actors within household and farming systems be identified? What are key constraints to productive activities and how does access to production inputs differ by gender? What is the significance of, and interactions between, multiple enterprises within the farm household and how do they create different labor requirements, goals, incentives, markets, and priorities for different family members?
On-Farm Research and Extension. Who are the specific audiences for
direct involvement in on-farm research and extension? How do labor constraints affect proposed solutions and how do labor patterns impact on household members who differ in their access to resources? How can extension strategies be devised that are responsive to the productive activities of both women and men? Which extension mechanisms are most effective in reaching both male and female farmers?
Monitoring and Evaluation. How can strategies be designed for monitoring the differential impact of FSR/E interventions on different individuals and enterprises within the farming system? What are the unanticipated effects of technological change? In what ways does misunderstanding of gender issues lead to inadequate planning and design or diminished returns to FSR/E projects? How can these effects be minimized?
The papers contained in this book do not exhaust the answers to these
questions, but they do provide a beginning. Authors were asked to include a common ''minimum data set'' in their case study material to facilitate comparison. The following chapters contain many innovative approaches to conceptualizing and carrying out farming systems projects that effectively take gender into account. They highlight several features of the farming systems approach that could be improved by more attention to gender, and they suggest practical ways that this could be done. The book presents a comparative perspective on the relevance of gender to farming systems work in the developing regions. Two dimensions run throughout the various chapters: the presentation of site-specific data that will permit in-depth analysis of specific cases and the search for conceptual and methodological innovations.
Part I presents a set of articles that focus on key theoretical and
methodological issues relevant to the farming systems approach. In Chapter 2, Rosalie Norem summarizes the results of a survey of farming systems projects that collected data on intra-household dynamics and gender differences. Project staff expressed a need for more intra-household data, especially on the factors determining household variability (such as out-migration and the family "life cycle"), on specific labor constraints stemming from the gender division of labor, and on income management within the household. Her findings also reveal that different kinds of information are useful at each phase of a project. In Chapter 3, Alison Evans discusses some of the problems with FSR/E procedures that impede the effective integration of gender considerations, including the emphasis on market criteria and measure, and the assumed homogeneity of the farm household. She presents a framework of ideas to help in constructing a broader,
more dynamic model of farm-household systems. She also discusses the relevance of gender at different points in the FSR/E process, and institutional constraints that must be overcome to improve attention to gender.
Jan ice Jiggins, in Chapter 4, continues the discussion by focusing on the problems of communication between researchers, farmers, and extension workers, using examples from Zambia and Lesotho that show the rationality and flexibility within the domestic domain. She explores the difficulties of reconciling scientific knowledge systems with those of indigenous people in the course of conducting on-farm research. Lessons drawn from her examples point to the need for establishing key field-household interactions at an early stage of the diagnostic process and to developing methods for mutual communication of key concepts across researchers and female producers' distinct knowledge systems. She proposes the use of situation-analysis based on critical incident technique and peer group workshops as appropriate methodologies for improving communication and diagnosis.
Amalia Alberti focuses in Chapter 5 on the problem of generating data
sufficiently sensitive to gender differences to guide the definition of client groups during the initial phases of a project. Echoing Evans' point that a priority for wealthier, more market-oriented farmers will tend to exclude women, she discusses the pros and cons of different sources of techniques for data collection in FSR/E projects. The following chapter, by Peter Wotowiec, Jr., Susan Poats, and Peter Hildebrand, explores in more detail how definitions of client populations need to be modified in accordance with the problems posed at different stages of the project cycle. They offer a refinement of the conventional FSR/E concept of "domains" to distinguish between "research domains" (that maintain variability), "recommendation domains" (homogeneous for technology testing), and "diffusion domains" (for disseminating new technologies). In Chapter 7, Jonice Louden summarizes the compelling reasons for incorporating gender issues into FSR/E monitoring and evaluation systems, especially in a country such as Jamaica where women play key roles in agricultural production. The FSR/E process presents an opportunity to collect systematically valuable information that can help to inform project implementation and refine gendersensitive measures of key indicators of development.
