Training for agriculture and rural development

Material Information

Training for agriculture and rural development
Series Title:
<199798> FAO economic and social development series
Parallel title:
Formation pour l'agriculture et le developpement rural
Parallel title:
Adiestramiento para la agricultura y el desarrollo rural
Abbreviated Title:
Train. agric. rural dev.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Labour Organisation
Place of Publication:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Creation Date:
Physical Description:
24 v. : ill. ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural education -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Community development -- Study and teaching -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Education, Rural -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Agrarische ontwikkeling ( gtt )
Platteland ( gtt )
Beroepsopleidingen ( gtt )
serial ( sobekcm )
international intergovernmental publication ( marcgt )


Articles in either English, French or Spanish with summaries given in the other 2 languages.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Numbering Peculiarities:
None published in 1974.
Issuing Body:
Vols. for 1975-98 issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Labour Organisation.
FAO economic and social development series.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
02441278 ( OCLC )
76641400 ( LCCN )
0251-1495 ( ISSN )

Related Items

Preceded by:
Training for agriculture
Succeeded by:
Human resources in agricultural and rural development

Full Text

1985 *v _ov


A joint authorship publication of FAO, Unesco and ILO, this journal is an annual review of current opinions and experience in agricultural extension and their contribution to rural development.

Cover photo: Jamaica. Woman farmer




FAO Economic and Social Development Series

No. 38

Food and Agriculture United Nations Educational,

Organization of the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization International Labour Organisation



training for agriculture and

rural development


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legalstatus of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The views expressed are those of the authors.

ISBN 92-5-102334-4
ISSN 0251-1495

The copyright in this book is vested in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, by any method or process, without written permission from the copyright holder. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction desired, should be addressed to the Director, Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.

FAO 1986
Printed in Italy



Introduction vii

Extension approaches to reach rural women 1
S. Gura

Extension approaches to reach women farmers 11

Reaching female farmers through male extension workers
in Malawi 11
A. Spring

Providing agricultural extension services to farm women
through male technicians in the Yemen Arab Republic 21
D. Hamada

Development for rural Zambian women 29
B. Keller

Working with fisherwomen in Bangladesh 39
P. Natpracha and B. Williams

Rural women's activities in marketing: a hog-raising project in the Philippines 47
A. Muuioz

Fiji: training women for income-generation 53
M. Kroon

Participatory education for women: a framework 61
N. Minett

The practice and perils of projects for women in the Third World 71
M. Buvinic



Nepalese women in natural resource management 83
S. Pandey

An effective method of training extension workers 91
C. Rucks

Creation ofan agricultural course in a Sardinian primary school 97
A. Bonapace

Theory into practice a case-study of postgraduate agricultural extension training 105
A. Blum



Nineteen eighty-five marks the end of a ten-year period designated by the United Nations as the Decade for Women. Its three goals have been to promote genuine equality between women and men; to ensure the full integration of women in development as participants and beneficiaries; and, to enhance the contribution of women to the promotion of world peace.
In recognition of the efforts made over the past ten years toward accomplishing these goals, and of FAO, Unesco and ILO's continuing commitment to their achievement, the theme of the 1985 issue of this publication is Women in agricultural and rural development: progress during the Decade for Women, 1976-85.
A number of articles in this issue document the attempts made in different regions of the world to reach more rural women more efficiently; point to reasons for success or the lessons learned from failures; or reveal the innovative practices undertaken to increase the participation and productivity of women in agricultural production and rural development.
Case-studies in Malawi and the Yemen Arab Republic provide examples of different approaches to reach women farmers in the diverse cultural traditions of Africa and the Near East. Descriptions of development activities in Zambia, the Philippines, Nepal, Fiji and Bangladesh call attention to the difficult situation of rural women and the problems connected with including them in production-oriented training and extension programmes. These accounts, while they do not presume to provide simple solutions or definitive analyses, attest to the importance of education and training, without which women cannot obtain the credit, technology and skills needed to better their lot and their contribution to development.
Other articles, in keeping with this publication's emphasis on training and extension for rural development, present innovative methodologies for education and extension training in general and give accounts of the successful development efforts that have resulted.
All the ensuing articles, although not explicitly focused on rural women, reflect a measure of hope that the rural development process, through education and extension, can provide a basis for realizing the goals of the UN Decade for Women equality, development and peace for all.


Extension approaches to reach rural women

S. Gura

Almost half the agricultural labour-force in developing countries is female. In some regions, official estimates are particularly high, such as in Africa, where in the Congo, for example, women make up over 60 percent of the labourforce. It is known, however, that the proportion of women is often underestimated. Women may not be reported for their work, they may be engaged in unreported work, or they may not even be asked what their work contribution is. Unofficial estimates of women in the agricultural labour-force of individual African countries may often be as high as 80 percent.
At the same time, food production shortfalls exist that cause many countries, particularly in Africa, to experience severe crises regarding food availability. It is logical to try to alleviate food shortages by improving production resources, inputs and services to farmers. When the farmers are women, however, they are generally bypassed in development efforts, of which extension activities occupy an important part. In Kenya, for example, it has been estimated that male farmers who are heads of households are contacted by extension agents 13 times more often than female farmers who are heads of households (Staudt, 1981).
The challenge remains to find ways in which extension can reach female farmers. All too often this is not achieved because of traditional practices, such as:

- working with the head of the household only, assumed to be a man;
- concentrating on commercial crops rather than food crops which are usually grown by women;
- failing to note the division of labour by sex within family units;
- assuming that information given to one family member is shared with other family members;

Dr Susanne Gura is an Associate Professional Officer (Women and Food Systems) in the Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division (ESH), FAO, Rome.



-assuming that women's time is flexible and that women are available for extension activities at the same places and times as men;
- assuming that women's interests are concentrated in home economics.

Awareness of the negative effects of these practices and of the need for change is increasing. New approaches and methods have been developed to improve extension services to small farmers in general and, with some adaptation, these have proved to be useful in reaching small farmers who are women. This article reviews the following relevant practices and approaches:

- client group analysis, recognizing that farmers' groups are not homogeneous;
- extension methods designed to reach specific producer groups rather than individuals or families;
- participatory methodologies that involve recipients as directly as possible in the design of development efforts;
- the linking of farming systems research to agricultural extension systems.

It is recognized that in general there is a shortage of qualified extension staff and funds. However, where women are a major part of the rural labourforce, it is imperative that they should be among those reached by extension activities, even at existing resource levels. If the food security problem is to be solved at the household level, priority must be given to improving practices in the production of food crops as well as cash crops. This is not likely to be achieved unless women's responsibility in growing food crops is taken into account.

Rural women as a client group

Rural women need to be recognized as a client group with specific extension and training needs. Their participation in agricultural work is often extensive, and their agricultural activities frequently differ from those of men. Extension messages must be directed toward women, when their activities and interests are involved, and efforts must be made to identify and meet their needs.
Women have mistakenly been considered as a homogeneous group in many development efforts. However, women's involvement in agricultural work and decision-making can vary widely even within a single region as a result of different ecological subzones, farming systems, income classes, or



stages in the family life cycle. These differences call for careful planning in the design and delivery of extension services. Farming systems research and the participatory methodologies described below provide two approaches that help to identify target groups and their extension needs.
In addition to extension messages, field practices must address women's needs. In reality, field extension practices have often worked against women producers. For example, public discussion meetings have been held at times that were convenient to men but when women were unable to attend; information has been released through channels such as pamphlets and radio, or through posters pinned up in banks or similar places that are largely inaccessible to women. Farmer training has often been held at centres without facilities for women and small infants.
In Zambia, recognition of the high percentage of female farmers and of their problems in leaving the home has led to the development of mobile training units instead of farmer traning centres that tend to be more accessible to men (Safilios-Rothschild, 1985).
Sometimes cultural practices or religious customs make it difficult or impossible for male agricultural agents to work with female farmers. For example, in Pakistan, purdah regulations precluded male extensionists from entering homesteads to vaccinate poultry while the husband was absent. Because of full schedules, the agents were unable to return to these families and a spread of poultry diseases followed. Consequently, female extension agents were later employed (Carloni, 1983). In these instances, women need to be recruited and specially trained as agricultural extension agents.
Contact between male extensionists and women farmers is sometimes more acceptable if men work with groups of women rather than with individuals.1 Alternatively, male extensionists who are initially accompanied by women extensionists may later be accepted in rural families on their own.
The "rules" governing contact between men and women may not apply equally at all levels of society. Poor rural women eking out a subsistence living are less influenced by social status and may be contacted by professional men, even in many countries where stereotypes are contrary to such contact.
The gender of staff is perhaps less important as an extension criterion in reaching rural women than has been thought. There are cases where male field agents who have understood women's production roles and needs have worked willingly and effectively with women producers. In an FAO-execu-

1 See articles by Spring and by Hamada, pp. 11 and 21.



ted project in Zaire, emphasis was placed on working with women's groups to improve cassava and maize production. Traditionally, these food crops are women'ss crops" and male agriculturists have not always been trained in their production. In this case, male extension workers, after intensive in-service training in the cultural practices and introduction of new varieties of the crops, successfully reached women farmers.
In Kenya, an extension agent was interested in helping his women clients in nutrition matters (Muzale and Leonard, 1982). In another case, an extension agent in Sri Lanka trained women in the use of tractors and spraying equipment and in modern crop husbandry (Postel and Schrijvers, 1980). These were cases in which the women were not only strongly organized, but were also recognized by district administrative officers and agricultural supervisors as appropriate clients for extension assistance. In each case, training and orientation, rather than the gender of the field-worker, was the key factor.

Working through women's groups

Group approaches, compared to methods of extension that are geared to individuals, have the potential to extend the reach of extension efforts, and to increase the impact of extension work. Approaching groups of women rather than individual women might help to circumvent those cultural restrictions that often impede contact between a female farmer and a male extension agent.
An interesting approach is currently being tried in pilot schemes in India involving the use of "female information brokers". It is the task of female information brokers to organize groups of farm women to meet the male extension official regularly. Three categories of women have been identified as potential information brokers: the wives of extension workers, female village. officials and older village women. These women, because of their social position, can facilitate contact between village farm women and extension agents.
To implement a group extension approach, the first step is to identify existing groups of women and the activities they wish strengthened. This has been done recently, for example, by the Ministry of Women's Affairs in the Republic of Cameroon and by the Intern ational Labour Office in cooperation with the Danish International Development Agency, which is surveying networks of women's groups in selected countries.
Another example of the group extension approach is support for existing



women's savings and credit groups. All over the world, agricultural credit and savings groups are organized and run by rural women. Examples are: arisans in Java; mabati groups in Kenya; isusu in West Africa; mushti in Bangladesh; dhikuri in Nepal; kutu in Malaysia; wokmari in Papua New Guinea and gamayas in Egypt. The procedures, management and distribution of benefits of these savings groups are well adapted to meet women's specific needs. Where these informal organizations can be assisted to develop a larger savings base, and be linked to services to improve members' income-generating capacity, the results can be spectacular. For example, the resilience of farming among women food producers during the struggles and hardships of the last two decades in Zimbabwe and the relatively widespread adoption of high-yielding varieties of maize (at least compared with Zimbabwe's neighbours), is directly tied to the development and growth of rural savings clubs. Most of the members of these clubs are illiterate women (Smith, 1984).
An alternative group approach that some extension services have pursued is to organize women explicitly for productive agriculture-related activities. For example, the women's cooperative movement launched by the Ministry of Local Government in Bangladesh has promoted the formation of women's groups to work with agricultural extensionists in agricultural production. Women's groups have also been created in Benin, Ghana and Guinea for the introduction of improved technologies for fish processing and conservation. Consequently, it has been recommended in many cases that women's groups be formed and used in extension work.

Participatory methodologies

Since it is recognized that extension is more than a one-way communication process where messages pass from extensionist to client, that it includes the client's knowledge and perception of a problem, a range of methods that rely on the farmer's experience and knowledge has been developed. Many extension agencies expect farmers to participate directly in the design of extension programmes.
Few attempts have been made to bring women's issues directly to the attention of policy-level extension officials. On the occasion of the 1984 World Food Day, a workshop that focused on rural women was organized by FAG in Nepal. High-level extension officers were confronted with rural women who described current problems and suggested solutions. One important suggestion was to include more agricultural topics and information in extension programmes in addition to home economics.



Village-level training workshops in marketing and credit were organized by FAO in many African countries in 1985. The leaders of women's producer groups explained their successful marketing activities to other women. Government officials as well as representatives of agricultural credit organizations observed the workshops and learned directly from rural women about the problems and constraints they face.'
An umbrella programme was carried out by FAO for disadvantaged rural women. By a participatory approach, this programme encouraged women to identify their needs and desirable project activities, and projects were formulated for women's groups on plantations, in resettlement schemes and refugee camps, in both arid and semi-arid zones. Experiences such as these provide insights as to how women in such groups participate, gain selfreliance, and establish mechanisms for getting needed inputs; and how governmental, financial and other institutions respond to and support such approaches.

Farming systems research

In farming systems research (FSR) the farm is viewed as a system composed of many interrelated elements, including physical, economic and social factors. This approach lends itself to the consideration of a broad range of activities by gender. More attention is being given to the farm family as a whole and to issues such as subsistence-level production, off-farm employment and household management, all of which influence agricultural production.
To date, the role of men rather than the role of women and children has been emphasized more in FSR, although measures are being taken by a number of institutions to correct this. FAO has modified its farm analysis package to consider women and children better. Women's and children's activities, interests and responsibilities in agriculture need to be acknowledged more clearly. As well, relevant data need to be disaggregated and analysed by sex and age. The role of men in the rural household and family can also be given attention through this approach.
Such important activities as the post-harvest handling of crops, smalllivestock raising and home gardening considered women's responsibilities

2 This "farmer-train-farmer" method was successfully used earlier (ESCAP, 1979).



in many countries have been neglected in FSR. In the light of efforts to reduce post-harvest losses, the need to reach rural women who are almost completely responsible for the drying and storage of crops has become evident (Stevenson, 1984).
FSR appears to be particularly useful in revealing the problems of female-headed households, many of which have been overlooked by extension programmes (Staudt, 1981). Women heads of households are independent producers of both food and, although more marginally, cash crops. Many are married to migrant men in whose name the land is registered, so that often they are not recognized as independent farmers. Thus, they have no access to credit or extension services. The same is true of many polygamously married women who cultivate their own as well as their husbands' fields. FSR can help to analyse such complex arrangements and define extension needs.
In general, FSR seeks to develop stronger research-extension links. Extension staff who work daily in the field develop a thorough understanding of the problems of farm women within the family in their working areas and help to find solutions in collaboration with -FSR.
Extension agents who are daily confronted with the realities of rural situations may call for new policy directives. In two FAO projects, local ektension officials were the ones who stressed the importance of women's contributions and were directly responsible for convincing project officials to alter the project design (Carloni, 1983).


Women farmers are being recognized as a special target group within the rural population, whose activities and interests and therefore extension needs differ from those of men. The time for a welfare approach to help rural women is past. Since women's activities are critical to food production, especially in most African countries where food security has deteriorated recently, agricultural extension services need to make far greater efforts to reach rural women.
There is general agreement that in the long run employing more female agricultural extension workers will help to reach rural women more satisfactorily. This is particularly important where socio-cultural practices limit contact between men and women outside the family. Female extension staff should not be limited to working in home economics, just as women clientele should not be expected to be interested in home economics exclusively.



An even more important factor than the sex of extension workers is their training and orientation toward recognizing rural women's contribution and technical needs. Extension workers, both male and female, need to be trained to understand the family farm as a complex unit involving agricultural as well as household and family issues. The reorientation of existing male staff can be effective, particularly when they go on to work with women's groups rather than individuals.
Curricula in agriculture should include more information than they do at present on the role of both sexes in the farm family. Male extension agents have not been learning why women are an important part of their clientele for technical information. Male staff already in place can be given in-service training for reorientation, or special meetings with women farmers can be held to expose extensionists directly to the extension needs of rural women.
An example of a well-rounded training programme is provided by the Yambio Institute of Agriculture in the Sudan. This institute offers a two-year diploma course for middle-level agricultural extension workers and technicians. About five years ago, with FAO assistance, the institute reoriented its training programme to include, in addition to agricultural courses, subjects related to home and family affairs such as nutrition, child development and resource management. The same training programme is provided for both male and female students (women constitute about 15 percent of the Students). The graduates are therefore capable of helping male and female farmers in both their agricultural tasks and their home and family responsibilities. This positive experience is now being repeated at the Shambat Division, College of Agricultural Studies, Khartoum Polytechnic in the Sudan.
Reorientating existing male extensionists to give more attention to the role of women in agriculture and to work with women's groups is one of the best immediate means of reaching rural women farmers in view of the staff shortages that extension services are experiencing everywhere.
Increased links between research and extension, such as promulgated in farming systems research, can help bring to light the technical roles and needs of both men and women in agriculture and can stimulate practical approaches that bring inputs to both sexes.


CARLONI, K. Integrating women in agricultural projects case studies of ten FAO0-assisted 1983 field projects. Rome, FAO.
ESCAP/FAO INTER-COUNTRY PROJECT. Learning from rural women: village-level success 1979 cases of rural women's group income-raising activities. Bangkok, FAO Regional
Office for Asia and the Pacific.



JIGGINS, J. Agricultural extension and training for rural women. Rome, FAO. (Unpublished 1983 manuscript)
MUZALE, P.J. & LEONARD, D. Women's groups and extension in Kenya: their impact on 1982 food production and malnutrition in Baringo, Busia and Taita-Taveta, Kenya.
Report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya. University of California, Berkeley, Managing Decentralization Project.
POSTEL, E. & SCHRIJVERS, J. (eds). A woman's mind is longer than a kitchen spoon: report 1980 on women in Sri Lanka. Research project on women and development. Leiden
(Netherlands), State University of Leiden.
SAFILIOS-ROTHSCHILD, C. The policy implications of the roles of women in agriculture in 1985 Zambia. New York, The Population Council, and Lusaka, The National Commission for Development Planning.
SMITH, G.A. Operational guidelines forpromoting women's savings groups activities in rural 1984 development projects in eastern and southern Africa. Rome, FAO.
STAUDT, K. Women's organisations in rural development. In Invisible farmers: women and 1981 the crisis in agriculture, ed. B. Lewis. Washington, D.C., USAID Office of
Women in Development. WID monograph.
STEVENSON, K.A.P. Social and economic aspects of prevention offood loss activities. Rome, 1984 FAO.



