Implementing partners of the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development (PAIRED) can now better integrate gender aspects in their interventions. This follows a two-day (August 25-26, 2020) online training conducted by the Gender and Social Protection Unit of CORAF. Participants were drawn from the participating countries of the PAIRED program. This includes Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, and Senegal.
The overall objective of the training was to facilitate the effective integration of gender and social dimensions in the program activities.
“To achieve sustainable development objectives, agricultural development policies, projects, and programs have to be gender-sensitive,” says Dr. Mariam Maiga, Regional Advisor on Gender and Social Development at CORAF.
“Interventions must promote equitable access to resources, opportunities, and benefits of agricultural research and development for men and women, particularly for disadvantaged groups such as women, youth, people living with disabilities, and the elderly.”
By strengthening the gender capacities of the country actors involved in the implementation of the PAIRED, the expectations are that the program’s results would be better achieved.
“This training will facilitate the achievement of the program’s development objectives, which necessarily requires the effective consideration of gender and social dimensions in the implementation of all program components and activities,” said Dr. Hippolyte Affognon, Manager of the PAIRED program.
Addressing inequalities in access to agricultural resources
Gender inequalities in agriculture remain one of the main causes of the agricultural sector’s poor performance, with negative impacts on food and nutritional security, economic growth, and the sustainable socio-economic development of particularly disadvantaged populations.
According to the African Development Bank, women and youth constitute 62 and 65 percent of the agricultural labor force and play an important role in the rural economy and the food and nutrition security of households. However, they have limited access to productive agricultural resources such as land, water, appropriate technologies and innovations including certified seeds and fertilizers, credit, and extension services.
Therefore, it is to address these inequalities that CORAF works to integrate gender aspects in all its programs systematically.
To ensure gender issues are integrated in the project activities, the following recommendations were made to the participants:
- Considering gender tools in the conduct of the household survey to determine technology adoption and use;
- Considering gender-based needs analysis in the evaluation of innovation platforms;
- Targeting vulnerable groups, especially those who are really in need to be reached;
- Involving as many men, women and young people in trainings by considering the gender equity approach, which allows for the specific needs of women to take part in and benefit from the trainings;
- Using gender-sensitive communication tools to facilitate access to information on technologies and innovations;
- Involving women in the identification of improved varieties;
- View seed production as an opportunity for income-generating activity and business development in agriculture for women and youth;
- Considering women’s seed enterprises in all seed value chains in developing partnerships with research institutes to take advantage of the opportunity;
- Ensure that men and women working in the seed sector are invited to the meetings without any discrimination.
About PAIRED program
PAIRED is a five-year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID-West Africa). PAIRED’s overall objective is to contribute to improved agricultural growth, food and nutrition security, and poverty reduction in West Africa. This objective will be achieved through the three mutually reinforcing Intermediate Results:
- CORAF’s institutional capacities strengthened;
- Innovative scaling framework for Agri-input technologies and innovations established in West Africa;
- Availability of quality inputs increased in West Africa.
The program works on four value chains (rice, maize, sorghum, and millet).