Chapters 8, 9, and 10 take up conceptual and methodological issues beyond the farming systems universe. Dissatisfied with the market bias of standard economic models of the household, authors Lila Engberg, Jean Sabry and Susan Beckerson propose an alternative production activity model based on measures of time allocated to income-generation, subsistence, and home production. The
more integrated model suggests trade-offs between labor allocated to cash and to subsistence activities in Malawi that could have nutritional implications. Also concerned with the concept of household Art Hansen presents data, in Chapter 9, from Africa that suggests caution in conceptualizing and measuring the frequency of female-headed households. His findings show that static surveys may underestimate the probability that a woman will be a head of household at some moment or moments in her life, thereby reinforcing the importance of involving both men and women in development efforts. Eva Wollenberg's Chapter 10 discusses the strengths and weaknesses of various time allocation methodologies and their relevance to farming systems work. She explores how four different approaches to the collection of time use data were used in a Philippine project. Her discussion emphasizes the dynamic nature of the FSR/E process, a theme common to all of the chapters in this section. Gender patterns and intra-household relationships become relevant to different degrees and in different ways at each point in the project cycle. These chapters, and others following, provide concrete suggestions as to how an unfolding farming systems project team can collect and analyze the information that will enable it to develop and adapt production technologies to the needs of different users.
Diane Rocheleau, in Chapter 11, draws upon experience from a broad range of countries; she details a land user perspective as an appropriate method for incorporating women as clients and active participants in agroforestry projects. Her paper and that of Owusu-Bempah (Chapter 29) play an important role in expanding the horizon of FSR/E to consider the rural landscape as the context and focus for projects in order to address the gap between natural resource management and farming systems research. The role and domain of women in the interface of these two areas is clearly laid out as the next critical frontier for expansion of household research and gender-based analysis.
Beginning with Part 11, the Chapters explore gender issues in FSR/E on a
regional basis. Women's roles in agricultural production are less visible in Latin America than in other developing regions. The same is not true in the Caribbean-nations such as St. Lucia, described in Chapter 12 by Vasantha Chase. While island women play a significant role in farm work and decision making, they receive less income and fewer extension services than do male farmers. Informal data collection methods reveal that female-headed households face particular labor and input constraints that limit their output, choice of crops, and amount of land planted. A concern with integrating food consumption into the farming systems approach led the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) to recommend labor-saving methods of backyard garden production, oriented to improvement of family nutrition. The link between
nutrition and agricultural change is also the focus of Eunice McCulloch and Mary Futrell's Chapter 13. Their measures of the nutritional output of cropping activities reveal the "low level steady state" farming system that maintains Honduran families at risk of persistent malnutrition.
In Chapter 14, Patricia Garrett and Patricio Espinosa describe the steps taken by the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Project in Ecuador to adapt project activities to gender and social class differentiation. Their rich discussion of the FSR/E process demonstrates the importance of women's participation in production and decision-making, even in Andean Latin America where farming commonly is assumed to be the domain of men. The same is true in the Peruvian highland community described in Chapter 15 by Maria Fernandez, were women are responsible for most tasks associated with livestock production. Recognizing women as a key source of knowledge on traditional livestock production practices, the project team experimented with a variety of strategies to draw them into active participation. Fernandez' argument reflects the emphasis in Rocheleau's and Owusu-Bempah's papers on agroforestry of the importance of women's knowledge about traditional resource management practices.
Part III presents five case studies from Asia and the Middle East. Chapter 16 by Rita Gallin and Anne Ferguson and Chapter 17 by Jane Gleason present case studies from Taiwan. Gallin and Ferguson use longitudinal data from one village to show that a limited focus on farming activities ignored off-farm work and failed to analyze the interactions between the agricultural and industrial sectors of society. The authors propose the term "household enterprise" as a way of dealing with interrelated farming and off-farm work, and encourage researchers to view off-farm activities as "central rather than tangential to FSR/E analysis." Gallin and Ferguson discuss farm mechanization and note that it did not displace women, but rather concentrated certain tasks among some male specialists and caused some women to assume managerial positions previously restricted to men. Older women also took over tasks of younger women who then sought offfarm employment.