Extension approaches to reach women farmers

Traditional extension approaches have failed to reach women farmers in large measure because of the cultural, social and economic factors that separate women from men as a client group. The case-studies that follow arc set in the diverse cultural traditions of Africa and the Near East. They provide examples of field experiences that have potential for success through innovative modifications of traditional extension practices. In both cases the extension messages are delivered mainly through male field-workers.

Reaching female farmers through male extension workers
in Malawi

A. Spring

In many places in Africa extension services are structured so that female extensionists work with rural women and male extensionists with rural men. At first glance this seems a reasonable sexual division of labour. However, extension policies concerning the delivery of services to farmers should include a way to deal with needs based on the diversity of household arrangements and situations that exist in rural areas. This article looks at an extension service that was differentiated by sex and considers some changes that were made which allowed the service to address better the needs of rural households and, in particular, the needs of rural women. The country under considDr Anita Spring is Associate Dean and Associate Professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA. She is the former director of the Women in Agricultural Development project in Malawi, funded by USAID.



eration is Malawi; the innovation is an extensioncircular that legitimated the male extension staff's work with women farmers.
Certain variables need to be examined to ascertain if the sexual division of labour where female extensionists are directed to work only or mainly with women clients and male extensionists are directed to work only or mainly with men clients is warranted or even wise. It is necessary to evaluate a variety of factors, including i) the demography of the situation, i.e. the number of extension workers and farmers by sex; ii) the training/education of extension workers by sex; iii) the content of extension programmes according to the sex of the extensionist and the sex of the farmers; and iv) the delivery of development services according to the sex of the extension worker and recipient. In terms of demography, the number of male and female extension workers may be very differential. Usually the extension staff is largely male. In terms of the clients there may be more women than men in the rural population because of male migration for wage labour. The result may be fewer female extensionists to serve rural women than male extensionists to serve rural men. In terms of training, the education of men and women extensionists may be differential in terms of the type, quality and length of the courses they receive. Courses that are taken predominantly by men are generally more technical and longer than those for women extensionists.
There may be a number of assumptions about rural clientele and the 'goals of extension. One assumption is that rural women are involved only in domestic and reproductive activities and therefore require information and training only in home economics (particularly in cooking and sewing). What is overlooked is that African women have important productive roles in farming in order to feed their families.
In terms of the delivery of extension services, men and women farmers may have differential access. Men, as members of groups or as heads of households, may be eligible for services while women are denied access even though some may be heads of households. Because of the sexual division of the extension service, there is little or no way to account for the variety of real situations where the needs of the various household members are important. In some households both husband and wife are full-time farmers; in others, the husband may be away but may send money for the wife to use to manage the farming system; in others, a woman may have no male labour or support; in still others, only the husband farms. Some households may share resources effectively; in others, males may preempt resources that other household members generate. The assumption that if the husband is trained or assisted, the assistance will "trickle over" to other family members, and particularly to the wife, may not be justified in fact.



The extension service in Malawi and WIADP

Malawi has developed a sophisticated extension service located within the Department of Agricultural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) that is responsible for carrying out the National Rural Development Programme (NRDP). There are approximately 1 950 extensionists nationwide; however, only about 150 workers, or 5 percent, are female.
The case-study presented here shows that women are important in production in the smallholder sector, but that until recently most extension services for women have focused on imparting domestic rather than agricultural production skills. The home economics training and other services that rural women farmers received were given by female extensionists who were few in number and less technically trained than the male staff. Only male extensionists could enlist farmers for agricultural services such as credit and inputs, or give technical agricultural information, and they worked mostly with male farmers. In 1981 MOA changed the home economics section to "Women's Programmes". This set the stage for a greater focus on agricultural training and on the delivery of other extension services to small groups of rural women by female extensionists. However, the male extension workers were unaffected by this change.
The Women in Agricultural Development Project (WIADP), funded by USAID, operated in Malawi between 1981 and 1983. WIADP carried out extensive research nationwide on i) the productive roles of women and men in farming; ii) the types of extension services offered to rural people; and iii) the types of orientation and training that male and female workers received (Spring, Smith and Kayuni, 1983). WIADP aimed to document the contribution of women and men to agricultural production in the smallholder sector (as compared to the estate sector), and to convince development personnel that women needed to be targeted within the goals of NRDP. WIADP also examined the impact of the extension system on men and women farmers in terms of the training of extension personnel and the delivery of development services to farmers. The training of male and female technical and field assistants at all educational institutions was examined for differences and similarities as to the types and content of the courses. Finally, suggestions were made to revise the training of both male and female extension workers regarding the content of courses and the methods used to reach rural people (Spring, 1983).
WIADP had the idea that male extension staff could work with female as well as with male farmers and could extend a greater number of services to women if appropriate methods were used. WIADP also devised ways in



which female extensionists could receive more agricultural training (Spring, 1983). It prepared an extension aids circular entitled Reachingfemalefarmers through male extension workers that legitimated more intensive work by the male staff with women farmers and offered suggestions as to methods that could improve extension services to women. In this article, the background on women's contribution to smallholder agriculture is discussed, and then the type and frequency of the extension contacts with farmers are related. Finally, the circular with its suggestions on methods to improve extension services to women is described.

Background on women's contribution to smallholder agriculture

Although extension and research personnel were aware that rural Malawian women worked in the smallholder sector, they rarely acknowledged women's contribution, or believed it to be insignificant. Some extension workers felt that rural women were not really farmers, but only helped their husbands, or that women did some farm operations, men being the farm managers.
Clark (1975), writing for the Ministry of Agriculture in the early 1970s, estimated that Malawian women did 50-70 percent of the agricultural work in the smallholder sector. WIADP's research in the 1980s showed that women contributed most of the labour in smallholder agriculture and that a variety of crop operations, land, and labour patterns existed in Malawi (Spring, Smith and Kayuni, 1983). WIADP used data from the National Sample Survey of Agriculture (NSSA) collected by the Government of Malawi through MOA in 1980/81, from agro-economic surveys that had been collected in Malawi between 1968 and 1982, from its own farming systems research and surveys, and from other researchers' data. Some of the findings include the following:

* There are more women than men in rural areas and women are important in smallholder agriculture since men are often away doing wage labour. Approximately one-third of all rural households are headed by women; this type of household seems to be increasing because of male migration. Women have taken over the management of family farms more as a result.
* Women spend as much time on farm work as on domestic activities, working as much on farm activities as men.
* Women are involved in a variety of cropping patterns from mixed subsistence to cash crops. They grow maize, groundnuts, rice, cassava, tobacco, cotton, coffee and tea. Sometimes the land they cultivate is family land and sometimes they have their own plots.



* Women work on both food and cash crops and do many of the farm operations (such as spraying cotton and planting tobacco seedlings) that are commonly believed to be done only by men. In fact, farm operations are differential by sex in some areas and in some households, while in other places and households they are not. The sexual division of labour has given way to expediency in many places; women are involved in all aspects of cultivation including land clearing, ploughing, applying fertilizer, protecting crops, etc., either routinely or when male labour is unavailable.
9 Agricultural development projects increase the amount of hours each day and days each year that both men and women have to work.
* Women in many areas are involved in the care of livestock, particularly of small ruminants and poultry. Men are mostly involved in the ownership of cattle whose care may be with youths or young men on the range. Women become important caretakers if cattle are penned in the village for fattening.
9 Households headed by women are likely to be associated with increased labour constraints, simpler farming systems, food deficits, and a lack of agricultural services. Households with male heads are aided significantly by the male head's labour or remittances; these households are able to cultivate more land and to hire additional labour.
9 Compared with men, women receive few agricultural extension services such as training, inputs, credit, visits, etc. Women's farming practices (such as time of planting, spacing, fertilizer usage and crop protection practices) are often deficient and reflect women's lack of agricultural education and extension services. However, when women are given credit, agricultural training, inputs and farm management skills, their agricultural performance becomes similar to men's. In particular, women make good use of credit and rarely default.

Extension contacts with male and female farmers

WIADP documented the delivery of agricultural extension services from three sources: the NSSA extension survey; data on the number of men and women farmers who were club members and credit recipients in a number of rural development projects; and interviews with, and observations of, extension personnel in the field (Spring, Smith and Kayuni, 1983).
The data showed that farmers' contact with extension workers through home and field visits, attendance at group meetings and demonstrations, and participation in training courses, were differential regarding sex. Extension workers were the major source of advice for both men and women farmers,



but men received more personal visits and more advice on more topics. Group meetings tended to reach more farmers than personal contacts, but here again women did not benefit as much as men. Relatively few farmers of either sex visited extension demonstrations, but more men than women learned from this method. Field visits reached a smaller proportion of farmers than personal visits or group meetings, and women were contacted less than men.
In WIADP's analysis of NSSA data, three categories were compared: male household heads, their wives, and female household heads. There was variation in the topics of instruction received from extension workers. In all agricultural topics, men received much more instruction than either wives or female heads. However, in many areas wives received more instruction than female heads, while in some areas female heads received more than wives. The data also showed that very few wives received agricultural information from their husbands. The presumed transfer of technology from husbands to wives within the household unit did not take place. The assumption that if husbands were trained or assisted, other family members would be trained was not confirmed by the data.
In spite of the common assumption by extensionists and management that women were involved significantly in credit programmes, the data on the participation of men and women in farmers' clubs and credit programmes showed few women as participants in credit and other agricultural programmes compared to home economics extension services. WIADP also related the percentage of female-headed households in various areas to the percentage of women receiving extension services. The figures were widely discrepant in most areas and this showed that many households were routinely being bypassed.
During interviews and discussions with WIADP, male extension workers raised the issue that cultural factors might prevent them from working with female farmers. In particular, male workers noted that people would be suspicious if they contacted female farmers in the same ways in which they contacted men. However, some male workers often visited and signed up a few female farmers for credit. It was from these successful techniques and new techniques developed and tested in real situations that WIADP was able to extract workable methods to recommend on a larger scale, such as asking husbands to call their wives during personal and field visits; requesting local leaders to inform female villagers about meetings; having local leaders point out female household heads needing extension services; and working with women in group meetings or in farmers' clubs. These techniques would alleviate the difficulties of having men work with women to whom they are not related.



The Extension Aids Circular:
Reaching female farmers through male extension workers

There has been a need to help extension personnel recognize the role that women play in smallholder agriculture and to be given workable methods for including women in-the delivery of agricultural services. Furthermore, there has been a need to legitimate the male extensionist's work with women farmers nationwide, a policy that would not rest on previous notions that only female extensionists could work with rural women. WIADP, in conjunction with the director of the Extension Aids Branch and the women's programmes officer, designed an Extension Aids Circular, one of many technical circulars published by the Extension Aids Branch. Its purpose is to direct the larger and better trained male extension units to work with women farmers. The circular was prepared for and distributed to all extension personnel in Malawi from grass-roots workers to management and its publication was announced in the national newspaper.
Reaching female farmers through male extension workers (Extension Aids Circular No. 2/83) was published in August 1983 by the Ministry of Agriculture. The circular draws attention to the. fact that women farmers need extension services because:

-"women contribute much to the production of food, cash crops and livestock;
- "women perform many farm operations;
- "women head about 30% of Malawi's rural households and make the farm decisions for those households; and
-women are farmers as well as being farmers' wives"

These points constitute the first page of the circular with a photograph of a male extension worker instructing a group of women and men farmers in land preparation and planting techniques. The eight photographs in the circular are from the Extension Branch collection and depict women in various farming operations (suckering tobacco, operating an ox-drawn plough, and planting seed), attending extension demonstrations led by a male extensionist, attending a village meeting with male farmers and male extensionists, rece iving credit inputs, and exhibiting a certificate of recognition for excellence in farming. The photographs depict real people in real circumstances and were taken in different parts of the country.
The text is divided into two sections. First, the circular explains that there are few female and many male extensionists and that women farmers do



much of the work in the smallholder sector. It states that some people might argue that women are interested in home economics rather than agricultural training and notes that agricultural training has mainly been directed to men. However, the circular points out that women are interested in both subjects and that where the initiative has been taken to offer agricultural programmes to women, they have learned new technologies and have increased their production, often generating income for home activities.
Second, the circular presents methods for improving the delivery of extension services to rural women. Recommendations are given on village meetings, agricultural training courses, credit programmes, farmers' clubs, demonstration plots and field days, and record-keeping. The circular states that village meetings are ideal for implementing a group approach and that women can be recruited by local leaders, husbands or female extension workers. The circular notes that extensionists will have to discover why women do not attend meetings. It suggests several reasons such as the scheduling of meetings in conflict with women's agricultural or domestic duties, the tendency of male extensionists to address men's problems and ignore women's problems, the need to explain to both sexes that agricultural services should be offered to women, and the problem of having both husbands and wives at the same meeting with no one home to look after the children to be investigated and corrected. Suggestions are offered concerning the scheduling of meetings, the use of leadership training for women so they may express their problems in public, and the need for staff to convince women that male extensionists are interested in women's farming problems. Male workers are encouraged to include the wives and female relatives of male farmers during personal visits to homes or farms for training, credit and soil conservation programmes.
For agricultural training courses, extensionists are told that it is possible to target women for places in courses at training centres at all levels, as has been the case in an area in Malawi where 30 percent of the places are reserved for women. Because it is new for women to attend agricultural courses, new methods of recruitment are needed. In the training courses, women should receive the same information on crops, livestock and farm management as men.
Although the circular notes that the seasonal and medium-term credit policy is non-discriminatory in that both men and women are eligible, in practice few women receive credit. It is pointed out that the decision to seek credit has to be considered at the household level. In married households one or both spouses might seek credit for the same or for different farm enterprises. Female-headed households must be targeted in particular. According to the



situation in the household and to farmers' preferences, therefore, credit should be offered by the extension worker to worthy farmers regardless of sex. Since credit and technical information are being given to farmers mainly though farmers' clubs, women should be encouraged to join clubs in their own right, or if married, with their husbands.
Extensionists are involved in selecting farmers in their area to participate in various demonstrations and programmes that require land or management. These include research trials and attendance at special field days where farmers learn new technologies. The circular admonishes extension workers to choose women as well as men for these activities. Finally, extensionists are encouraged to monitor their extension contacts with women and men farmers and to include in their records the number of men and women, the type and frequency of contacts, attendance at demonstrations and training sessions, and participation in credit and input programmes.
No formats for recording and reporting the delivery of extension services to men and women are given in the circular. However, in several places in the country, WIADP, along with management, designed formats that extension workers and their supervisors can use in reporting extension activities such as credit, training and club participation. These formats list the sex of the farmer participating in each activity or programme.

Significance of the Extension Aids Circular

Prior to the circular some male extensionists did, in fact, include some women farmers in their programmes. However, the inclusion of women was neither consistent nor reflective of women's contributions and needs. Most male extensionists preferred to rely on a few female extension workers to reach women. The circular legitimated and mandated male extensionist work with women farmers in the smallholder sector.
The work that rural women do may warrant male extensionists, who are often more numerous, better trained and well situated within the delivery system, working with women to bring them into the mainstream of development services. This is not to say that home economics programmes should not be offered to rural women. Home economics subjects could be considered as enrichment programmes, or their content could take women's productive work into account. However, when the situation is such that female extensionists are few in number or that their training has failed to provide the skills needed to focus on women's productive roles, male extensionists will have to contribute. Arguments that say that men cannot work with women farmers



will have to be re-examined, and new methods and techniques will have to be devised that are feasible and that consider cultural constraints. A mechanism that instructs extension staff in techniques and legitimizes the use of new methods must then be devised. Here, an extension circular, based on research on farming systems, the contributions of men and women farmers, and on data as to how the delivery of services is working and might work more effectively, has provided the way to direct hundreds of extensionists to target a significant portion of the rural population. The ways offered were culturally acceptable and appeared in the form of recommendations from the Ministry of Agriculture. Shortly, it will be possible to do follow-up studies to ascertain the impact of these recommendations on the delivery of extension services to rural households and especially to rural women.


CLARK, B. The work done by rural women in Malawi. East. Afir. J. Rural Dev., 8(2):80-91. 1975
MALAWI MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE. Reaching female farmers through male extension 1983 workers. Government Printer. Extension Aids Circular 2/83. SPRING, A. Priorities for women's programmes. Report for the Ministry of Agriculture, 1983 Government of Malawi. Washington, D.C., USAID Office of Development. SPRING, A., SMITH, C. & KAYUNI, F. Women farmers in Malawi: their contributions to 1983 agriculture and participation in development projects. Report for the Ministry of
Agriculture, Government of Malawi. Washington, D.C., USAID Office of


Providing agricultural extension services to farm women through male technicians in the Yemen Arab Republic

D. Hamada


To introduce and popularize improved agricultural technology, extension services in the Yemen Arab Republic were started in the early 1970s. The initial success of these activities led to a decision to repeat them in the Tihama region, traditionally the country's bread-basket.
Near the end of the decade, the need to improve local food production systems to meet increasing demand, coupled with the steady migration of men to the oil-rich Gulf states and to urban centres, required a reassessment of agricultural extension programmes.
The potential role of women in agricultural production was recognized. It was felt that training farm women would, first, improve their efficiency in doing farm chores traditionally done by them, and second, prepare them to take over other agricultural operations left by men. Trained farm women to fill the gap in the work-force would prevent a severe slump in agricultural production and ensure adequate farm management.
While women's potential to contribute to agriculture has been recognized and tapped in other parts of the world, approaches acceptable to the Yemeni culture needed to be defined. Moreover, there was a need to identify women's present role on the farm as well as to identify those agricultural operations traditionally done by men for which women could now be prepared to assist with or take over.
To test the possibilities of extending agricultural services to farm women in line with cultural restrictions, a United Nations volunteer (UNV) female agriculturist was recruited. She was to complement the assistance to field operations provided by other male UNVs in the Tihama UN-FAG project.

Ms Dorothy Hamada is an FAO expert who worked in Yemen before her assignment in the Sudan.



