What Farmer Extension Programs Can Gain From Women's Involvement
What if all extension service providers sought to challenge gender norms in their work? Those who design and implement farmer extension service programs in various cultural and regional contexts have identified that there is a shortage or an under-representation of women within the field. This results in the hugely untapped potential of women farmers. With this gap in mind, the INGENAES project carries out landscape analyses of various countries to understand their farmer networks with regard to gender, while performing nutrition-sensitive work. Collaborating with farmer communities to impact change in these complex systems requires a lot of contexualized planning around farming system and technology development, farmer organization development, dissemination of information to farmers, and promotion of food security and income generation.
In its landscape analysis of Cambodia—accessible on Agrilinks—the project states:
"INGENAES will strengthen institutions by identifying their needs and strengthening their capacity to effectively integrate gender- and nutrition-sensitive information and activities into agricultural extension systems with the aim to promote gender equality, improve household nutrition, and increase women’s incomes and, subsequently, household food security. Based on the identification of four main gaps in extension services in terms of gender and nutrition integration, INGENAES activities are divided into the following action areas:
- Building more robust, gender-responsive, and nutrition-sensitive institutions, projects, and programs capable of assessing and responding to the needs of both men and women farmers through EAS;
- Identifying and scaling proven mechanisms for delivering improved EAS to women farmers;
- Disseminating technologies that improve women’s agricultural productivity and increase household nutrition; and,
- Applying effective, nutrition-sensitive extension approaches and tools for engaging both men and women."
To learn more about INGENAES' work in other regions, visit the project's Agrilinks page where various resources country landscape analysis and extension improvement methods are listed.