Gleason's detailed labor study in Southern Taiwan complements the previous work, and together they present a good example of why generalizations about gender and agriculture should not be made for an entire country. Gleason argues that in Southern Taiwan, as agricultural mechanization increased, more women than men were displaced and forced to other sectors of the economy. In her study, availability of female labor increased the variety of crops grown and the level of diversification, indicating that women will be the users of modern
vegetable technology and will be most affected by changes in vegetable production.
Chapter 18 by Bahnisikha Ghosh and Sudhin Mukhopadhyay studies time allocation by men and women in a rice-based farming system in West Bengal, India. Though female labor is subject to sociological constants, the contribution of women is often larger than men's. A change to 'new rice technology increased female-0labor, however the authors show that the increased workload falls within the home production sector and was largely unaccounted for in the traditional economic literature.
Chapters 19 and 20 are based on work conducted at two of the International Agricultural Research Centers. Thelma Paris, in Chapter 19, describes how women were successfully integrated into a crop-livestock project of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in the Philippines. Beginning as observers and slowly integrating themselves by collecting and disaggregating data on household and production activities, the section members of the Women in Rice Farming Systems were able to produce useful information and become fully participatory members of the project. As a result of their efforts, the whole team began to recognize that specific production activities are the responsibility of women and that on-farm research needed to target them. Women's livestock, particularly swine, root crops, and vegetables that had not been previously addressed by the project, were proposed as new areas of research as a result of the incorporation of women's concerns. In addition, subsequent training courses included a significant number of women participants, and the course addressed women's production problems.
Andree Rassam and Dennis Tully in Chapter 20, discuss research at the
International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) on gender and agricultural labor in Syria. They find that though male and female time contributions to crop production are similar, males are more often involved in new technologies, especially mechanization, while females are more involved in more traditional ones such as hand labor. The authors expect continuing mechanization to further reduce female agricultural activities and they propose additional research to determine the impact of these changes.
Part IV contains a number of case studies from Africa that includes the
descriptions of cropping systems, labor patterns, and work in on-farm, farmermanaged trials. Some themes that emerge from the papers are: the separate economies of men and women within households; the variability of the sexual division of labor in farm tasks; and increasing numbers of households headed by
women and the concomitant increase in work burden due to male migration and divorce. Concerning the sexual division of labor, tasks may be the same or different for both sexes; in female-headed households the so-called "male tasks" are performed by women out of necessity. Concomitantly, the authors report that researchers and extensionists have failed to recognize women's roles in farming, ignored gender in the design of FSR/E projects, and not included women much as trial cooperators. Women, especially female heads of households, are often low-resource farmers who may have special problems that research and extension need to address. (Indeed, there are male low-resource farmers who have many of the same constraints.) The question as to whether or not gender accounts for separate recommendation domains finds different answers in the papers due to differential ecologies, social organization, and cropping systems.
Chapter 21 by Margaret Norem, Sandra Russo, Marie Sambou, and Melanie Marlett provides an example from The Gambia of how a women's component was formulated and operationalized as part of a larger, FSR/E project. Existing women's societies were used as a basis for organizing women and a maizecowpea intercropping package was developed. The women experienced difficulties with the package related to pests, seed varieties, and labor patterns. The project was able to use women's participation in the trials and the problems they encountered to argue for the need to include women in subsequent research and extension efforts.
Jeane Henn in chapter 22, examines how government policies and
environmental constraints impact on intrahousehold dynamics in Cameroon. Labor patterns, proximity to roads and urban areas, and farm gate prices affected incomes, differently in two villages. Food sales were very important to women's incomes but marginal to men's incomes that were mostly derived from cash crops. In one village, men withdrew labor from food crops resulting in an increase in women's work. However, the women close to roads and urban markets were able to increase their labor output and foodstuffs produced, and double their income while women in the other village were not.
