Forages are often considered the domain of men even though women play a significant role in feeding livestock and therefore are involved in the harvesting and use of forages within small holder systems.
The Gender Dimensions of Forage Selection Criteria and Dissemination Pathways is a 2-year project aimed at generating better information on the gender dimensions of demand for forages. Such information will guide forage research and development activities identifying and ultimately providing improved, more cost effective and suitable forage technologies that better meet the requirements of both men and women livestock keepers.
The project takes place in Kenya and Ethiopia with the following objectives:
i) provide an understanding of men and women livestock farmers' differing feed needs and preferences;
ii) assess and develop the capacities of actors involved in identifying farmers' needs for specific forages and forage traits and;
iii) document processes of an effective needs assessment.
Information from this project will also be used to inform germplasm acquisition, characterization and evaluation activities of the ILRI Forage Genebank, which holds a larger and diverse collection of forage germplasm, to focus activities that identify forages that meet these demands to better serve a broader range of users.
The project, a post-doctoral research fellowship in gender, is funded by the CGIAR which is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food-secured future.
Initial findings from the study indicate that: -
1. With respect to trait preferences, men are more “productivity oriented” (effect on milk production, drought/ disease resistance, biomass & storability) whereas women are more “role-oriented” (width of leaves, speed of regeneration, ease of harvest etc)
2. However, both men and women agree that forage adoption decisions are the man`s role with access to formal information channels and seeds often biased against women
Results will become available. In the meantime, you can access related outputs on gender here. More on the Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods Program under which this project falls can be accessed here