If interventions in agriculture are to engineer a green revolution in
Agricultural development implies an increased productivity on a sustainable and equitable basis. At the core of agricultural development is strategic change through adoption of new knowledge and skills, and the intensification of science and technology in agriculture. Gender provides a missing link to sustainable agricultural development considering the triple role of women.
Women since the biblical times of Jesus Christ's mother Mary have acquired a strategic role in society. The history of women is as long as the history of mankind and civilisation. Powell G.N in Women and Men in management argues that women have a triple role derived from socialization-a productive role, a community management role and a reproductive role.
It is inescapable to point that the roles of women are derived from socialisation and a part of culture. Implying that the roles of women are dynamic and extension needs to match this dynamism.
The productive role of women is of paramount importance. The reasons why most state interventions in agriculture fail are that gender is not given prominence it deserves. This point on all institutions engaged in agricultural development starting from the family level to mainstream gender in productive activities. Agricultural extension is a socializing agent that works towards fostering harmonious roles and behaviour in agricultural production.
An X-ray view of gender issues in agriculture will reveal constraints ranging from-lack of relevant client based and customized agricultural extension aimed at serving the needs of women in agriculture, a skewed resource ownership tilted against women, patriarchal views discouraging women from leadership roles in society, limited land rights to women in Africa, low productivity, lack of technical know-how and reduced democracy at family level which undermines and suppresses women.
The constraints said above point that Governments, Private sector and NGO's to stimulate African development and counter the ever increasing security threat from food riots induced by low food outputs need a rethinking of agricultural extension, if agricultural extension it is to act as a social re-engineering tool.
The tripartite development alliance (Government, Private sector and NGO's) to be an engine of African hopes in agriculture and gender urgently needs to;
1. Encourage a cultural shift in the way we view women in agriculture in order to elevate and train women for decision making.
2. Encourage partnering and collaboration between women in the value chain with a view of advancing a womanly cause.
3. Carry out a massive leadership and capacity building programmes aimed at mainstreaming gender in society.
4. Encourage a multi-sectoral response to gender issues and create standardized measures of compliance to gender issues. The standard will act as a qualification for doing business with stakeholders and accessing incentives.
5. Create legislations aimed at elevating and assisting the historically disdvantaged women and girl child of
6. Introduce a vibrant youth programme which encourages 'the girl child' to acquire skills; both practical and academic with a view of nurturing better mothers of tomorrow.
7. Encourage new innovations, and intensification of science and technologies that reduce burden to women during production.
8. Encourage and nurture entrepreneurship among women and re-engineer agriculture as a business than a subsistence activity.
9. Revitalize extension services to be customized to serve the client based needs of women with emphasis on issues affecting agriculture such as HIV and AIDS.
10. Resource provision to women and increasing land ownership without bias to sex.
Aid and charity have failed to develop
Gender and agriculture represents an entry point to break the vicious cycle of poverty; these are serious interventions that will have a lasting developmental role to African hopes. Ahead of
By Hillary Kundishora
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