Before a programme to assist farm women could be worked out, the female UNV had to familiarize herself with the area and the farm community, particularly with women. To do this, she worked with her male colleagues in their established field projects and with their farmer cooperators. This made possible first-hand observation and experience.
It soon became apparent that certain factors would affect the chances of success of any women's programme undertaken by the UNV. The more important factors were:

- the absence of Yemeni female agriculturists and the impossibility of recruiting women to be trained for the purpose would limit the area that could be covered. More important, this meant that any programme started was likely to be discontinued after the UNV completed her tour of assignment;
- the UNV's limited knowledge of Arabic restricted communication with farm women and required an interpreter. The only interpreters available were the male extension technicians; and
- as a female, the UNV's competence as an agriculturist and her ability to do farm work were seriously doubted by the male farmers as well as by her colleagues. Her credibility had to be proved before she was allowed to work with the women. This was time-consuming.

Women in agriculture in the Tihama region

Agriculture in the Tihama region of the Yemen Arab Republic is basically self-sustaining and oriented toward the self-sufficiency of the farm family. As such, cereals are the main crop; livestock and their forage requirements, plus some spice and vegetable production, come next. With crop farming possible only half of the year, the storage of reserves is a major feature of Tihama farming. Any excess above the farm family's requirements is marketed. Some commercial farming by private individuals and state farms has developed.
While Yemeni women are engaged in farming, they generally do their work apart from men or in seclusion, particularly when men who do not belong to the immediate family are near. The lower the social class of the women on the farm, the more often they are found doing farm work. This is also evident in the profile of the women found working on state and commercial farms. There is a separation of sexes in all social contact.
In family-operated farms, women help sow grain. They drop and cover the grain while walking behind the men who drill the furrows with an animaldrawn implement; or they ride at the back of the tractor, manually dropping



grain into improvised grain drills attached to a tractor-drawn furrowing implement.
They weed and clean the fields, primarily for forage to feed livestock. Women are generally responsible for cutting the grain panicles and loading them in straw baskets or bundling them (in the case of millet). These operations are done either while the crop is still standing in the field, or after the men have cut it at the base of the plant and laid it on the ground along the length of the plots. Women also do threshing, beating the particles with whiplike flails. They share the chore of packing the grain and storing it, and are responsible for keeping the seeds for the next planting.
The care of livestock such as chickens, goats, sheep and sometimes cattle is assigned to women and children. They feed, water, pasture, stable and milk the animals. Camel husbandry is a man's job.
Food processing and food preparation are women's responsibilities. Where there are no motor flour mills, the women crush the soaked grain between a flat and a roller stone hand-mill. Fermenting and drying crop products, salting and curdling, and butter and cheese making are also part of a woman's routine. Gathering firewood and carrying water are also women's tasks.
Spinning wool, handicrafts from palm leaves and reeds, and the repair of the mud walls of the home and fences are done by many women in Tihama. In some cases, this extends to painting the mud walls.
With the expansion of commercial farming and the establishment of state farms and experimental stations, an increasing number of women are recruited to work on these farms. They engage in planting, the preparation of potting mediums and in potting, weeding, thinning and replanting. When in the field during irrigation, they help direct the water through plots. They are employed as cotton and vegetable pickers, packers and sorters.
There are three major areas of agriculture in which Tihama women are not normally involved: i) land preparation ii) decision-making and farm management, and iii) marketing, both buying and selling. They may influence these operations but are not actively involved.

Agricultural technicians in Yemen

Only recently have careers in professional agriculture become available in the Yemen Arab Republic. Until 1980 there was no agricultural college. The training of agricultural technicians was provided by junior schools and through specialized short-term courses offered by some agricultural projects



and institutions. On-the-job training was also a major source of labour. For higher education, Yemenis had to go abroad. None of the country's agricultural schools were open to girls. Thus there were no female Yemeni agriculturists. Cultural restraints prevented young Yemeni ladies from working alongside men and also prevented their recruitment for work in agricultural extension offices, particularly those involving field-work.
Grass-roots extension technicians were mostly young boys having an elementary education. Middle-level supervisors were high school graduates with more field experience and some special training. Senior project counterparts were university graduates.
Field technicians were assigned to a group of adjoining villages and were required to live within their area of assignment. They were normally from the area itself. There was an advantage to this system of recruitment in that the field technicians were familiar with the area, the people and the cultural and political environment. In turn, they were known and accepted by the local people with whom they worked.
Agricultural extension services included the setting up of plots in farmers' fields to demonstrate improved agricultural technology; conducting classes for farmers; home and farm visits; farmers' days and field shows; a radio "school-on-the-air"; and the documentation of farm activities. Simple extension offices were set up in the larger towns and villages.
To supplement the on-the-job training of staff as they worked alongside their expatriate UNV counterparts, short courses were provided from time to time. Each year, representatives of the agricultural projects of institutions throughout the country were invited to a seminar in Tihama to share experiences, findings and recommendations. Dialogue with field staff was encouraged during these gatherings. The staff was further encouraged to participate in joint applied research, controlled seed production and multiplication activities, and in information documentation and simple farm analysis.

A strategy for assisting farm women

Given the limitations prevailing in areas such as Yemen namely i) no female agriculturists and the impossibility of recruiting females to work as agricultural extensionists, and ii) the difficulties of recruiting expatriate, Arabic-speaking female agriculturists willing to work as conventional farm technicians (that is, travelling extensively and willing to live in often unfamiliar surroundings), an alternative strategy was designed. This called for the Yemeni male agriculturists themselves to assist farm women, and to ensure



that agricultural information drives addressed women as well as men. While this is not a new approach in extension work, it was previously thought impossible in the Yemeni culture.
The female UNV adjusted her work, continuing to assist her male colleagues in the field to gain credibility and also took a more active role in project documentation, programming, training and communication work. Assistance to farm women was then channelled through male field technicians.

Prerequisites of male extensionists engaged in women's agricultural programmes.
* They should be from the villages to which they are assigned and be culturally and socially acceptable to the farming community.
They should know exactly what women on the farm do and how the work is done.
* They must be sincerely committed to working with women and believe that women can contribute to agricultural production. Unless the male extension workers have the proper attitude toward working with farm women, their chances of success will be slim.

Planning the programme. In planning any agricultural extension programme, the concerns of farm women should be considered. Wherever and whenever women are involved in an agricultural operation, they should be included in the assistance provided by the extension programme. Specific objectives and means of assisting farm women should be defined in the programme and not merely assumed to happen in the course of events. It is also wrong to assume that if male farmers are trained by an agricultural extension worker they will necessarily pass on improved skills to women.
In areas where women are not traditionally involved and now have to participate, any technology introduced must bear in mind women's previous inexperience and differences in physique, making necessary adjustments. Extension workers must be reminded that women should be given an equal opportunity to learn improved skills and receive information. In countries like Yemen, this equal-opportunity clause can operate by providing similar but separate training for farm men and farm women. All training for farm women will necessarily have to be on the farm.
An agricultural extension programme will not automatically reach all sectors of the farming community. Restrictions to the equal distribution of information and services is a reality. A holistic approach to programming assistance to the farming community should include adult males, females and youth.



Preparing extension workers. The training programme for male agriculturists must be reviewed. There may be areas of agriculture which are seen as women's jobs and as such may consciously or unconsciously be left out of any training programme. However, such areas should be included in the training programme for male agricultural extensionists.
If men are to assist farm women properly, they should receive training in those jobs done by women. In other words, men must know a job if they are to train women to do it better. In Yemen, farm operations that are likely to be overlooked or underemphasized include sowing seeds as distinct from land preparation; weeding, harvesting, threshing; seed selection for planting; the prevention of crop and food losses; food processing and grain milling; water and firewood conservation; and the introduction of time- and labour-saving devices and techniques.
Research and the selection of the farm technology needed by the agricultural extension service should include women's concerns, e.g. small handtools and implements that would make women's work less cumbersome, less wasteful and lighter. The prevention of losses during farming should include a study of losses during food processing and preparation. Recycling to conserve and extend the utilization of farm products is another area that is relevant to farm women's efficiency.

The use of mass media. The mass media, particularly TV, video, radio and the printed media, are very useful tools for reaching farm women. They help to resolve the problem of personal contact between different sexes. In the Islamic culture, the use of TV and video can, to some extent, substitute for live demonstrations of techniques and women's classes given by male field technicians. In fact, TV and video are becoming increasingly popular in Yemeni villages as women can enjoy viewing programmes in the seclusion of the women's quarters.
Special programmes for female audiences can be prepared and TV or video tapes distributed to extension centres for loan to women or groups of women. While messages may address specific sexes, this does not exclude either sex from viewing the tapes. They then have the additional advantage of further educating an informed public.
For those whose literacy levels are low, audio-visual messages are easier to comprehend. For radio, the use of local dialects and speakers would improve delivery, while the use of simple graphics and drawings would improve the printed material.
As with other aspects of an extension programme, there must be conscious effort in the communication programmes to address women. Research



on methods of presentation preferred by women, the time of day they are more likely to listen to the radio or TV, and the texts that meet women's educational levels must be undertaken.
Mass media programmes should be complemented with a follow-up by field technicians. This would provide feedback on the effectiveness of programmes, help clarify the message or aspects of the message that may not be understood by farmers, and encourage the use of the information delivered.

Documentation and monitoring. There should be a continuing monitoring of women's farming concerns. Built into the agricultural documentation and monitoring system should be present roles, changes, experiences with approaches to reaching farm women (including possible alternative approaches), and a record of other facts influencing the role of farm women.
More important, this information should be tabulated, analysed and the findings should be used to improve the programme continually. Documentation systems should be reviewed to ensure that information is collected on farm women, their activities and on women's contribution to agriculture.

Two birds with one stone. Assisting women need not continue to be neglected where there are no female technicians to cover farm women's concerns and where the prospects of providing for this in the near future are doubtful. Using expatriate female technicians is, at best, only a temporary and often very expensive --solution.
Moreover, the absence of female technicians need not postpone improving farm women's contribution to agricultural development. Male, as well as female, agricultural extension workers can be employed to provide assistance to both male and female farmers. This need not mean doubling the work-load of any one technician. His or her area of coverage will depend on how much can be effectively covered.
"Killing two birds with one stone" can be more economical. Provided the technician is assisted in the preparation of a programme, one technician will reduce the chances of an overlap or gaps in a programme owing to difficulties in defining which of two or more technicians should be responsible for a particular farm operation. The technician can be trained to look at farming as a package of interrelated operations done by both men and women.
On the part of administrators and supervisors, the need to coordinate the work of two separate employees, to provide logistic support for two technicians, to respond to personal and personnel needs is reduced. This can increase the cost-effectiveness of a programme.




The experience in the Tihama region of Yemen is still new. Constant adjustments will have to be made before an efficient system for assisting farm women is operational. Experience, however, shows that it can be done. Male agriculturists can work with farm women and they can be as effective as female agriculturists.


Development for rural Zambian women

B. Keller

The great majority of rural Zambian women are very poor. Many are unable to cultivate sufficient food crops during the agricultural season to feed their families throughout the year. They cultivate with simple tools, occasionally labouring with their children. More than one-third of adult rural women are heads of households. They are the poorest of the rural population; some own no agricultural tools, such as hoes, at all. They cultivate alone and produce little. Whether married or single, rural women must work long hours each day, and not only in their fields; they perform the burdensome routine domestic chores of water and firewood collection and food preparation. Most bear many children, only to endure numerous infant and child deaths. Rural women themselves are often in poor health, which reduces their productive capacities. Yet their children must be fed and so they must work, both to produce food and to earn pitifully small amounts of cash for basic necessities, such as their children's school requirements.
This article examines the reasons why Zambian women do not yet fully participate in rural development efforts, assesses the current constraints they face, and analyses their participation in the LIMA (farm) Programme, intended to improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. The information comes from a recent review of the progress made toward integrating Zambian women in development as a result of the United Nations Decade for Women (Keller, 1984).

Rural women's marginalization

Many studies in the past decade have provided ample evidence that Third World women have not fully participated in or shared the benefits of socioeconomic development (Rogers, 1980). The reasons for this vary according to each country's history. In order to understand the overwhelming problems that Zambia's women farmers face today, it is necessary to examine briefly

Dr B. Keller is Senior Lecturer in the Department of African Development Studies at the University of Zambia in Lusaka.



their traditional productive roles, the impact of colonialism, and the main trends since the country's independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.
The traditional, or precolonial, socio-economic structure has not been the cause of the current marginalization of rural Zambian women. Ethnographic data collected by researchers at what was then the RhodesLivingstone Institute,' document the importance of women in agricultural production. In small, kinship-based, horticultural communities, husbands and wives divided the work of food production according to local systems of sexual division of labour. Although women worked longer hours than men since they were responsible for time-consuming chores such as weeding, they could rely on the assistance of their husbands as well as relatives and neighbours through cooperative work parties. Although women were subordinate both socially and according to customary law, gender inequality did not systematically impoverish women in comparison to men. Local communities were self-sufficient in food, and some such as those in what is now the Western Province along the Zambezi River produced food surpluses.
The economic impoverishmrent of women began with colonialism in the late nineteenth century (Muntemba, 1982). Zambia and other parts of southern Africa were labour reserves, providing unskilled male labour to the mines and commercial farming centres of South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and to Zambia's copper belt. Men spent much of their adult lives away from their villages and the work and cost of family maintenance was borne by women. In the absence of their husbands, women could not perform such heavy tasks as clearing new fields. Plots that would normally have been left to lie fallow were over-utilized and levels of food production began to decline. Some women, unable to carry on food production alone, were forced to earn food by working for the few more prosperous local farmers (Cliffe, 1979).
In the Southern Province the colonial state encouraged peasant farmers to produce maize to feed the growing urban population of the copper belt. Women's labour was used for cash crops as well as food production, but they did not necessarily benefit from their increased work-load. Although men and women worked together in maize fields, the new cash crop was considered to belong to men. Elsewhere, the colonial state did little to assist or improve subsistence cultivation, which was increasingly the work of women.

'The oldest social science research institute on the African continent, now called the Institute for African Studies. Prominent anthropologists, such as Elizabeth Colson, studied the complementarity of men's and women's work (1958).



By the 1940s, some rural areas were no longer self-sufficient, much less producers of food surpluses, and they became food importers, a situation that has continued to the present day.
After 1964 the Zambian Government invested the profits from a booming copper economy to improve the neglected material infrastructure, such as roads, and to improve medical, educational and other services promised to citizens as the fruits of independence. Economic diversification away from a copper-based economy, including improved agricultural production, made slow progress. Rural-to-urban migration increased, resulting in Zambia's nearly 50 percent urbanized population today, a situation not typical of the rest of Africa (excluding South Africa). The remaining rural population, including a disproportionate number of adult women, worked longer and harder. Producer prices for cash crops -including groundnuts, traditionally a "women's crop" were kept artificially low in order to subsidize the cost of living of the politically important urban population. In general, women's economic position worsened, commensurate with growing rural-urban inequalities, but this was not remarked upon so long as copper remained in demand and brought high prices internationally.
International Women's Year in 1975 coincided in Zambia with falling copper prices, declining government revenues, and a generally worsening economic situation. Recognizing the necessity of economic diversification, the government launched a variety of programmes to increase agricultural production both for national food self-sufficiency and for export. Some were large-scale, capital-intensive programmes, but others, such as the LIMA programme, which will be discussed below, were specifically directed at small-scale, primarily subsistence producers. One characteristic of the LIMA effort, the cooperative movement and other programmes addressed to the rural poor, was their lack of recognition of existing gender inequalities. By treating peasant households as units and by assuming that most households were headed by men, agricultural development efforts largely overlooked women.
A consciousness of the important economic roles played by rural women has been only slowly achieved in Zambia. By 1980, however, the United Nations Decade for Women had begun to have an impact. Largely as a result of the advocacy of several United Nations agencies and important donor agencies (such as those from the Scandinavian countries), there has been an increasing number of special projects for rural women. Also, though to a much lesser degree, there has been an examination of existing structures, such as extension services and credit facilities, to ascertain their availability to women.



Current constraints faced by rural women

The existing goverment policy is to integrate Zambian women in development. However, examination of the constraints that women now face indicates that integration will not be easily or quickly accomplished. Zambia's rural women have inadequate and unequal access to the major factors of agricultural production, notably land, labour, capital and skills.
Zambia is a large country with a seemingly small population dispersed thinly in most rural areas. Access to land for agricultural production would not seem, on the surface, to be a problem. In the past, married women usually had their own fields, obtained from and cleared by their husbands. Today, fields obtained through the system of communal land tenure belong to the family as a whole. If a surplus is produced for sale, the income belongs to the head of the household, who is the "owner" of the field, invariably the husband. A married woman cannot easily obtain land in her own right. Even if she manages to do so, her attention to her crops will take a secondary place to those of the family field. In some parts of Zambia where the cash-crop production of maize and cotton is more highly developed, land is more often privately owned, with men rather than women taking the title deeds.
In the Southern Province, where most of the maize a staple food and an important cash crop is produced, women's labour is of critical importance to progressive small-scale farmers. Using ox-drawn ploughs, men are able to increase their maize production for the market to the degree that they can increase their work-force. Typically, polygamous marriages facilitate this. Women's agricultural labour makes multiple marriages a good economic investment for men. In general, married women have their labour power controlled by men and have no ability to command work from others, except out-of-school children. Since husbands control most sources of income from farm production, wives often do not receive cash returns commensurate with their labour input. Unable to produce an agricultural surplus for sale themselves,.they meet periodic cash requirements such as for buying school uniforms for a child -by the sporadic brewing and selling of beer. The labour constraint is especially critical for female heads of household who constitute 30-40 percent of all households in Zambia's rural provinces. Cultivating a small plot totally alone and being solely responsible for their children's needs, they are the poorest of Zambia's numerous rural poor.
Most adult women, single or married, are unable to increase their agricultural production because of a lack of access to credit for necessary inputs of hybrid seed, fertilizer and pesticides. Small loan facilities through the government have, in general, not been very accessible to peasant farmers



who have nothing to offer as security. Inadequate credit programmes designed to foster small-scale cash-crop production have been monopolized by male, "emergent" farmers.
In addition to basic factors of production, women have inadequate access to information and skills. The agricultural extension services have largely been run by men, for men. Male extension workers do not, as a matter of custom, directly approach another man's wife. New agricultural techniques are therefore demonstrated to men when, in fact, it is the wives who perform most of the agricultural tasks. Female heads of household should be more approachable but, as the poorest in a rural community, they tend to be overlooked by extension services oriented to identify and assist more progressive farmers. The female extension programme, both in agriculture and community development, has emphasized home economics rather than agricultural production skills. The result in Zambia is that many women can knit but are unable to understand instructions for applying fertilizer.
Women's unequal access to land, labour, credit and skills should be seen in the wider context of rural poverty. Most rural families live in poor housing without latrines, have an inadequate intake of protein foods and use untreated water sources. Adult women in such households are invariably overworked and often in poor health from too-frequent child bearing and endemic diseases such as malaria and respiratory infections. One recent study, for example, documented the use of adult women's time in one area of Zambia's Northern Province (Allen, 1984). Women spent the largest proportion of their time first in performing domestic chores and second in being sick. Time spent in agricultural production came third.
As a result of the International Decade for Women these constraints are now more clearly recognized and publicly discussed. Recognition has not yet, however, influenced national development planning so that the impact of all development planning and projects on women's status may be clearly assessed. Rather, "special" projects are designed for Zambian women which remain outside the mainstream of national development efforts. Some of these women's projects continue to be of the home economics type. Increasingly, however, the emphasis has changed to projects that encourage women to generate income, both through increased farm production and through small-scale industries, usually those "suitable" for women, such as textile or clothing production. Such income-generating projects have made little impact, except on the few who participate in them. As a development model, they cannot easily be generalized to a wider population because the basic constraints that women face land, labour, credit, access to information, overwork and poor health remain unchanged.



