Gender and Social Inclusion
Gender is an integral part of the Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) project implementation. It’s integration cuts across the various PABRA thematic focus in Breeding, Nutrition, Markets, Seeds system, Integrated crop management, and Monitoring, evaluation, and learning in the bean value chain. There is an existing gender gap in agriculture; due to limited access to technology, information, credit, land, inputs by women and youth. PABRA delivers on gender outcomes through;
- Gender mainstreaming
- Strategic and transformative gender research
Gender strategy: The PABRA Gender Strategy provides a gender lens through which projects are implemented. Our mission is to promote transformative communities by breaking social norms and systemic barriers.
Capacity building: PABRA colleagues, National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in 32 countries, and private sector partners are trained on the value of mainstreaming gender from project design, implementation, and the monitoring and evaluation processes. In partnership with GREAT, we have trained NARS scientists on gender-responsive research and breeding. Women and youth participation have increased since the inception of the training.
Gender-responsive nutrition approach: Together with partners: NARS, Private sector, farmers we carry out nutrition promotion and awareness training through a gender lens that involves men, women, and youth. Through participatory varietal selection, cooking demonstrations, stakeholder meetings to educate the partners on health and nutrition benefits. Nutrition champions – especially men and youth are taught about the nutritional benefits of beans and recipes of healthy bean-based diets are shared with the women to complement the household diet.
Gender-responsive mechanization: Beans are generally a woman’s crop. They are actively engaged in the production and processing of beans. PABRA is working with mechanization partners to come up with solutions to reducing post-harvest losses and drudgery. Some of these technologies include threshers( reduces drudgery), solar bubble driers, and PICS bags (reduces post-harvest losses).
Strategic and transformative Gender research
Women and youth empowerment: Social inclusion is at the heart of PABRA’s project implementation. Increasingly women and youth are actively participating in the bean value chain. In bean business platforms and stakeholder meetings, bean opportunities are usually presented, and information shared on possible investment opportunities where men, women, and youth can tap into. PABRA and partners are also amplifying women’s voices by electing them into leadership positions in the bean value chain.
Youth have a great potential that can be tapped into to sustain agriculture now and in the future. With huge numbers of youth unemployed, PABRA is partnering with young men and women to identify employment opportunities in the bean value chain. Such opportunities include providing agricultural services – land preparation, spraying, threshing, and packaging.
Financial Inclusion: Through MasterCard Farmer Network (MFN), women are financially empowered. They are able to transact, access money digitally through mobile money from the sales of their beans, and build their credit portfolio.
Conceptualizing future farmers: From the IFAD (2019) report; the average age of a household head farmer is 50 years old. To develop useful technologies for the future farmer, we need to understand who these future farmers will be, what will be the needs.