Jean Due provides data in Chapter 23 from Tanzania, Zambia, and Malawi on how gender is important to FSR/E work arguing that unless there are person(s) on the FSR/E team who are sensitive to the issues, important information will be missed. In Tanzania, a diagnostic survey for bean/cowpea research revealed that women select seed and contribute more labor on the crop than men. FSR/E work in Zambia would be hindered by not knowing the extensive labor contribution of women on the one hand, and the extent of off farm and non-crop income, some of which is generated by women, on the other. Data on extension
agents' contacts with farmers in Tanzania and farmers' farm income are correlated and show that male contact farmers have seven times the income of female heads of households, who are rarely contacted by extensionists.
In Chapter 24, Timothy Mtoi discusses labor patterns in one region of
Tanzania and uses a model to test the significance of female labor on expected risk and productivity under two cropping systems connected to a FSR project. The analysis shows that farm income would increase if the new alternative farming system had female labor transferred to it. However, policy decisions affect whether or not women can participate in the new technology (i.e., be trial cooperators) and obtain extension advice on the packages.
Chapters 25, 26, and 27 focus on Zambia and provide a more detailed set on the farming systems there and on the results of FSR/E diagnostic surveys. Mary Tembo and Elizabeth Chola Phiri discuss the traditional chitemene system of shifting agriculture and its sexual division of labor, the results of the colonial period that drained off male labor, and the lack of extension credit services to women. The result of these conditions has affected the diet and nutritional status of the population because women have taken to growing cassava (a crop that is less labor intensive, but also less nutritious than millet or maize), and farmers neglect food crops for household consumption because of growing cash crops.
Chapters by Robert Hudgens and Alistar Sutherland examine FSR/E
diagnostic survey work of Adaptive Research Planning Teams that became sensitized to the need to target women farmers in research activities and in the determination of recommendation domains. Hudgens details the characteristics of male and female-headed households in terms of land holdings, draft power, source of inputs, and cash sales. The comparisons show that there are both similarities and differences between the two household types and that the female-headed households experience labor shortages. Women tend to be isolated from government services and their production is constrained by lack of exposure to new ideas, inputs, and capital.
As part of the diagnostic phase of FSR work, Sutherland compares women's and men's roles in three regions of Zambia and argues that even within one country, gender roles are influenced by cultural, economic, political, and ecological factors. Labor, cash availability, and draft power tend to divide households into recommendation domains. Gender is a distinguishing factor in one region, but not in the others.
In Chapter 28, Anita Spring reports on two different on-farm, farmer-managed trials in Malawi. In the first, the inclusion of low-resource female farmers along with high-resource male farmers generated two recommendation domains. Improved maize cultivars and use of fertilizer worked well in the better environments and with high resource farmers, but would be disastrous in the low resource environments and with low-resource farmers. On the other hand, the traditional cultivar was better in -these situations. The second set of trials involved all female cooperators to solve a technical problem of inoculating soybeans as well as the issue of whether or not male\ extensionists could work with female farmers. It was found that the women could do trials with precision and that male extension and research staff could work with women farmers in terms of training and credit programs.
Kofi Owusu-Bempah, in the final paper, argues for inclusion of farmers in the planning and design of projects, and particularly calls for the involvement of women in the selection of species to be included in agroforestry projects in Ghana. His work represents a largely private sector effort and, like Rocheleau, calls for expanding the framework of analysis to include the landscape perspective and the intersection of crops, livestock and forest enterprises.
In conclusion, the papers in this volume contribute to an understanding of how gender affects farming systems and the way that FSR/E operates. The papers demonstrate that by linking the two codes gender and FSR/E the agricultural research and extension system can become more efficient and effective in dealing with different groups of farmers. The papers provide details of specific cases and the methods used to incorporate gender perspectives and analysis. There is no single recipe for action. Instead, these studies from an array of ecological, social, and political contexts demonstrate that it is both possible and practical to use gender analysis as a tool in the work of agricultural development.
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