The LIMA programme

The Zambian Government initiated the LIMA programme in the late 1970s. LIMA was one of several efforts to diversify the economy away from its lopsided dependence on the mining and export of copper. Because of periodic droughts, a high rate of rural-to-urban migration, artificially low producer prices for cash crops, and a general lack of commitment to rural development, the level of the country's maize production stagnated. A few largescale commercial farmers and some emergent farmers, particularly in the Southern Province, supplied the cities with maize. The majority of farmers were subsistence cultivators who produced no surplus for sale.
LIMA, then, was intended to improve this situation by providing a technical package to subsistence farmers. A farmer wishing to participate in LIMA could obtain a small loan through a government credit agency for inputs of hybrid maize seed and fertilizer. Agricultural extension workers were trained to help farmers in measuring their LIMA fields, plant and apply the correct amount of fertilizer, and so on. The LIMA model was taken up by several of the major donor countries contributing to Zambia's rural development and became an important part of the Integrated Rural Development Programmes (IRDP) in most provinces.
At the time that LIMA was introduced, there was little recognition of the fact that women's role in agricultural production was significant. The LIMA message went out through the established channels from men, to men. In peasant households of married couples, a new LIMA field intended for the production of surplus for market became the husband's field, even though his wife's labour was used and was indeed critical in improved household farming. The assumption that all members of a household would benefit equally as a result of cash returns from maize production was taken for granted. As the heads of households, married men in Zambia have the right to make decisions about the disposal of cash income.
Many women found that their efforts on their husbands' LIMA fields brought them only a few metres of cloth after the crop was marketed. One study has suggested that the nutritional status of women and children is actually worse in areas where there has been a significant shift away from subsistence to increased maize production. If women's attention is diverted from food production, or if their limited time is divided between food and cash crops, they are obviously not going to benefit from LIMA.
For most single women, even this has not been an issue since they have largely been excluded from LIMA cultivation. One recent survey of LIMA participants in the Northwestern Province, for example, concluded that the



programme was biased against single women, primarily because they had inadequate household labour to work on LIMA as well as subsistence fields (Oppen et al., 1983). Only 8 percent of the LIMA farmers surveyed were single women, though they constituted 21 percent of the larger population. Some wives (25 percent of LIMA cultivators) did manage to participate, but were disadvantaged in comparison with their husbands since they were responsible for subsistence production as well. The large majority of peasant farmers in the area surveyed did not participate in LIMA. Many women told interviewers that LIMA was a "men-only" programme and noted that they had never been approached about the programme by male agricultural extension workers.
In the Northern Province, unlike other provinces where small loan facilities are necessary, a donor-sponsored LIMA-type programme provides free seed and fertilizer for one season to all adults who wish to begin maize production. Here, in villages where all able-bodied adults -men and women
- have been offered an equal opportunity to grow a LIMA plot, women's participation has been significant. Roughly 40 percent of first-year participants have been women (NORAD, 1982). In subsequent years, when participants are expected to purchase their own inputs, women typically drop out. Although no systematic study has been carried out to ascertain why this is so, it is likely that married women are co-opted into working on their husbands' rather than on their own fields. Regardless of the reason, however, after the first year almost all the cash income resulting from this agricultural programme accrues to men.
In the Eastern Province, LIMA has long been a part of the activities of the nation's oldest Integrated Rural Development Programme. Until recently, all attention to "women's development" centred on women's clubs which carried out home economics activities almost exclusively. During the past two years, however, women's clubs have been encouraged to abandon their sewing and to take up LIMA, in order to generate a small income. This was not a policy decision of IRDP staff, but reflected the thinking of women extension expatriate volunteers working with IRDP. Special credit facilities for -the clubs, now converted to LIMA groups, were made available and extension staff mobilized to assist them. Although not all women have the time to join clubs, for those who do, such a cooperative activity with other women is an acceptable way of doing something for oneself, with less chance of the result being commandeered by one's husband.
LIMA groups were very successful initially, with members receiving group loans and cultivating individually. Then the World-Bank-initiated Training and Visits (T & V) project arrived in Zambia, with the Eastern Prov-



ince as the pilot area. In the T & V model, each agricultural extension officer working at the grass-roots level identifies seven or eight contact farmers and visits them once a fortnight, delivering whatever extension message is relevant for that particular time of the year. None of the extension workers ideniified female contact farmers and the existing women's LIMA groups found themselves excluded from receiving extension advice. Although this situation may in the future be rectified locally by persuading extension staff to include female farmers in their highly structured schedule, the T & V model itself is yet another example of a technically efficient approach to agricultural development that excludes women.


However well-intentioned agricultural development programmes such as LIMA and T & V might be, they improve the economic status of only a proportionately few rural Zambian women. The rural peasantry is not a homogeneous population. Female-headed households constitute a large percentage of rural households and are largely excluded from development programmes which assume that all households are headed by men. In marriedcouple households, titles to land and access to loans and extension services are monopolized by husbands, even though it is their wives who are to be found in the fields when the extension worker comes to call. Gender inequality is increased, rather than lessened, when women's labour is used for cashcrop production at the same time as they are held responsible for food production.
The existing gender inequality has not been challenged by recent agricultural development programmes such as LIMA. Where women do not have equal access to land, labour, credit and information, they will be unable to produce more, either for their families or for the nation. Those who are willing to try do not necessarily gain as a result, if they are overworked beyond endurance as a consequence.
Women's contribution to agricultural production is only now being recognized. To assume that women are in a position to produce more -whether in food or cash crops without changing both structures and attitudes, will accomplish little.
The international agencies that have played an advocacy role in integrating women in development have so far taken the easy way out. Reluctant to challenge existing structures and attitudes, they create special, small-scale projects for women. In Zambia, for example, a few UN-agency-supporfed



women's clubs have been given loans for cash-crop production. Because they are special and heavily subsidized projects, a few individual women do benefit. Most of these are the already slightly better-off rural women who have the time and energy to generate income. Most rural women in Zambia do not. The appropriate technology to allow women to conserve their time and energies is not yet available. Rural health facilities, although much improved in the past 20 years, are still inadequate. All rural farmers are hampered by an inadequate rural infrastructure, such as roads, transport and marketing services. These issues must be addressed as well as the need to change structures and attitudes that continue to deprive women of the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to rural development.
Zambian rural women are, in fact, already integrated in development, but unequally. They work so that their families may eat and their labour is used for cash-crop production. The nation honours them as mothers but not as producers. True integration, on the basis of equality, will have been accomplished only when the impact on women of specific development programmes is assessed and when their interests are singled out, rather than being subsumed within the rural peasantry generally. While the Decade for Women has been successful in opening the debate on these issues, a concerted effort to challenge existing inequalities must continue long after the Decade's end.


ALLEN, J.M.S. Baseline survey report (1980-82): Chief Mubanga's area. Mpika, Integrated 1984 Rural Development Project/Chinsali District Council. CLIFFE, L. Labour migration and peasant differentiation: Zambian experiences. In 1979 Development in Zambia, ed. B. Turok. London, ZED Press. COLSON, E. Marriage and the family among the Plateau Tonga of Northern Rhodesia. Man1958 chester, Manchester University Press. KELLER, B. The integration of Zambian women in development. Lusaka, NORAD. 1984
MUNTEMBA, S.M. Women as food producers and suppliers in the twentieth century: the case 1982 of Zambia. In Development dialogue (Uppsala). Issue 1/2. NORAD (NORWEGIAN AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT). An evaluation of a 1982 village agricultural programme Northern Province, Zambia. Lusaka/Oslo. OPPEN, H.J.V., SHULA, E.C.W. & ALFF, U. 1983 LIMA survey: final report. Frankfurt 1983 (FRG), GTZ.
ROGERS, B. The domestication of women: discrimination in developing societies. London, 1980 Tavistock.



Working with fisherwomen in Bangladesh

P. Natpracha and B. Williams

The Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP), an FAO project funded by the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), aims at improving the working and living conditions of fisherfolk engaged in small-scale fishing. Of necessity this means some focus on women in the fishing villages who, although they do not go to sea, are heavily engaged in fish marketing and who must cope with family living in a stressful environment of extreme poverty.
In late 1981 a BOBP pilot project, Fisherwomen's Activities (FWA), was initiated in the small village of Juldia-Shamirpur, 20 km south of Chittagong. The purpose of the project was to experiment with and discover ways of assisting the mostly illiterate, poor fisherwomen to organize into groups in order to work together to improve their living conditions and to build community strength.
The FWA project was based on the assumption that development that leads to self-reliance must be based on a participatory approach. This means that
- activities should be planned with the people involved. Ideas for activities should emerge from discussions with participants;
- the working relations of project personnel and the target group must be that of equal partners in development;
- the basic attitude of project personnel must be respect for and trust in the target group.
The specific objectives of the project were to assist the fisherwomen in identifying and implementing income-earning activities and to strengthen their ability to improve family health, nutrition and sanitation.
What were the responses of the women to the participatory approach? Were there positive signs of improvements in their living conditions? What were the problems that had to be overcome? And, what is essential to ensure a continuity of the gains achieved in such a small-scale project once its implementing agency withdraws? Here is a frank appraisal by the BOBP sociologist who guided the project.

Ms Patchanee Natpracha is a sociologist with the Bay of Bengal Programme who worked on this project. Ms Betty Williams is a writer on development issues.



The women of Juldia-Shamirpur and their families

The project conducted a study on the conditions of life of the marine fisherfolk of Juldia-Shamirpur. This initially consisted of interviews and a review of available data. Once the project was under way, the daily living activities of eight selected families from different socio-economic levels were observed over a period of one year. This provided a better understanding of fisherfolk, their beliefs, customs, behaviour, feelings and attitudes.
The 114 marine fisherfolk households in the target group are Hindu and live in a small pocket in the village amid Muslim merchants and cultivators. About 67.5 percent are very poor with no assets but the hut they live in. Income is earned by working as labourers on fishing boats and by marketing fish.
At the time of the survey 62 people were engaged in small-scale fish marketing; of these 43 were female. 21 being widows. Fish marketing is strenuous work. It means waiting by the landing for fishing boats to arrive, bargaining for the purchase of a batch of fish which is then carried on the head to be sold in local markets or in nearby towns, going door-to-door. Fish-marketing women in Juldia-Shamirpur have a particularly hard lot since recently the boats have stopped landing near the village and instead dock at Chittagong. This means that the marketing woman travels, by ferry, bus and rickshaw, 20 km to the landing centre to await boats that arrive at 02.00 and 14.00 hours. She sleeps on the sidewalk by the dock several nights a week.
Indebtedness and high rates of interest are a particularly crushing burden for these people. If they have had a profitless day, fish-sellers must borrow to buy more fish; during the lean fishing season when there are no coolie jobs on boats and little fish to sell, people borrow to feed their families. Rates charged by money-lenders or shopkeepers can be as high as 2 percent a day. At the time of survey, 62 percent of the fishing families were in debt and 35 percent were free of debt but had no savings.
It will come as no surprise that anthropometric measurements of 95 children under the age of five in Juldia-Shamirpur revealed that only 6 percent of the children had a normal nutritional status while 23 percent suffered from severe malnutrition (third degree) and the rest were afflicted with some level of undernourishment. This is one of the lowest nutritional situations in Bangladesh.
Forty people, representing a cross-section of different economic statuses, were interviewed to gain their insights. One striking finding was that everyone felt the situation in the village had deteriorated in recent years. Almost all of the evidence given for this worsening was economic people



could not afford even two meals a day, the loss of the village landing centre, fewer job opportunities, and so on. This may be partly a result of population pressures on limited resources. But another factor may be the modernization of the larger community and fishing technology; the village's poor fisherfolk have no assets to make them competitive and their traditional fishing and marketing practices push them further to the fringes of society.

Structure of the project

The structure of the project was simple. Two female field-workers, based in Chittagong but travelling to the village every other day, maintained overall guidance of various aspects of project activities. Although well-educated, these two young women required field-work training and on-the-job learning in the participatory method of working with rural women.
To begin working together, net making was identified as a possible income-earning activity. Women of the community were invited to a meeting to discuss the idea. After a lengthy debate, some 30 women agreed to give it a trial, and were invited to form small groups of five to six members. Each group had a coordinator selected from its members, called a link worker, who was usually a younger woman who had time to devote to the work. Each link worker was paid a small monthly wage of from TklOO to 250 (approximately Tk25 = US$1.00), depending on her performance, for her part-time efforts. By May 1985, 178 fisherwomen were organized into 13 groups with nine link workers. It is estimated that eventually each link worker will be able to handle two FWA groups of 15 members each.
There also emerged voluntary leaders in each group who took on responsibilities, such as teaching primary health care lessons, for which they received a token wage. As a few link workers moved into jobs in a newly opened garment factory, voluntary leaders took their places. The link workers and voluntary leaders, all of whom received some training and developed leadership skills, are now a valuable human resource in the village.
Finally, a guiding principle of the project was to use local expertise for necessary inputs such as training. Thirteen agencies or organizations assisted in some phase of this pilot project. Of particular importance was the training of field-workers and/or link and voluntary workers provided by the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAG); the Grameen Bank on its credit programme; CONCERN, an Irish-funded voluntary organization on preventative health care; and the Institute of Nutrition and Food Sciences of Dhaka University on health and nutrition.



Activities of FWA groups

The project's surveys revealed that debt was the most endless, defeating obstacle in the lives of fisherwomen. Breaking the cycle of dependency on usurious money-lenders was the bottom line for helping women gain a bit of control over their lives. Thus the project made available small, interest-free loans of from Tk50 to 300 for group members to invest in income-earning activities. In addition to repaying the loans, individuals were encouraged to put aside 10 percent of their profits as savings, as a fund for investment in other economic activities and to meet emergency expenditures.
Although the women knew in general how to make nets, they were not proficient and hence they were given training in the practical skills of making a type of drift net for which demand exceeds supply in their area. Soon, in many huts, families could be seen gathered in a corner fabricating nets.
Along with making nets, the fisherwomen chose to invest in activities they already practised when and if they had the means: raising chickens for eggs and meat, ducks for eggs, goats for meat, drying and marketing fish. Before they were granted loans for these activities, discussions were held to help the fisherwomen think through problems they might face and how to overcome them, what profit was anticipated and how the loan would be repaid.
All of these activities were profitable. One hundred and sixty-four FWA members engaged in net making. By June 1985, 392 nets had been constructed and the net makers had earned a total of Tk63 918 (US$2 567). Although loans were made on good faith with no fixed repayment schedule, by April 1985, 62 percent of the total amount loaned had been repaid, and everyone had repaid some amount. Moreover, the majority of FWA members had managed to save about TklOO each. The total savings was Tkl6 350.
Two of the project's activities did not succeed. Two types of fruit trees, guava and coconut, were distributed to 75 members for planting, but most of these were eaten by cattle. The other activity and significantly, the only one not suggested by the women was the renting and stocking of a fish pond. Inexperience, inadequate management skills and a lack of involvement of the fishermen were the probable causes of this failure.
With income-earning activities well established and a growing respect and confidence having, developed among field-workers, link workers and group members, the fisherwomen began discussing other aspects ot their living conditions, particularly health. After receiving training from CONCERN, link and volunteer workers Spent three to eight months training FWA groups on 16 aspects of preventative health care, from environmental hygiene to prenatal care.



Later, in early 1984, the project arranged for the Institute of Nutrition and Food Sciences of Dhaka University to send a team of five people to train both project personnel and village women in health and nutrition. Training included cooking sessions which introduced a wild plant of high nutritional value that grows abundantly around the village, but which was not normally eaten. However, it was discovered that very few women who participated in the sessions applied their new knowledge about nutrition in their meal preparation or were using the wild plant. Changing lifelong cooking and eating habits requires the long-term reinforcement of new practices. Consequently, link workers and FWA members continue to cook together and discuss difficulties that prevent them from practising new skills.
Finally, because the village is so crowded and the huts so small, there was an urgent need for a community hall where FWA groups could meet, where field-workers could have office space, and where twine and nets could be stored. When a Muslim merchant, a highly respected village leader, donated land, BOBP supplied the funds for the construction of a community hall. The fisherwomen now hope it can be used as a day-care centre, if personnel can be trained to run it.

What can be learned from the FWA pilot project?
There are certain experiences gained from this short-term pilot project dealing with poor fisherwomen in a small village in Bangladesh that may have a wider application.
*The participatory approach creates more self-reliance. When the project was initiated, the two, inexperienced, field-workers tended to function like welfare officers and the fisher-women looked on the project as a hand-out programme. A trusting atmosphere in which field-workers and participants worked together as equal partners was only possible after:

- understanding of the conditions and beliefs of fisherfolk was gained through direct observation while working with them, rather than relying only on socio-economic data that were initially collected about the community;
- there was a joint discussion about each proposed activity and members understood that it was only a trial which they could choose or not to participate in;
- project personnel were trained to listen to the fisherwomen and learn from them, as well as to help them think through their experiences, identify problems and measures to overcome them.



