Gender Analysis in Crop-Animal Research

T.R. Paris

For the past years, increased attention has been given to the important roles of rural women in Asian agriculture. Except in landpreparation and application of chemicals, they are predominantly involved either as unpaid labor or wage laborers in planting, weeding, harvesting, manual threshing, manual grain processing, seed management, and marketing. Aside from their household responsibilities, they collect fodder for animals and manage small animals and poultry. They are important users of crop and animal by products. Given these traditional tasks, they are faced with the problems of seasonal shortages of animal fodder, expensive feed concentrates, diseases in small animals and poultry, lack of skills in improved methods of animal management, and lack of access to credit to acquire animals and knowledge regarding crop and animal technologies. They have often been bypassed and omitted as target beneficiaries of farming systems research and extension (FSRE).  One of the reasons for this neglect is the lack of a systematic and practical method of collecting information and incorporating women’s concerns in the process of technology development and extension. If the overall goal of FSRE is to increase production, raise income, and improve farm families’ welfare, gender issues and women’s concerns should be addressed by scientists, extension workers, and policymakers. Gender analysis is a tool for understanding men’s and women’s roles and responsibilities in the agricultural activities, their use, access to and control of resources, participation in decision-making and contributions to household income. This information isused in identifying constraints and opportunities for technological interventions. This paper discusses the methodology of gender analysis in each phase of the FSRE process and cites case studies which explicitly address women’s technology needs in crop-animalsystems in Asia under the Asian Rice Farming Systems Network (ARFSN) collaborative research.

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About taongtanglaw

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