Challenges and Possibilities for Achieving Household Food Security in the Western Sudan Region: The Role of Female Farmers

Citation:

Ibnouf, Fatma Osman. 2011. “Challenges and Possibilities for Achieving Household Food Security in the Western Sudan Region: The Role of Female Farmers.” Food Security 3 (2): 215-31.

Author: Fatma Osman Ibnouf

Abstract:

This paper investigates the role of women in achieving household food security in the Western Region of Sudan, an area much affected by the impacts of drought and civil conflicts. The study is based on a quantitative survey and qualitative focus group discussions, supported by personal observations made during fieldwork. Additionally, the study draws upon secondary data that is publicly available. Results demonstrate that women play a major role in producing and providing food for their households in this high-risk climate and conflict area, while men are more likely to migrate seasonally and even permanently. In addition, women are responsible for food preparation, processing, and food preservation and are wholly responsible for attending to household garden plots. They therefore contribute more to household food security than men, though this contribution is not recognized in official statistics. The study findings indicate that the main problems women face as food producers and providers are a lack of access to the full package of improved production methods (improved seeds, fertilizers, modern farming methods, credit services, pesticides, appropriate technologies, and marketing facilities), in addition to gender disparities and gender-biased traditions. The impacts of natural crises and civil conflicts are gendered and therefore the responses to these crises must be gender responsive. Holistic and strategic policies and plans that take gender issues into account are thus needed in order to achieve food security.

Keywords: Sudan, women, gender, migration, food security

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan

Year: 2011

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