When the fisherwomen realized they were being consulted, that their ideas and skills were considered important, they gradually began showing more self-reliance and attitudes became more positive. Creating competency in coping with problems, rather than dependency, should be the aim of all development efforts.
Project activities must meet the basic needs of participants. When the condiion of participants is extreme poverty, the focal point for working with them and helping them learn improved management must be income-earning activities or any activity that brings more food into the household. Also, one favourable feature of this project is that its activities hardly increased the work-load of the already overburdened women, but rather could be shared with husbands and children, for example, in making nets and animal rearing.
Credit for poor women is essential. The fisherwomen were bound hand and foot to usurious money-lenders for survival. The small loans of the project make all the difference in breaking this negative link. Without the credit feature, the project would have been difficult if not impossible. Moreover, despite their poverty, the women proved conscientious in repaying project loans.
Local expertise must be used and strengthened. The employment of young women from the village as project facilitators not only heightened the participatory atmosphere of the FWA project but built valuable leadership skills within the community. Enlisting the help of agencies working in the area was important because they knew the situation better than outside consultants and their partnership might be essential in the future.
*Projects must be placed in the wider development context. When the FWA project was started, it was expected that the Marine Fisheries Department would absorb the work after BOBP was phased out. However, the department lacked the organizational infrastructure to support the project and policy-makers focused on improving fishing technology rather than on ameliorating the living conditions of fisherfolk. Aid agencies that launch pilot projects should work from the start to ensure there will be a support structure to carry on the work; there should be a continual policy dialogue among responsible government and aid agency officials about the developmental concepts underlying a project and the resources needed to continue and expand the work of the project if its approaches have proved successful.
There is an important link between human development and technology transfer that is often neglected. It is essential that aid agencies help country policy-makers to understand the need and priority for human development for technological input to be accepted and used to the greatest extent. Aid agencies themselves often fail to see the importance of this link.



9 A reasonable time frame must be allowed for a project to succeed. A pilot project aimed at human resource development should be given a time frame adequate enough to allow the building of the competency of participants and some success in community improvement. A project that tests approaches and then terminates may simply appear exploitative to participants. If the initial sponsor cannot continue the project, it should ensure that other support agencies will take on its responsibility.

Transfer of the pilot project

As BOBP support for the pilot project was to terminate in June 1985, considerable time was spent by project personnel in identifying a local agency to continue the work, building on already-trained personnel and the existing structure, and expanding FWA activities to nearby villages. Finally, Nijera Kori (NK), a popular organization noted for community work that emphasizes human development, visited the village, talked with FWA members, and agreed to continue supervision of the work.
The second necessary input affordable credit for the fisherwomen will be supplied by the Grameen Bank which is opening a branch very near the village. This bank is one of Bangladesh's major achievements in rural development because it grants low-interest, small loans to poor people to invest in income-earning activities.
Thus, the continuation of this small venture in improving living conditions for fisherfolk families seems almost assured.



Rural women's activities in marketing:

a hog-raising project in the Philippines

A. Mutioz

I am Simeona Azores. I am already 56 years old but healthy and energetic. I am a high school dropout. I have six children and all are already married. Since I became a widow in 1978, 1 have been doubling my efforts to support myself and help my married children with my grandchildren who are now studying in the primary school in the village and in high school. Every day I perform varied activities from household chores to selling fish, tending animals and managing a rice farm.
.Let me first tell you something about my village. It is about 12 km from the city of Naga and approximately 27 km from Naga airport. Santo Domingo is flat and subject to flooding. The village is a one-street community; it is the only route to and from the baran gay.'
The village has about 435 ha of open spaces, unequally divided into 202 ha of rice fields, 5 ha planted to coconut trees and the rest, marshes and swamps.
Santo Domingo is the most depressed baran gay of the municipality of Bombon. Probably because of its nearness to the mouth of the Bicol River and San Miguel Bay, salt water enters the barangay through diversion canals. Because drainage is poor during the rainy months, there is flooding of the river. Similarly, the marshes and swamps to the west are good breeding dens for rodents that attack crops during certain months of the year. There is no irrigation or drainage system in the locality. However, an irrigation and drainage system is being constructed under an Integrated Area Development Programme of the Bicol River Development Programme. This project will provide facilities sometime in 1985.
Generally, the people of Santo Domingo are poor. There are two classes of families in the area: 77 percent (105 families) are farm households and 23

From Six case studies of rural women's activities in marketing, submitted by Mrs Angelina Mufloz, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Agrarian Reformt.

'A village, the smallest administrative unit in the Philippines, previously called barrio.



percent (31 families) are non-farm households. Of the 129 houses, only three are made of semi-permanent materials -the rest are made of light materials such as bamboo, wood and thatch. Santo Domingo has a population of 987, with an average of 7.3 members in each family. The average annual income is P1 375.00 (US$183.33), which is still far below the national average family income of P3 736.00 (US$498.14).
In 1976 there was not a single individual in Santo Domingo considered an owner-cultivator. Most people were either tenants or agricultural labourers. Some of these tenant farmers formerly owned lands but were forced to give up their rights to the land after several failures in farming caused by flood, typhoon, infestation, drought and loss of their work animal, the carabao (water buffalo). However, those with strong determination continued working as tenants until recently when they were able to acquire land through agrarian reform measures.
The absence of an irrigation system and proper drainage places small farmners in a very poor situation. This is the reason why certain farmers cannot escape the clutches of poverty. Previously, the government provided credit assistance to these farmers, but because of the destructive effects of natural calamities, they were not able to improve their situations and instead became more deeply in debt for several years. No banking institution, private or governmental (except the Land Bank of the Philippines later on, under the Small Farmers Development Programme) would grant a loan to any farmer in Santo Domingo without the necessary collateral.
Traditionally, some small farmers engage in shingle making once they have finished their work on the farm. They are paid P6.00 every 100 pieces of shingle. In this particular activity, most of the family members, especially women, participate. Another subsidiary income activity is fishing. Males fish and the wives sell the catch in the market. Our baran gay, like many others in the Philippines, now has the following facilities:

" two three-room school buildings that offer complete elementary education a chapel for Catholics
" a deep-well pump on the school campus (a source of drinking water for children and nearby families)
* a water system of the municipal government a bi-monthly visit by the Rural Health Unit (RHU)
* one upholstery shop, a member of the SFPPG'

2 Small Farmer Peasant Production Group, a common interest group under the Small Farmer Development Programme.



" one rural women's group with an income-generating project
* one blacksmith shop of the SFPPG, TCP/FAO-assisted project'
* one furniture shop
" five refrigerators, one television and radio transistors in some homes water-sealed toilets in many houses seven sari-sari (variety) stores
" basketball and volleyball courts
" almost all houses furnished with electricity
* three hand-tractors, two owned by SFPPG members and one thresher, all for rent
* ten members of the land preparation task force who are SFPPG members.

Types of support from government services

There are four ministries and three bureaux of the government in agriculture and agrarian reform, health, and livestock whose personnel frequently visit the baran gay of Santo Domingo to render services.
In 1973, most of the farmers of Santo Domingo took the opportunity of securing loans for rice production under the Masagana 99 programme, phase 1. Unfortunately, when the loans were due, only 15 percent of the farmers were able to pay because a typhoon had destroyed their crops. It took another four to five years for the remaining 85 percent to settle their accounts with the bank.
A restructuring of the loans was made only for those who had settled their outstanding obligations. There are still farmers in Santo Domingo who have not yet fully paid the production loans of Masagana 99 phase I, which was the first and the only phase. Today, loans to the farmers of Santo Domingo are all secured loans, that is, with a requirement for collateral.
Under the present administration of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, the certificate of land transfer (CLI) issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries can be used as collateral in securing production loans. Nevertheless, because of the fire that hit the provincial capital of Camarines Sur in March 1976, pertinent papers and documents relating to the operation of land transfer, including those of Santo Domingo beneficiaries, were totally destroyed at the register of deeds office. Accordingly, therefore, for the Camarines Sur

3This FAO Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) provided for the training of village blacksmiths and carpenters and assistance in setting up village crafts workshops as a component project of the Small Farmer Development Programme.


50 A. MU&OZ

agrarian reform beneficiaries, those documents must be reconstituted before they can be used to serve any other purpose.
The Small Farmer Peasant Production Group is the only project of the government that succeeded and thrived in Santo Domingo, as far as I can remember, as there were many other projects initiated in the community. None lasted longer than two or three years. At the start of this programme, sometime in 1976, several people were very enthusiastic about it. A considerable number of groups were formed, but only seven groups were organized. Prospective members were subjected to a series of seminars or workshops on the different aspects of farming such as crop production, livestock and poultry production, farm management, farm planning, and budgeting and record-keeping. I was one of those who participated in the seminar on livestock production.
Unfortunately, the release of the back-up funds for the small farmer project was delayed. This greatly damaged the trust of prospective cooperators. In some cases the groups broke up, but the programme did not stop there. The group organizers, who were responsible for the development of all SFPPGs, reorganized and initiated self-help projects such as pugon making,' shingle making, saline-resistant soil rice variety trials, and hog raising.
In 1979, when the long-awaited funds finally arrived, those who were already in organized groups were those given priority for financial assistance. I am one of those who was given the opportunity to become what I am today.
Before I became an experienced hog raiser, I had been a fish vendor for many years. This was the only work I could do to help my ailing husband. It was from this activity that I got the idea of raising pigs, because whenever fish are abundant, the poor quality fish are not sold, but thrown as waste. Almost everyday I brought home fish scraps for my pigs. Yet I did not become successful. With my daughter, I tried poultry raising. Similarly, this died a natural death. Perhaps I was not born a hog raiser, or perhaps I needed a little more experience in order to become one, I told myself.
Fortunately, sometime in the early part of 1976, came the organization of the SFPPG under the Small Farmers Development Programme, with the Ministry of Agrarian Reform as the lead agency. The beneficiaries and prospective members of the project groups went to a series of seminars or workshops on farm planning, budgeting and record-keeping, and livestock and poultry production, with special emphasis on hog raising, feeds and animal

' Production of a cooking stove using indigenous village materials, an invention of an SFPPG member.



nutrition. I attended the training because I knew for myself that this was the only thing I lacked to become a successful hog raiser. The training was satisfying. It was the first training I had ever attended in my life. Apart from the course being free, the materials in the training were also free, the meals were similarly free, plus veterinary drugs and feed supplements for those who would be starting their projects immediately after the course was over.
With my personal experience in raising swine plus the new knowledge I learned while training, I started the project with one piglet. This weanling was of good quality. I purchased it from the contributions given to me by my daughters in order to start with a nearly ideal foundation stock. In about a year's time, I already owned a fully productive sow and seven female piglets ready for rapid production. This sow grew more than I expected. On the second farrowing, it weighed approximately 260 kg, the biggest in the entire municipality and also the biggest swine I ever reared. Directly from her, she gave me 62 beautiful weanlings from six farrowings before I disposed of her as a breeder.
At about this time, my loan application with the Land Bank of the Philippines was approved and ready for release. In a few days, the construction of pigpens according to the bayanihan system was under way.' While my comembers in SFPPG were only starting their projects at this point, I was already expanding. From this bayanihan system, our group saved me much money because I did not have to hire labour.
With the loan I bought additional pigpens and feed to produce quality animals. Since my capital was very limited, it was only proper for me to limit my stock in order not to jeopardize the project. I remembered from my training that 75 percent of the total project capital goes to animal feed. So to minimize the cost. of production, I mixed my own feed from the ingredients I usually found in the market. Also, I distributed piglets to interested farmers and housewives on a 50:50 sharing basis, both on sales and piglets produced. This arrangement was made with 20 other women and reached as far as 40 km from my home.
I always remember that marketing is the most important aspect of my business transactions. Often I have watched middlemen rake profit from small producers like myself. For some time now, we have no longer transacted business with these middlemen. Instead we go to contract buyers from Metro Manila or to local direct purchasers whose prices do not seem very far from current prices in Naga.

5Mutual assistance by neighbours and friends in the barangay.


52 A. MU&OZ

To attain the maximum selling price, I usually encourage housewives, farmers and my co-members in SFPPG to join me in the disposal of our hogs offered at times by the big-time buyers during peak months when the demand for pork is high. In this way, the price is higher and uniform regardless of the individual weight of the animals, which is one of the principal bases of pork classification.
From this livelihood project and other related transactions, I was able to build a house far better than my previous home which was made of light materials only. I also furnished my home with a wall clock, a radio and small refrigerator. For me, these are the trophies of my sacrifices a souvenir of the undertaking made through the help of the project. It is true I made money from this hog-raising activity, but I have yet to attain my goal, which is to have a piggery. To me, this is just the beginning of the road to self-reliance. It means more problems, more obligations and more sacrifices. However, these sacrifices are necessary and filled with social and economic satisfaction. Here in our town, some of us think everything is material. We totally disregard certain social obligations which are necessary to establishing a livelihood for the improvement of our families. We realize that to have a project is not easy.
Had it not been for the disease outbreak in 1981, 1 would now be in a better situation. The disease outbreak robbed my project of 14 selected weanlings valued at P4 200, three prospective breeders costing P4 500 and a pregnant gilt amounting to P2 300. With this loss I felt greatly disappointed. It took me some time to recover this financial loss, but I took this matter as a challenge to prove my claim to the title of expert hog raiser, as my friends call me now.


Fiji: training women for income-generation

M. Kroon

Fiji consists of over 800 islands in the South West Pacific, about a hundred of which are inhabited. The population, according to 1983 estimates, was 677 481, of which 304 575 were indigenous Fijians and 339 456 of Indian origin, with a further small number of Europeans, Chinese and other Pacific islanders. The majority of the population, in particular Fijians, still live in the rural areas with agriculture, both commercial and subsistence, being the main source of livelihood. Like most other countries in the Pacific, the lack of formal employment opportunities for school-leavers and for women is a fastincreasing problem. The importance of rural development, especially where it concerns the creation of self-employment, is beginning to be recognized. The contribution of women in this cannot be underestimated.
Unlike most Third World countries, Fiji is in the fortunate situation of not having severe poverty. Many of the people in the rural areas are still living a semi-subsistence existence. However, while women's contributions to the subsistence economy are apparent, their participation in monetary activities is not always recognized. This can, however, be substantial, as when funds are required from women for provincial councils, school buildings and fees, and for churches.
In general, these monetary activities are undertaken when the need arises, and thus are in most cases occasional in nature, relying on natural resources and traditional skills. However, changes are fast occurring and the need for cash is becoming a regular, almost daily one. Although women do manage to earn some cash with their occasional activities, a different set of rules applies when more regular and planned income-generating activities are desired.
Over the past years a few programmes have been mounted by both government and non-governmental agencies to assist adults and young women in developing income-generating activities. However, most of these emphasize

Ms Marjan Kroon is an expert working in Fiji in the ILO[UNVFDW project, Adult Education and Training for Rural Women.


54 M. KRO0N

training in vocational skills such as handicrafts, tailoring and catering. Basic management skills and an awareness of the requirements of a successful income-generating activity are hardly touched upon, simply because most of the trainers do not have any formal training in this field nor any personal experience in business.
A project of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)/Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Women (UNVFDW) -Adult Education and Training for Rural Women is providing training to Women's Interests assistants (WIAs) and Multicraft teachers in the basic business skills needed to assist women in self-employment. WIAs are extension workers serving women's groups. Multicraft teachers are instructors in a basic vocational training programme for young women. The project concentrates on these two programmes which involve different age groups and therefore different needs and requirements.
The project works in coordination with the Multicraft Section of the Ministry of Education, the Women's Interests Section of the Ministry of Rural Development and the Business Opportunity and Management Advisory Services (BOMAS) of the Ministry of Fijian Affairs.

Women's Interest Programme Ministry of Rural Development

This programme is providing training to women's groups in home economics, craft development, family education, leadership and income-generating activities. The courses are short, from one to two weeks, and are conducted at rural training centres or in village community halls.
Although the Women's Interests Section provides assistance to incomegenerating activities as part of its mandate, the attention given to these activities has been limited for the reasons mentioned above. The ESCAP! FAO project implemented in 1980 for the Pacific -Promotion and Training of Rural Women in Income-Raising Group Activities has created awareness in this area. The use of case-studies has proved to be especially effective. While the programme concentrated on the invaluable information gained by the women participants through the exchange of experience, it did not provide WIAs with a sufficient understanding of the business skills needed for actual practice.
The training programme conducted through the ILOIUNVFDW project for WIAs in 1984 was designed in stages to develop a broader understanding of the concept of income-generating activities as well as basic business methods. Case-studies were used for reference to link theory with practice.



Each WIA was involved in four workshops in which her role changed from participant to facilitator to course assistant and, finally, to course conductor (trainer).

Brief content of the workshops. The first workshop emphasized the concept of income-generating activities and the use of case-studies with WIAs as the participants. As an introduction, the various economic activities in which women are involved were identified in order to place women's contribution to development in a broader perspective.
Distinctions were made among

- money-saving activities, undertaken solely for household use such as fishing, sewing and subsistence agriculture;
- fund-raising activities, undertaken when the need or opportunity occurs. It is felt that in Fiji most women are involved in these occasional activities;
- income-generating activities which are regularly and better planned and organized; and
- small businesses which are more formalized and profit-oriented.

It is the difference between the occasional and regular activities that WIAs needed to recognize. For sustained development, women have to turn to the more planned and regular income-generating activities; the Women's Interest Section can have an important role in this. Sessions on business awareness and requirements, cooperative structure and the use of casestudies were part of this workshop. Furthermore, WIAs had to collect from Fiji Development Plan 8 such basic information as population size, its growth rate, and economic priority programmes of the province in which they worked. For most of them it was the first time that they had seen a development plan.
The second series of workshops was held on a divisional level. In advance, each WIA had to record two successful income-generating activities covering areas in which women were traditionally involved. This was to provide both WIAs and village women participants with a practical understanding of what is involved in establishing and operating a small income-generating activity within their field of experience. The activities selected were, for example, the production and selling of masi (flattened mulberry bark), bila (fermented cassava with sugar and coconut), root crops and vegetables; and the gathering and selling of shellfish and the marketing of voivoi (pandanus leaves for weaving) and of handicrafts. In each workshop, four case-studies formed the basis for discussion. The problems brought forward were used to



develop the training sessions, which included costing, pricing, awareness of basic business principles and home budgeting. Home budgeting was included as most of the women felt that besides the need for money, the better use of available funds within the home was a problem, particularly where it concerned dealing with irregular and emergency expenses (such as school fees and medical expenses). The divisional workshops were conducted in the vernacular.
The third workshop was held at the national level for participants from the four divisions who had promising income-generating proposals. The four most successful case-studies from previous divisional workshops were discussed in detail and the information was used for exercises in costing, pricing and record-keeping. For further technical assistance, resource personnel in agriculture, tailoring and screen printing were invited. For those participants looking for an outlet for their products, visits to potential buyers were arranged. In this workshop, WIAs assisted participants of their own division and through this became aware of the follow-up required.
The fourth workshop, again at the national level, was for WIAs only. Each was given an assignment covering part of the subjects taught in earlier workshops. The project staff was the audience, while the WIAs did the teaching. This, they indicated, was a most valuable exercise as it greatly increased their confidence for conducting future courses alone. It also provided the project staff with an indication of areas of weakness in the training programme and of the ability of each WIA.

Follow-up. The first round of follow-up visits was done by BOMAS staff together with a WIA wherever possible. In the future WIAs will conduct the follow-up themselves and will be responsible for contacting BOMAS or other departments such as cooperatives and agricultural departments when further assistance is required. This cooperation with other government departments and agencies is important if WIAs are to assist women in developing incomegenerating activities other than sewing, catering and handicrafts and if activities are to aim at markets outside the village. But more importantly, it will strengthen the integration of women into rural economic development activities and lead to their being included in the normal extension programmes of various agencies. Briefly, the training programme showed WIAs:

- how to present subject-matter in a way that is interesting and understandable to village women (case-studies);
- how to make the training relevant to participants' needs (by linking training to identified problems);



- where technical and management advice may be obtained and the importance of cooperating with other agencies;
- the importance of follow-up in seeing how far the training is being implemented and for giving further assistance.

Some problems encountered. Although WlAs were asked to identify activities undertaken by women's groups, it appeared that the successful activities were nearly always managed by individuals. This fact needs consideration in the future planning of activities and programmes. Further detailed studies have to be done before encouraging income-generating activities by women's groups, particularly when these activities are organized according to traditional lines and which therefore have objectives that are more socially than economically oriented.
Getting the right participants for courses is a problem faced by the Women's Interests Section since selection is done by leaders of women's organizations and women's groups. Furthermore, participants are not always fully informed as to course content. Although an information pamphlet was widely distributed for the divisional workshops, several participants still arrived with different expectations.
The difference in the level of education, particularly between the younger and older women, made it difficult at times to keep everyone interested.
Because of transport problems, the eastern division workshop, which covered the outer islands, had to be held in a training centre in the capital, Suva. Compared to the other workshops, the participants were noticeably restrained, giving the impression that the course was of limited interest to them. Although follow-up visits showed, in fact, that the women had gained considerably from the workshop, they also indicated that women respond more to training when it is carried out in their own environment.

Multicraft Programme Ministry of Education

This programme offers basic vocational training to school-leavers for two years with emphasis, particularly in the rural areas, on the establishment of self-employment. The 27 centres are attached to junior secondary schools throughout Fiji. Training is provided in light engineering, building crafts, agriculture, and home crafts and industry, but not all four disciplines are available at each centre. For the rural areas the combination of agriculture, building crafts, and home crafts and industry is the most common one.



Although all the disciplines are open to both boys and girls, the home crafts and industry course (HC & 1) is predominantly attended by female students. Of the existing centres, only ten provide the HC & I course.
The ILO project is particularly involved in improving the HC & I course, (formerly called home economics) and in introducing adult training as part of the community outreach of the programme. The aims of the course are:

- to provide basic vocational training for school-leavers in employable skills in these areas;
- to assist students in setting up home or small-scale industries on an individual or group basis;
- to provide daily life-skills training through the use of locally available materials and equipment in order to improve village, community and family living.

Recent changes. The first year of the HC & I course emphasizes skill training to improve daily living, with agriculture, appropriate technologies (relating to woodwork, the construction of smokeless stoves, the maintenance and repair of household items), crafts and home economics receiving equal attention. Only recent changes have introduced agriculture and aspects of woodwork into the HC & I course, while boys who are enrolled in agriculture and building crafts are now exposed to subjects such as sewing, food nutrition and home management.
In the second year, self-employment and thus the establishment of income-generating projects is the main objective. The new second-year programme has not yet been introduced. In this year, the students will identify their area of specialization and spend up to 50 percent of the time on this skill through individual and group projects at the school or in the village. Basic business and management skills will be an integral part of skills training and will be related to student projects. Agriculture, crafts and appropriate technologies will still be given considerable attention. By linking training with production, students will be given an opportunity to earn money. Each student will therefore have her own bank passbook. At the end of the course, the savings will be used to purchase tools, equipment and materials needed for the woman's income-generating activity.
Although attached to the formal system's junior secondary schools, Multicraft courses are supposed to constitute a non-formal part of the training programme. However, the courses are still organized very much according to school periods, terms and within the school compound, and thus lack a certain necessary flexibility. This has been the case particularly in the HC & I



course where all training has been centre-based. This is changing slowly and village-level programmes are being introduced in which girl students are assisted in establishing their home projects and adults are provided with skills training if needed.
For the programme to be a success, HC & I teachers should be involved in extension and follow-up activities. To date this has been a very neglected part of the programme. The close attachment of programme and staff to a formal education system is likely to be a bottle-neck. Coordination with other departments and agencies is very important, although at the moment it hardly exists. The project particularly supports cooperation between Women's Interests, the HC & I programme and BOMAS. In 1984, the female staff member of BOMAS visited nearly all the HG & I centres, teaching basic business skills and business awareness to Multicraft staff and students. When facilities for the HG & I courses are completed, it is envisaged that WIAs and HG & I teachers will cooperate in training adults. The HG & I programme is summarized as follows:

Emphasis: First year Skills development for improved daily living
Second year -Skills development for self-employment Target Group: Early school-leavers of 16-20 years of age Educational level: Preference Form IV (class 10) leavers Subjects: Tailoring, food/nutrition, home management, agriculture, appropriate technology, creative crafts and basic business skills Duration: Two years

Some problems: Although the HG & I course provides an alternative for young women who are unable to find formal employment, up to now few of the graduates have been successful in establishing income-generating activities. One of the main reasons is again the lack of business awareness and management skills of the staff who have been trained as home economics teachers. Therefore, Multicraft students miss out on an essential skill. Shortterm in-service training courses in basic business and management skills are being organized for staff through the project.
Until recently, girl students were offered training only in sewing, catering and handicrafts. It is obvious that with this limited skill development, the opportunities for establishing workable income-generating activities are restricted. By introducing agriculture and, where appropriate, fishing to the HG & I course, female students are exposed to skills which, particularly in Fiji, will provide opportunities for a wide range of income-generating activities.



The Multicraft Programme was developed to cater for Form IV (class 10) school-leavers. The programme's objectives and curricula are therefore aimed at a group with a sufficient educational level and maturity. However, some centres do take Younger primary school-leavers, often directly from school, but these are usually too young and immature to make full use of the training. Recruiting young women who have been out of school for quite some time hardly occurs. For the more mature and older young women, the course may be too long.
For young girl school-leavers to establish and successfully continue their income-generating activities the support of the community and parents is extremely important. Too easily the young women are called back for home duties, not being given time to develop projects which will generate income. The project is therefore organizing workshops especially for mothers. These workshops will be similar to those organized with the Women's Interests Section on the divisional level in the use of case-studies, but will also include awareness of the aims ot the HG & I course.


It is too early to see how far the Women's Interests Section and the Home Crafts and Industry courses will successfully develop programmes to assist young and adult women with income-generation. It is clear that the level of business skills of WIAs and HG & I teachers will limit the assistance they are able to provide. Professional advice and support will still be needed in areas such as identifying new income-generating opportunities, organizing and managing group activities, and training in specialized vocational skills. Particularly on the national level, both programmes should ensure that one of their staff members will receive further training and will be specifically responsible for backing up field staff with information, training and other needed assistance. As mentioned before, cooperation with other departments and agencies on both national and local levels is of crucial importance.


Participatory education for women :
a framework

N. Minett

The women squat on the sandy beach and watch as the men pull in a huge net full of squirming, flapping fish. Carefully the fish are removed from the net and sorted into piles according to species and size. The women negotiate the price of fish they want, pile their purchases into head pans and set off to sell them in the city several kilometres away. In other villages along the coast, where boats can get into small harbours, larger quantities of fish may be brought in daily during good weather. Women then smoke the fish before transporting large quantities to other parts of the country to sell.

Before dawn the women start the trek out to their farms, which may be several kilometres from the village where they live. On their heads are pans of food, laundry to be done in the stream, farming utensils. On their backs, the newest baby. A two-year-old toddles along with a small pan on her head which she has to steady with her hand. The women and children will spend the day weeding the rice fields and tending to the vegetables they are growing on termite hills and small patches amid the rice. A small hut has been built in the middle of the field where they can take shelter from the torrential rains of the day. They will work, bent over from the waist, with babies still on their backs, all day long, weeding by hand among the broadcast rice.

Walking along a village road in the early evening, a long procession of women and children can be seen carrying home large bundles of tree branches on their heads. This wood will be used for outdoor cooking fires to prepare family meals. Different kinds of wood must be found for different kinds of fires: long-burning, extra-hot, slow-burning, not-very-hot. If the town is a big one it is sometimes necessary to buy wood as the forest source may be too far away for a daily trip.

Ms Nancy Minett is a Unesco consultant for Nutrition Teaching/Learning Resources.



Very probably both the fish trader and the gari maker must also collect firewood and cook the meals.' In fact, most rural women in developing countries may regularly participate in any combination of the following roles and activities: i) as businesswomen: buy, sell, preserve and transport fish; own and rent fishing boats; hire labour; purchase and sell small goods (such as matches, tomato paste and vegetable oil); purchase, dye and sell material; pay school fees; make and sell beer and other drinks; buy, prepare (fry, bake) and sell food items; and serve as midwives; ii) as farmers: weed and protect farm crops from predators; grow vegetables for consumption and sale; dry and store vegetable seeds; care for domestic animals, chickens, ducks; assist in harvesting crops; assist in preparing crops for storage; prepare palm-oil for consumption and sale; and gather fruit for consumption and sale; and iii) as housewives: keep house and grounds clean; bear and breast-feed children; care for children; cook; pound or grind grain for meals; provide water for the family; provide wood for the family; make soap for family use and for sale; catch fresh-water fish for family meals and for sale; provide clothing for the children; see that they attend school; provide health care for the children; and wash the family laundry, often at some distance from the household.
A list of the knowledge and skills that women must somehow acquire to perform these multiple roles includes the following: administration; animal husbandry; banking; bookkeeping; consumer evaluation of goods; cooking and preservation of food; familiarity with labour laws and regulations; first aid; forestry; horticulture; logistics; management; memorization; merchandising; numeracy; parenting; physical strength; planning; and quantity purchasing and food preparation.
This is an impressive and complex variety of technical and commercial abilities for anyone to acquire; for women in small and often isolated villages, with no schooling, it is doubly impressive and doubly difficult.
Where, then, are the educational programmes to assist and support women in acquiring or improving these capabilities? Traditional village coming-of-age instruction may pass on certain of the skills that are important for the maintenance of family life in the community, but normally it does not include those competencies demanded for commercial competition. With

1 Gari is a fermented, dehydrated food product made from cassava. It is a primary staple food in West Africa and an important food item in parts of East and Central Africa. In South America, a similar product (farinha de mandioca) is widely eaten, especially in Brazil.
The making of gari consists of six major steps from harvesting to sale. These consist of uprooting cassava tubers at the farm, transporting them to the village, peeling, grating, fermenting and de-watering, and toasting. The traditional method of carrying out these steps is almost totally manual.



almost no formal training available to them, women must either teach themselves by trial and error, or learn from each other as best they can the skills necessary to generate cash to sustain themselves and their families.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework of action that will provide for the full participation of women in the identification of community educational training needs and in the subsequent design, implementation and evaluation of programmes that respond to those needs.
More and more emphasis is being placed on the need for improving the nutritional status of people in the rural areas of developing countries. The time is overdue to give women, as the providers of food and education, the recognition and encouragement they deserve. Educational programmes for rural women, designed with their help, is one way to show recognition and encouragement.
Statistics show that on average less than 40 percent of eligible girls in developing countries are enrolled in primary schools. By the time this small percentage is reduced still further by drop-outs and educational attrition through secondary and post-secondary schools, the number of educated women becomes infinitesimal (Unesco, 1983b). Table 1 shows this process.

TABLE 1. Eligible female enrolment in schools (Sub-Saharan Africa)
No. of countries reporting No. of countries with Levels
less than 40% enrolled

35 18 primary
34 25 secondary
No. of countries with
less than 30% enrolled

33 30 post-secondary
No. of countries with
less than 10% enrolled

18 14 post-secondary

Table 2 shows what the enrolment figures mean in terms of the number of women likely to complete a post-secondary level of education in agriculture. The figures are similar for other regions of the developing world. They make pretty dismal reading anywhere.



TABLE 2. Educational attrition of 500 eligible females at primary level % Number
Primary <40 <200
Secondary <40 < 80
Post-secondary <30 < 24
Agriculture <10 < 2.4

These statistics and the fact that the percentage of illiterate women in the world has not changed in 30 years remaining around 60 percent make it reasonable to assume that the number of women completing any level of education is probably not going to change drastically for at least the next 20 years. This means that the responsibility of unschooled women for the health and well-being of a large percentage of the people in any developing country will continue to be a major one and should therefore be supported with a government-level commitment to provide specially designed training programmes for all women, young and old, rural and urban. It means, in addition, that women must be accorded better access to development projects of all kinds in order for them to use their expanded skills to the best advantage so that they will have increased possibilities for income-producing activities.
Although some of the large agricultural projects that make up a large part of many country development schemes may have increased the amount of land under cultivation, they have also increased the work-load of women, forcing them to spend additional hours weeding and caring for the larger crop acreages. New technological improvements in farming have been provided almost exclusively to men, often decreasing the chance for women to undertake income-generating farming projects and reducing their access to land. Credit facilities and cash-crop opportunities have also been mostly available only to men (Unesco, 1983a).
Although these facts are increasingly being recognized, few planners or developers seem to have been able to design projects that include women and men on an equal basis. It is not enough to say that women can join a farming project; that they are not discriminated against. If women have to spend more time labouring for men, and if programme activities reduce the time they can spend on the cultivation of vegetables to feed their families, not only can women not participate, but the nutritional status of family members, particularly of children, will suffer.



As more and more women become heads of farm households owing to the urban migration of men, it becomes more important to provide educational programmes directed to these issues. It is as important for men to understand fully the contribution that women make to the economy and community as it is for women to have opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge and thereby their contribution.
Women should be included in agricultural training programmes and literacy classes. While some programmes already do so, much current agricultural training for farmers is provided by specific agricultural development projects and deals with a particular project from the male farmer's perspective. Much current "functional" literacy-class curricular material deals with either men's farming problems and vocabulary or with mainly child-care topics for women, which, while important, are not enough. Numeracy skills often are not taught at all to women or men. In addition, literacy classes are often taught in the local language which may not have a written form. This works against both women and men in developing new options as there is rarely any regular, new, relevant material for them to read and their own language does not help them to read instructions, for example, on seed packages or fertilizer sacks. Nor does it help them to communicate with others outside their own language group. Many literacy programmes have, unhappily, become almost as institutionalized as the school systems in terms of lesson materials, topics and the level of information.
Through a process of full community participation, a programme can be constructed so that some literacy skills, numeracy skills, agricultural and marketing skills can be integrated into one educational/training design. This pooling of subjects and the coordination between hitherto separate programmes will help to motivate learners and reduce the drop-out rate of participants through a better use of time and energy.
Before a community can be assisted in its programme planning, it is important that the programme planner and the community be thoroughly acquainted with one another. This takes time and a willingness on the part of the programme planner, as an outsider, to explore, to feel at ease with village life and to understand village dynamics roles, controls, problem-solving processes, and the balance of power.
In one project, this acquaintance with village life was not thoroughly developed. In this project, one of the goals was to train traditional midwives to be health educators in their own communities. The plan was discussed extensively with the midwives who very much wanted the training. The possibilities were explained to the chiefs and elders in the several communities where the women lived. They agreed that it would be a very good idea for the



midwives to have the training as they were considered powerful women in the community and very important people in the lives of the villagers.
Project planners spent a week with the midwives in a central town, teaching them songs and dramas about health, which were reinforced with cassette story tapes to stimulate group discussions in their villages. The women were enthusiastic, finding the training very helpful and the project supportive in providing needed information about good health practices to the villagers.
Subsequently, planners visited the villages where the women lived and worked to check their progress. Many village chiefs who had heard the tapes and been asked to form discussion groups including both men and women reacted with disbelief. Uniformly, the chiefs refused their help and participation. Further investigations showed that the village hierarchy had not been thoroughly understood by the planners. While a midwife is seen as a powerful member of the community, it is only in her capacity as midwife, leader of women's society and teacher of girls that she is recognized. She, in her turn, had never been in a situation where she was expected to lead a mixed discussion group of women and men. Although the project idea was sound, not enough homework had been done to make implementation successful. Project planners had expected and trained for a new role for the midwives outside the traditional one, and neither community members nor the women themselves had been sufficiently prepared to accept this new role. In the end, each midwife was paired with a mate school teacher, whereupon project implementation proceeded more smoothly.
Once an atmosphere of mutual confidence and respect has been established, the planner can meet with people to stimulate discussion and interest in analysing their situations and community concerns. In most traditional societies, all women not only midwives are culturally conditioned to their social and family roles; often they do not have an occasion to make decisions for themselves or otherwise behave in ways that are outside their accepted roles. To facilitate the development of programmes for women, therefore, it is first necessary to establish conditions under which they can begin to see themselves in a different role. A series of meetings with the women separately should be held to cultivate these new insights.
There are now a number of good training manuals available that give particular steps to get participants at a workshop or discussion group to w rk and plan together (Save the Children, 1978). The planner should have prospective objectives in mind for these first all-female planning sessions as a result of prior informal conversations. However, the following questions may be useful in generating ideas. The questions are followed by a phrase in parentheses that presents the possible outcome of each question discussed.



The questions may occur in a different order during the sessions, but most should be considered in providing the information needed for further planning.

* How do the women define their roles in their own community? (Expanded perception of themselves)
9 What do they have individually and collectively in common with successful women and successful women's programmes elsewhere? (Identification of personal and group resources)
* How do the women define the roles of the men in their community? (Expanded perception of men's roles)
9 What are the problems in their community? (Expanded perceptions of their community)
" Which problems are the most important to the women? (Prioritizing) Can the problems be resolved within the community? By women alone? Why? (Understanding the real world)
" What roles can women play to help solve problems? (New perceptions) What skills do the women need to help solve problems? What skills do the women already have? (Identification of possible training needs)
9 What role can the men play to help solve the problems? (Female-male coordination)
* What skills do the men need to help solve problems? (Identification of possible training needs)
9 Can the skills needed be provided at the village level? By whom? When and how? (Possible training objectives)
* Will the solution to problems cause other problems? (Anticipating possible adverse effects of planned actions)

While this series of meetings/workshops is being conducted (by a woman, if possible) with the women of the village, the same questions can be posed to the men in a similar series of meetings from their viewpoint. When all the questions have been discussed by each group, the two groups can be brought together for a discussion. In the exchange, role plays, dramas and other techniques can be used to encourage full group participation. From this point, there should be a full integration of effort and purpose in designing educational/training programmes for both women and men. Group decisions should be made as to whom should be included in subsequent programme activities.
It is important to plan so that separate issues or topics be integrated; for example, agricultural education, literacy, nutrition, animal husbandry, and


68 N. MINETr

child care can be interconnected. Because of the way outside funding often works, different topics have sometimes been dealt with separately, so that several kinds of training have been attempted in the same community. The educational/training programme should be seen holistically; funding agents, if needed, should be made to understand not only the advantages of coordination and cooperation, but the determination of the women and men in the community to have their training wishes respected. Thoughtful and tactful facilitation on the part of the planner can ensure that, in mixed group sessions, women are given an equal opportunity to speak and to have their opinions respected. Programme goals, design, duration and evaluation procedures can all be delineated by community members in these discussion sessions.
Evaluation is a vital part of good programme planning, of course, and the design of an effective evaluation process is a beneficial learning experience for everyone. Participants learn how to define clearly their own learning objectives, and learn how to determine if their objectives are being met. This helps people to understand what it is they really want to learn and confirms to them that they have learned it.
The following are some questions that can be used to stimulate discussion in the evaluation of a community-designed educational/training programme.

" What do we want to learn?
" Why do we want to learn it?
" How can we learn it? What are the steps to learning it? How long will it take to learn each step? How will we know if we have learned each step? How will we use what we have learned? Will what we have learned help us to deal with top priority community concerns?
" Is there more to learn before we can deal with community concerns? Did we learn what we set out to learn? Do we need to learn more?
" What do we want to learn?

According to the wishes of the group, it may be useful to separate the men and women once again to develop their own ideas before the two groups are joined for the development of the actual evaluation design. Evaluation can, and should, take place throughout the programme by members of the



group. Changes in implementation can be made at any time as long as the changes direct programme activities more clearly toward programme goals.
In the interests of full participation by women, programme activities should include equal numbers of women and men. As one of the purposes of this planning outline is to encourage the participation of women, any change in the 50-50 representation should be thoroughly discussed by the groups separately and together before mutually agreed-upon percentages are determined. This kind of change, however, should be discouraged, as the purpose of developing full participation will be defeated.
This paper has presented a framework for encouraging women to participate in educational/training programme design, implementation and evaluation, and for encouraging men to respect and welcome women's ideas and contributions. The framework may seem time-consuming, but it is necessary to pay special attention to cultivating the process in order to develop respect for and confidence in the value of women's thoughts, ideas and skills. among women themselves and in their communities.


INFORMATION COLLECTION AND EXCHANGE. Community health education in developing 1978 countries. Washington, D.C.
SAVE THE CHILDREN. Bridging the gap: a participatory approach to health and nutrition edu1978 cation. Westport, CT (USA).
UNESCO. Bibliographic guide to studies on the status of women. Paris. 1983a
UNESCO. Equality of educational opportunity for girls and women. Paris. 1983b



The practice and perils of projects for women in the Third World

M. Buvinic

In 1979 a private voluntary agency set up an income-generation project for rural women in the western province of Kenya through which a group of 50 women was organized into a cooperative to produce banana-fibre rings for sale as pot-holders in Nairobi. Two years into the project, the women were losing K ShO.50 (US$0.05) for every pot-holder they produced and sold, not considering the implicit cost of their labour. (The unit cost of the fibre was K Sh3.00, or US$0.30, and the retail price of the pot-holders was K Sh2.50, or US$0.25.) Moreover, capital that had been donated to finance and replicate the project through a revolving fund had been depleted. The project, nonetheless, continued operating.
A new project in a squatter settlement on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, promises to share with the Kenya effort the same bleak economic future. Under the project, seven to eight women are receiving group training to produce skirts and shirts for sale in the local market. The cost of the denim fabric used to make one shirt, however, is S/1 000 (US$0.45) more than the highest retail price at which the shirts can be sold (S/7 000). The women, some of whom have worked at the sewing training centre for as long as two years without pay, are unlikely to ever make a profit on the sale of these clothes.'
Incredibly, these are not two aberrant instances of project behaviour; on the contrary, they illustrate the fate of a large number of income-generation projects for poor women in the Third World, who survive financial misfortune only because social or community development goals (i.e. the ideal of forming a community-based working group) take precedence over or replace productive concerns when women are involved. A welfare orientation has prevailed in the execution of projects for low-income women, but this action contradicts economic-based policies and project blueprints, as well as the

Ms Mayra Buvinic is director of the International Center for Research on Women, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 501, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA.

The project observations cited throughout the text are based on the work of the International Center for Research on Women (Washington, D.C.).



economic needs voiced repeatedly by poor women across cultures and situations (Dixon, 1980; Chen, 1984).
An integrated rural development effort in the Bolivian highlands illustrates the discrepancy between blueprints and action at the project level. One of the project's primary goals was to modernize the herd management and shearing practices used by Bolivian peasants in order to increase alpaca and llama wool production. Information collected during project appraisal revealed that herding and shearing were women's work, and as a result, the design of the project was revised to include a production-oriented women's component. In implementation, however, the component was redirected toward developing women's skills in nutrition, cooking and embroidery. In the course of the project many supervision teams stressed, with little success, the need to direct women's activities away from those that supported their roles as wives and mothers and to concentrate, instead, on the productive roles and expressed economic needs of women. Project documents revealed repeated recommendations, which were never executed, that women should be included in farmer training courses and receive information on modern veterinary practices (Buvinic and Nieves, 1982).
Why is it that welfare strategies for Third World women persist in project implementation, even if they are not called for in policy and project guidelines? This essay analyses the "misbehaviour" of projects for women that have economic goals and assume welfare features during execution. The analysis does not attempt to encompass all project experience and, therefore, does not review successful exceptions to the typical project. It is worth noting that these successful exceptions, most of them in the area of credit for poor women, have become more frequent in recent years.

Three explanations for project misbehaviour

The welfare slant in the execution of women's projects is explained, first, by speciffe project characteristics that are shared by a majority of interventions and interfere with the execution of production objectives, but may facilitate the implementation of social ones. These characteristics, in turn, are the result of the expertise in the welfare sector of agencies that implement women's projects and historical asymmetries in the growth of development and women agencies. Last, the institutional choices, and the more general preference for welfare action, are influenced by the lower financial and social costs that are involved in the execution of welfare versus economic-oriented policies for women in developing countries.



The standard project design

The typical women's project that was illustrated in the beginning of this essay gained popularity in the last decade; it is small-scale, situation-specific, and uses limited financial and technical resources. It is implemented by women, many of whom are volunteers with little technical expertise, and benefits women only. The typical project works with groups of 5-40 women, already in existence or newly constituted for the project; groups wishing to undertake economic activities are often legalized as cooperatives. The project involves substantial group participation and includes awareness-raising through group discussions, human development training, and/or training in stereotypical female skills such as sewing, knitting, cooking and gardening. Lastly, the typical project involves group activities through which women attempt to apply the skills they have learned for income-generation. Because of the type of training offered, income-generation is in areas that are time-consuming and have no income-earning potential. Groups survive the financial failure that often occurs by replacing economic goals with social ones, and projects fall back onto a variety of social group actions.
The recent development implementation literature indicates that the choices that are made in the standard project design regarding the nature of the task, staff composition, group participation, and the use of volunteer labour interfere with production objectives and contribute, in project execution, to their translation into welfare realities.

Misjudging simple and familiar tasks

Successful project execution is more likely when tasks required from project participants are not too numerous, too complex, or too unfamiliar (Esman and Uphoff, 1984). In fact, it has been'observed that women's projects are often more successful when women participants are required to perform familiar tasks (Dixon, 1980). #
Common wisdom judges that stereotypical Western female tasks are both simple and familiar to women in the Third World and are, therefore, easily transferable. It is no surprise that they should predominate in the execution of projects for low-income women. In reality, however, femaleappropriate tasks are not simple nor as familiar to low-income women as might be assumed. This is one of the most immediate and salient features that emerges from field observation of women's projects; it was evident in 1980 in a sewing session for a group of low-income women in San Josd, Costa Rica.



Women in this project were being taught how to measure and translate the measurements into dress patterns that would be used to cut the fabric. Pattern drawing (as taught) was extremely complex and required drawing skills, spatial ability, and more than a basic knowledge of mathematics (percentages and fractions). It was clear that most of the women in the group could not follow the lesson because it was too difficult and unfamiliar.
The first training course for women in the rural development project in Bolivia cited earlier provides a good illustration of the complexity of traditionally feminine tasks. A supervision report noted that all went well except that too many themes were included: for example, nutrition and cooking, embroidery, sewing, knitting and crochet, paper and paper mAcM, and flower making. These tasks were not only diverse but also highly unfamiliar to highland rural women whose main functions were to herd and shear animals, manage household finances, and supervise day-to-day household activities.
Underestimating the difficulty of stereotypical female tasks and overestimating their transferability induces project misbehaviour; that is, it prompts project implementers who want successful projects for women to choose welfare rather than productive tasks. It is true that productive tasks are not inherently easy, but the difficulty of welfare tasks is underrated, while productive tasks are often misjudged as being too difficult for poor women.

Participation, volunteer labour and a biased clientele

The time required for group participation and the demands to donate voluntary labour in the standard women's design tend to exclude women who have greater than average demands on their time and/or who are the poorest. Field observations repeatedly show that in the typical women's project a group of women composed mostly of housewives and therefore with time available, themselves choose to participate in projects.
These are not the poorest women. It is highly likely that women who head households, who tend to be the poorest and have the greatest time constraints (because they have both home and market production roles and generally have fewer family members to help with income-generation tasks), will exclude themselves from projects that require time for group discussion, participation and voluntary labour. These requirements in women's projects promote the selection of beneficiaries who can afford to undertake social tasks and will therefore go along with the transformation of productive goals into welfare activities.



Institutions and their legacy

A small, private organization of mostly women volunteers in Costa Rica that had effectively lobbied for women's legal rights was approached by an international development agency to design and implement a large, innovative project that would raise poor women's productivity and income in rural Costa Rica. It was determined that credit had to be a key component of the project, but the organization did not have the institutional capacity to manage a sizeable loan and implement a credit programme for poor women. Women volunteers were proficient at teaching traditional female skills (i.e. cooking, sewing, knitting), but had little experience in dealing with fund disbursements and balance sheets. Understandably, the organization was hesitant to undertake the project as conceived.
The circumstances are typical of women's projects and help to explain the redirection of projects to welfare actions in the execution stage: the women-based institutions chosen to implement women's projects are organizationally capable of executing welfare- but not production-oriented projects. Since these institutions want to execute successful projects, their most rational option is to translate production objectives into welfare actions. The restricted expertise of women's institutions is explained, in part, by the growth of women's organizations together with development and relief agencies in the period after the Second World War.
The end of war and the reconstruction of Europe that followed brought about the creation of two parallel worlds in development assistance: on the one hand, the world of economic growth, represented institutionally by the World Bank and its affiliates; on the other hand, the world of emergency relief, with a proliferation of international and national private voluntary agencies. Poor women and their children became a main target of welfare programmes operated by international private voluntary agencies. Relief agencies often relied on and therefore promoted national organizations of mostly well-to-do women volunteers to implement their programmes, i.e. to distribute relief to poor women and children. Women's organizations, many of which had been in existence since the late 1920s, had embraced welfare aims along with legal rights in their original mandates, and were ready to take up the assigned task of relief.
Relief objectives influenced women's institutions to -organize as effectivemechanisms for distributing services and free goods. Such institutions needed a large constituency and a large staff to service it. They found that volunteers could do the job well and cheaply. Mothers' clubs, which were instituted in this period in developing countries, were instrumental in impleme nting the



relief efforts asked of women's organizations. Apart from those doing relief work, however, women's organizations stagnated between 1950 and 1970.
The 1970s witnessed two major events that would have profound repercussions on programmes for poor women in the Third World. These were changes in the theory and practice of economic development and the United Nations' designation of a Women's Decade, beginning in 1975 with International Women's Year. Realizing that the transfer of capital and technology from the industrialized countries had not filtered down to the poor in developing societies, development agencies established new strategies designed to improve standards of living among the poor directly. International and national relief agencies soon followed s uit and initiated their transformation into private development foundations.
The worlds of relief and economic growth grew less distant; the World Bank invested heavily in social sectors and took the lead in research on basic human needs, while private voluntary organizations made their staffs professional and implemented small-scale programmes in economic development. These agencies were slow, however, in shifting their orientation from relief to development in their work with women. In part, this can be attributed to the institutional legacy from the world of relief.
International Women's Year brought to the world forum the concerns of women in industrialized and developing countries, assigned legitimacy to work on women's issues in economic development, and enticed small but critical budget allocations from international development agencies to undertake work on the topic. It became appropriate for development agencies to include in their anti-poverty portfolios projects intended to improve the situation of poor women in developing countries. Some women's organizations, in existence since the 1950s or earlier, had also started revising their aims and were in place to implement the new projects. However, these organizations had been developed and were organizationally fit to implement relief rather than productive projects for women. The asymmetry in the growth of women and development agencies and the motivation that female institutions have to expand and do what they know how to do best helps -to explain the welfare orientation ofwomen's projects in the Third World.

The political economy of women's projects

The factors that condition the choice of implementing institutions round up the explanation of why projects for women "misbehave". Women-based institutions that carry out development projects for women do not operate in



a vacuum but in the context of international and national development agencies. The choice of women-only institutions to implement women's programmes is, in part, a result of the belief that female staff should work with female beneficiaries. More importantly, however, it is the result of the reluctance of technically oriented development agencies either to allocate significant financial resources to projects for women or to take up the execution of production-oriented women's projects. Behind this resistance are actual and perceived costs and benefits to male-based development agencies of welfare versus productive action for poor women in the Third World. Female-based institutions are willing to do the job, and do it cheaply.
In a world with finite development resources that are largely controlled by men, welfare and relief programmes for women in the Third World represent little or no threat to existing budget and power allocations when compared with projects borne of the productive mould. Why are welfare strategies perceived as less threatening or costly than production-oriented strategies?
Welfare action is supported by funds traditionally set aside for that purpose. Since this action is directed to women in their roles as mothers and childrearers, it operates in a sex-segregated environment where by definition there is no possibility of competition with men for the goods and services offered. Instead, productive interventions have the potential of pitting women against men in the project environment. These actions are bound to be perceived as more costly than welfare actions since they have the potential to create a situation where poor women will compete with men for scarce development resources.
Productive strategies are less attractive than welfare strategies because they have the potential to redistribute resources from men to women. In other words, they carry the risk that action will result in a "zero-sum" situation where a win for women will be a loss for men owing to either the added costs of programmes to reduce inequalities or the potential appropriation of economic resources by women. Because welfare action works only with women and operates in effectively sex-segregated environments, it is believed that these actions will be appropriate to women, will not impinge on men, and most importantly will not take resources away from men. Welfare programmes are perceived as "positive-sum" situations in which nobody loses.
Action for poor women in the Third World, therefore, is conditional on an assessment that investments in women will not affect or cut back on development investments in poor men. The result is that welfare designs for women are preferred by development experts and practitioners and will pre-



vail unless there is a strong and well-documented case for projects resulting from production-oriented approaches. The perceived costs associated with the latter perspectives contribute to the misbehaviour of projects for women, even when there is a desire to implement production designs. A direct consequence of the fear of redistribution is that action for poor women takes place much more readily when it is supported by funds that have been allocated specifically for women's programmes or from general welfare-oriented funds.
In s summary, the consequences of the threat of redistribution are:

" a preference for welfare-oriented programmes in implementation; and in anti-poverty programmes, a preference to work with women-only groups and with specifically female activities. In integrated male- and femalebased programmes, the preference is to work with female heads of household and women in female-dominated occupations, since in both situations there is a measure of sex segregation and, therefore, a lack of competition with men.

Solutions and their risks

The misbehaviour of development projects for low-income women has historical roots in the creation of separate economic development and relief agencies after the Second World War and is a function of three related factors: a particular project style that is conducive to the execution of social rather than production tasks; the expertise of institutions that implement this project style in welfare matters; and the low budgets needed for social and financial risks of welfare actions that are perceived as small compared with production-oriented anti-poverty interventions.
The translation of production objectives into welfare action is in part the rational response of women-only implementing agencies with a capacity for, and often a history of, success in the welfare sector. It also stems from these agencies and their lack of institutional capability to implement productive programmes, which dates back to their assigned role in the area of relief and their isolation from the world of economic development. The analysis suggests a vicious circle between the powerlessness of women-only institutions in economic matters, their resulting welfare-oriented operational style, and the increased poverty of women beneficiaries when productive projects for them experience financial failure and are transformed to welfare action.
The central policy question is how to maintain a specific emphasis on



women that tackles both poverty and equity issues in economic development without setting up separate women's programmes that command a fraction of development resources and deny women access to development expertise. The dilemma emerges from the fact that while women-only agencies and women-specific programmes tend to isolate poor women further from the economic benefits of projects, the full integration of women's objectives into mainstream agencies risks the submersion of women's priorities during implementation, or the possibility that project resources directed to women will be monopolized by male beneficiaries. In addition, the concern for equity calls for the growth and professionalization, rather than the disappearance, of female-only institutions with expertise in economic development.
A solution to this dilemma is to unlock the institutional potential of female-based and integrated agencies in specialized and complementary areas. Rational institutional development that considers the strengths and weaknesses of existing agencies and the risks of misbehaviour and submersion is a necessary element to increase the rate of success of productive strategies for women.
First, women-only organizations can play a brokerage role. They can get services to poor women that integrated organizations usually do not or cannot supply. A typical example of this brokerage role is the use of women-only organizations to get information on production-oriented services to poor women in rural areas who otherwise would not receive this information because they do not participate in production cooperatives. Second, much like women's colleges, women-only agencies can pave the way for women's entrance into modern institutions by providing a sex-segregated and "safe" environment where women can learn, practise, and "catch up" with modern organizations in the productive sectors. Third, women-only organizations can perform the essentially political function of making institutions aware of women's economic roles. Women-only organizations with large memberships have political leverage; this should be fully developed and exploited. They have the potential to influence power-outlining policy strategies to integrate poor women into national economies. Women-only research institutions, in turn, can raise the awareness of the fears that productive programmes for women generate in the existing establishment. Lastly, femalebased agencies can play the critical role of "watch dog" of action on behalf of women by developing monitoring and evaluation functions.
On the other hand, the weaknesses of women-only agencies limit their role in the execution of productive programmes for poor women, excepting those cases where they are needed to allow women the opportunity to recover lost ground and graduate into the modern economy. A salient example of the



catch-up function is the provision of credit. Credit earmarked for women allows them to compete for funds with other women of like borrowing qualifications rather than with men who, as a group, are more literate than women and have less difficulty in meeting collateral requirements.
A number of female-based intermediaries that have emerged in recent years precisely to draw the bridge between low-income women's demand for credit and the resources available in the formal financial markets have exhibited high rates of project success (Everett and Savara, 1985). These femalebased agencies have implemented a majority of the successful exceptions to the typical income-generation project and have a critical role to play in the execution of women's projects in the Third World. But to function successfully, they need sufficient financial resources and easy access to the expertise and services available through integrated, technically oriented agencies.
Whenever possible, however, integrated institutions should implement productive programmes for poor women to minimize the likelihood of project misbehaviour and the risk of further isolating or marginalizing women clients from access to development resources by creating peripheral agencies to address their needs. In integrated agencies, staff education and the creation of specific staff incentives are needed to implement economic growth projects for women. Staff education can best be done by presenting data which show that the integration of women as economic participants contributes to project success. Staff incentives are required because such projects may have high perceived costs for implementers. To an objectively difficult task increasing the productivity and income of poor women they add institutional and financial constraints and perceived high political costs.
The development of these complementary institutional roles for femalebased and integrated agencies rests on the willingness of national and international development agencies to commit significant financial resources in support of economic-based policies and programmes for women. In the face of dwindling resources for anti-poverty programmes, it will become increasingly difficult to convince policy-makers that the long-term development benefits of productive action for low-income women far outweigh any short-term financial, social or political costs that may be incurred.


BuvJNic, M. & NIEVES, 1. Elementsof] women's economic integration: project indicators for 1982 the World Bank. Report prepared for the World Bank, Office of the Adviser on
Women in Development. Washington, D.C., International Center for Research
on Women (ICRW). (Mimeo.)



CHEN, M.A. A quiet revolution: women in transition in rural Bangladesh. Cambridge, 1984 Massachusetts, Schenkman Publishing Co.
DIXON, R.B. Assessing the impact of development projects on women. Washington, D.C., 1980 USAID. AID Program Evaluation Discussion Paper No. 8.
ESMAN, M.J. & UPHOFF, N.T. Local organizations. Ithaca, New York, Cornell University 1984 Press.
EVERETT, J. & SAVARA, M. Institutional credit as a strategy toward self-reliance for female 1985 petty commodity procedures in India: a critical evaluation. Paper presented at the
Women in Development Conference, Washington, D.C., April 1985.
SAMUEL, P. Managing development programmes: the lessons of success. Boulder, Colorado, 1982 Westview Press.
SUNDAR, P. Women's employment and organisation modes. Econ. and Political Weekly, 1983 XVIII (48): M-171 to M-175.
TENDLER, J. Turning private voluntary organizations into development agencies: questions 1982 for evaluation. Washington, D.C., USAID. AID Program Evaluation Discussion
Paper No. 12.
YOUSSEF, N.H., SEBSTAD, J. & NIEVES, I. Keeping women out: a structural analysis of 1980 women's employment in developing countries. Washington, D.C., International
Center for Research on Women (ICRW). (Mimeo.)



Nepalese women in natural
resource management

S. Pandey

An important issue that has come increasingly into focus is the role of Nepalese women in natural resource management.' Women in Nepal are major users of natural resources, including firewood, water and fodder, which they are responsible for finding, collecting and transporting for domestic use. Until recently no substantial effort had been undertaken at the national level to increase women's participation and contribution in resource management. Yet their involvement is crucial to the success of conservation and resource management programmes and to the restoration of an overall ecological balance in Nepal.
Similarly, resource conservation programmes can be more effective with the involvement of women professionals, especially for the successful dissemination of new information and concepts at the grass-roots level. This article is a brief attempt to describe the present situation of natural resources and women's use of them in Nepal; the potential role of women in resource management; and the problems involved in reaching and training women for professional employment in this field.

Natural resources in Nepal

Ecological imbalance is one of the greatest problems in Nepal today. The Energy Research Group at Tribhuvan University (1976) reports that 95 percent of the energy consumed in the hills comes from firewood. Similarly, as stated by Stevens (1979), there has been a depletion of forest resources by about 25 percent in a single decade (1964-75). At this rate of deforestation, the remaining accessible forests in the mountains could disappear in the next

Ms Shanta Pandey was a social scientist for the Resource Conservation and Utilization Project (RCUP) in Nepal.

1 Natural resource management is used here to refer primarily to forestry.



15 years and those in the terai region (the southern plain) could disappear in the next 25 years (Stevens, 1979). A primary reason for natural resource depletion is the need for wood energy, arable land and fodder. When vegetation is removed, deforestation and increased soil erosion often result.
Nepal loses 20-25 tonnes of the topmost fertile soil for every hectare every year, which is 20 times the weight of the rice crop produced by the land. According to a study, 47 percent of the landslides in Nepal are geological in origin and the remaining 53 percent are man-made. Severe symptoms of deforestation are already visible in five districts of the 75 districts in Nepal (Mahotari, Mustang, Okhaldhunga, Sallyan and Sarlahi). To bring forests to a managed sustaining level, it is estimated that Nepal requires about 1.3 million hectares of new forest plantations by the year 2000. Many national and international organizations have launched various programmes over the last 10-15 years to halt the rapid degradation of Nepal's resources. These programmes, aimed at improving the utilization of forest resources and forest resource management techniques, are not expected to cover more than 34 000 hectares by the end of this century (Bhatta, 1984).

The role of women in the use and management of natural resources

"Status of Women in Nepal", a study produced by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centre for Economic Development and Administration (CEDA), Nepal (1979-81), and various other studies reveal that women in Nepal play a major role in the use and management of natural resources. Sixty-six percent of the time devoted by adults to fuelwood collection is contributed by women (Acharya and Bennett, 1981). In some areas of Nepal, women spend as many as 11 days a month collecting fuelwood (Cordovez, 1984). Because women use forest resources so actively, they have an important role and contribution to make toward better management.

Women in nurseries. More than 50 important nurseries in Gorkha, Mustang, Myagdi, Sindhupalchok and other districts were visited. Each nursery is headed by a villager who is known as the "nursery nike".2 Nursery workers are responsible for filling plastic bags with soil, preparing nursery beds, seeding, watering and planting seedlings. Women workers were described by

2 Nike is "chief' in Nepali.



nursery managers as being more efficient and productive than men workers, and yet not a single nursery was headed by a female nike. It was common for village women to sell seeds to the nursery nikes, which they gathered while grazing their animals or while collecting firewood and fodder in the forest. If women were trained and employed as nursery nikes, more women would be encouraged to visit the nursery, learn about them, collect seedlings for planting in their yards, and do nursery and plantation work.

Women forest guards. The women of Nepal climb tall trees to fell branches for fodder and spend much time in the forest collecting wood. However, there was not a single female forest guard in the areas visited. Though an unfounded attitude, women are not considered strong enough to guard the forest. Women trained as forest guards would be able to motivate and help women forest users to find alternative sources of fuelwood and fodder, probably better than men guards, especially in those forests most used by women and children.

Female professionals in natural resource management. Based on the contribution of women employed in professions other than natural resources, it is clear that trained women professionals in Nepal have better access to other women at the grass-roots level than men professionals. In this regard, women extension workers are better able to reach and motivate this important user group and to suggest, advise and provide effective input in planning, implementing and evaluating programmes related to women. The participants of the National Seminar on the Employment of Female Institute of Forestry Graduates (1984) have shown interest in employing trained women professionals in resource management research, surveying, teaching, laboratory work, extension work, and so on. However, until recently not a single woman in Nepal was trained in natural resources. The Institute of Forestry (1017) of Tribhuvan University ini Hetauda has been functioning formally since 1960 without one female student in the programme.' One woman forest graduate returned from Dehradun, India, in March 1984, and has been hired as the first woman forestry officer in Nepal.
In 1982/83, a study was conducted by National Research Associates (NRA) under contract to the Resource Conservation and Utilization Project (RCUP), a USAID-funded project, which explored the reasons why women
- even those few who were qualified to apply were not informed, moti3I101 is soon to become the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) at a new campus, under construction in Pokhara.



vated or interested in participating in IOF programmes. The NRA IRNR Female Candidates Survey found that

- many female students, as well as guardians, teachers and local community leaders feel that Nepalese renewable natural resources are being destroyed;
- the common opinion held by most respondents was that education in resource management is essential to creating an understanding of the importance of conserving natural resources;
- an overwhelming majority of the respondents from three geographical locations (hills, terai and the Kathmandu valley) favoured women pursuing higher education and having careers involving renewable natural resources; and
- the scope for employment of IOF female graduates at the certificate and diploma levels is limited.

Women at the Institute of Forestry and their problems

Soon after the findings of the NRA study were published, the RCU project began a concerted effort to inform and help eligible women to enrol in 1017. Women in Development interns (sponsored by the South East Consortium for International Development (SECID)/Centre for Women in Development, a non-profit US university consortium) helped in disseminating information about JOF opportunities to village women. In addition, Peace Corps volunteers, RCU project employees in the districts, and the personnel of other agencies that have direct contact with villagers were informally involved in information dissemination. Radio advertisements were also used as a means of communication. In June 1983, the first group of seven women applied for admission. They were all admitted to JOF: six in the certificate programme and one in the diploma programme. In July 1984, 53 eligible women applied, 51 for the certificate programme and 2 for the diploma programme. Of these, 11 were admitted to the certificate programme and 1 was admitted to the diploma programme. Hence, IOF presently has a total of 19 female students.
The RCU project requested Tribhuvan University to provide incentives to encourage the enrolment of eligible women candidates in natural resource management training. The project requested that

- 10 percent of the total seats be reserved for women at the diploma level as well as at the certificate level;



-female students in certificate- and diploma-level programmes be eligible for a stipend at the rate of NRs2 000 and NRs4 000 for each academic year per student;4
- all women students be eligible for a tuition grant;
- all women students be eligible to receive a lump sum of NRs500 in the certificate programme and NRs1 000 in the diploma programme for purchasing uniforms and other supplies;
- all women students receive free housing.

While these provisions are presently available, they may be cut back by Tribhuvan University as the project continues and female students succeed.
The women students at 101F can specialize in any of the three disciplines of natural resource management offered by the institute. The three disciplines are wildlife, soil and water conservation, and forestry. Women students are taught the same courses by the same faculty members in the same classes with men students. Both males and females receive equal treatment as students, both study the same subjects in the same classroom, and both do the same field-work (SECID/RCUP, 1984).
A woman with the aim of becoming a natural resource professional must be prepared for a great challenge in Nepal. First, to be eligible to apply to 101F, female candidates must have a school-leavers' certificate, or a high school graduate-level education. To achieve this requires much strength and family support, especially for women from the hills. Second, female candidates must be bold enough to travel all the way to Hetauda to inquire about admission procedures and to submit the application. Following this, they must take the initiative to learn if they have been accepted by the institute and whether funds are available for them to attend. Unfortunately, very few women receive the support and encouragement necessary to do these things from their parents. A more organized and simplified admittance procedure, such as writing to the institute to receive information and application forms, and sending the completed application by mail, has yet to be developed. Thus, even the few women who are qualified have difficulty gaining admittance to 10F.
Another consideration is the poor facilities to accommodate female students. Female students have off-campus housing that lacks basic amenities such as fans, lights and proper drinking water. In Hetauda, the summer temperatures are very high, the drinking water system in the dormitory is very

'NRs16.50 = US$1.00.



poor, and many rooms do not get enough natural light for studying. Women students already at the institute must make sure they continue to receive their 1017 stipend. Their chances of receiving additional financial support from their parents are slim compared to male students. To compound these difficulties, the women are unsure of what their future will be. Who will hire them? How much will they be paid? How well will they be accepted in their profession? Until now the forestry profession has been dominated by men, with only one female forestry officer who was trained in India.

National seminar

The RCU project sponsored a three-day national seminar on the Employment of Female 1017 Graduates, in Kathmandu (16-18 May 1984). Seminar participants were represented by His Majesty's Government organizations and national and international agencies involved in natural resource education, development and management. The objectives of the seminar were mainly threefold: to discuss the problems of reaching, informing and recruiting eligible women to JOF; to discuss the problems of successfully training women in the IOF programme; and, most importantly, to determine the magnitude and nature of job opportunities in Nepal for women trained in natural resource management. The participants of the seminar were engaged in a lively discussion of the possible solutions to the problems of the recruitment, training and employment of women in natural resource management. The recommendations of the seminar were as follows (IRNR, 1984):

* Disseminate information on IOF recruitment policies and -on potential employment opportunities for females in renewable natural resource (RNR) professions.
" Provide incentives and motivation for women students at IOF. Boost morale, raise levels of motivation, and increase self-confidence among female graduates in RNR professions.
* Create awareness among employing agencies of the potential contributions of female professionals in RNR.
* Increase coordination between employing agencies regarding female professionals in RNR.
o Clarify job descriptions and ensure safe and challenging work environments for female professionals in RNR.

Translating these guidelines into action, however, is still to be done.




The recent increase in the number of women in natural resource management training has been attained by the concerted effort of concerned officials, agencies and the faculty of the Institute of Forestry. It has been a decided success for Nepal. These efforts have successfully involved women in the mainstream of national development. However, women's training and employment in natural resource management is still at the initial stage and current efforts must be continued.
With training and through extension, Nepalese women have much to contribute to the solution of Nepal's ecological problems. The recent success in involving women in natural resource training programmes shows that it is possible to overcome the difficulties and move toward solving the problems. With the present trend of action-oriented programmes, it is possible to mobilize women to participate effectively in natural resource conservation and management in Nepal.


ACHARYA, M. & BENNETT, L. The status of women in Nepal. Kathmandu, USAID. 1981
BHATrA, D.D. The brown cancer. The Rising Nepal, 22 June. 1984
CORDOVEZ, M. Tree planting problems. The Rising Nepal, 22 June. 1984
NRA. IRNR Female Candidates Survey. Kathmandu, SECID/RCUP. 1983
IRNR. Proceedings of the National Seminar on Employment of Female 1OF (IRNR) 1984 Graduates, 16-18 May 1984, Kathmandu. Kathmandu, SECID/RCUP. STEVENS, M.E. Energy, environment and forestry. Kathmandu, Agricultural Research 1979 Council.



An effective method of training extension workers

C. Rucks


In a little over four years, from August 1979 to November 1983, the project for the Training of Farmers and Agricultural Labourers in El Salvador (CAPTA) trained a substantial number of agricultural extension workers from different public institutions.I
All the activities undertaken were evaluated, thus making it possible to ascertain the successes achieved and difficulties encountered in each. The achievements included changes in the participants' attitude toward their work, in the users and institutions involved, and in participants' knowledge and skills with regard to the planning, conduct and evaluation of agricultural extension activities. The difficulties derived from the shortage of resources, unclear guidelines for work and, in some cases, training that was too general and not directed to an immediate solution to the problems faced by each extension worker in his or her specific situation.
This latter observation resulted in consideration being given to a different training procedure which would focus on the situation and specific problems of each extension agency. From this arose a proposal for the in-service training of extension workers in the CAPTA project.

Experiment conducted

Once agreed upon with the Agricultural Training Centre (CENCAP),2 and the Agricultural Technology Centre (CENTA),3 the in-service training of

Mr Carlos Rucks was International Director of the FAO/UNDP project for the Training of Farmers and Agricultural Labourers in El Salvador from 1979 to 1983. In 1984 he was working as Rural Development Expert in an FAO/TCP project in Guatemala. El Proyecto de Capacitaci6n de Productores y Trabajadores Agropecuarios
2 Centro de Capacitaci6n Agropecuaria
3 Centro de Tecnologfa Agricola



extension workers was conducted on an experimental basis in four agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) in the central region of El Salvador.
A training plan was worked out for implementation in each agency. One day a week for eight weeks was to be allocated to training. This plan was implemented in the MAG agencies of Soyapango and La Libertad from May to July 1983, and of Quezaltepeque and San Juan Opico in August and September 1983. Forty-three extension workers were trained in this way.


This experiment in the in-service training of extension workers was conducted for the following purposes:

* to develop knowledge and skills in educational planning and methods among MAG extension workers;
* to design annual work plans for the extension agencies selected, with the participation of all extension workers;
9 to test a proposed methodology for the training of extension workers and make any adjustments that proved advisable;
* to train CENCAP and CENTA instructors so that they would develop the knowledge and skills necessary to employ the training method on a wider scale; and
* to prepare a methodological document on the in-service training of extension workers.

The first four purposes were achieved through the training provided in the four MAG agencies mentioned, and the fifth by means of a report which described the experiment in detail.'

Content and methods

The main subjects covered in the training were planning and teaching methods in agricultural extension. In addition, analyses were made of the institutional coordination and evaluation of extension work. This training, as an experiment, was different from the more typical training of extension workers because it was based on the following principles:

4Field Document No. 14 of the CAPTA project.