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Livelihoods

Smallholder Farmers and Climate Smart Agriculture: Technology and Labor-Productivity Constraints amongst Women Smallholders in Malawi

Citation:

Murray, Una, Zewdy Gebremedhin, Galina Brychkova, and Charles Spillane. 2016. "Smallholder Farmers and Climate Smart Agriculture: Technology and Labor-Productivity Constraints amongst Women Smallholders in Malawi." Gender, Technology and Development 20 (2): 117-48. 

Authors: Una Murray, Zewdy Gebremedhin, Galina Brychkova, Charles Spillane

Abstract:

Climate change and variability present a major challenge to agricultural production and rural livelihoods, including livelihoods of women small- holder farmers. There are significant efforts underway to develop, deploy, and scale up Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices and technologies to facilitate climate change adaptation for farmers. However, there is a need for gender analysis of CSA practices across different farming and cultural systems to facilitate adoption by, and livelihood improvements for, women smallholder farmers. Climate change poses challenges for maintaining and improving agricultural and labor productivity of women smallholder farmers. The labor productivity of many women smallholders is constrained by lack of access to labor-saving technologies and the most basic of farm tools. Poorer smallholders face a poverty trap, due to low agricultural and labor productivity, from which they cannot easily escape without access to key resources such as rural energy and labor- saving technologies. In Malawi, the agricultural system is predominantly rainfed and largely composed of smallholders who remain vulnerable to climate change and variability shocks. Despite the aspirations of women smallholders to engage in CSA, our research highlights that many women smallholders have either limited or no access to basic agricultural tools, transport, and rural energy. This raises the question of whether the future livelihood scenarios for such farmers will consist of barely surviving or “hanging in”; or whether such farmers can “step up” to adapt better to future climate constraints; or whether more of these farmers will “step out” of agriculture. We argue that for women smallholder farmers to become more climate change resilient, more serious attention to gender analysis is needed to address their constraints in accessing basic agricultural technologies, combined with participatory approaches to develop and adapt CSA tools and technologies to their needs in future climates and agro-ecologies.

Keywords: climate change, women smallholders, labor productivity, participatory technology design, agriculture, economic growth

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2016

Coming Back Across the Fence: Masculinity and the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture*

Citation:

Peter, Gregory, Michael Mayerfeld Bell, Susan Jarnagin, and Donna Bauer. 2000. “Coming Back Across the Fence: Masculinity and the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture*.” Rural Sociology 65 (2): 215–33.

Authors: Gregory Peter, Michael Mayerfeld Bell, Susan Jarnagin, Donna Bauer

Abstract:

In this paper we explore the social construction of agricultural masculinity and its role in the transition to sustainable agriculture. We draw our evidence from a participatory qualitative study comparing members of the sustainable agriculture group Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) with their non-PFI neighbors. On the non-PFI farms, men more often rep- resented what we call monologic masculinity, a conventional masculinity with rigid and polarized gender expectations and strictly negotiated performances that make a clear distinction between men's and women's activities. The male farmers belonging to PFI, on the other hand, more often represented what we call dialogic masculinity, characterized by different measures for work and success than in monologic masculinity, less need for control over nature, and greater social openness. Although both are present to some extent in all male participants, we argue that acceptance of a more dialogic masculinity helps promote the transition to sustainable agriculture.

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2000

Masculinity, Work, and the Industrial Forest in the US Pacific Northwest

Citation:

Loomis, Erik. 2017. “Masculinity, Work, and the Industrial Forest in the US Pacific Northwest.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society, no. 4, 37–44.

Author: Erik Loomis

Annotation:

Summary: 
In this paper, Erik Loomis explores the connections between natural resource workers, industrialized nature, and masculinity as constructed by the logger working class in the US Pacific Northwest. In the industrial forest, different ideas of masculinity and nature were formed and performed. Loomis argues that the working class histories of natural resource workers need to be included in sustainable economies and environmental history. This way, environmental activists can develop more sophisticated strategies for creating coalitions with natural resource workers. (Summary from Environment & Society Portal)

Topics: Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2017

From Lumberjack to Business Manager: Masculinity in the Norwegian Forestry Press

Citation:

Brandth, Berit, and Marit S. Haugen. 2000. “From Lumberjack to Business Manager: Masculinity in the Norwegian Forestry Press.” Journal of Rural Studies 16 (3): 343–55.

Authors: Berit Brandth, Marit S. Haugen

Abstract:

This article explores masculinity in an all-male discourse where gender is `taken-for-granted'. Through an examination of three volumes of a Norwegian forestry magazine, the article examines the ways in which masculinity is constructed at two of the main sites of forestry. These are the sites of practical forestry work and organisational management, which correspond to the `tough’ and the `powerful’ positions of masculinity in the industry. There are differences between the two positions of masculinity concerning structure, activity and display. Although quite coherently described in the magazine, there are noticeable signs of destabilisation. From being strongest in focus in the early volume, the old, sturdy working logger is replaced by the energetic, young man with efficient and powerful machinery. Most notable is the fact that the forestry worker seems to be giving way to the organisational man. After a macho-man flare up in the 1980s, the next decade marks a transition to greater hegemony of organisational masculinity.

Keywords: forestry, gender, masculinity, rural, discourse, media

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Norway

Year: 2000

Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation

Citation:

Singh, Chandni. 2019. “Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation.” Migration and Development, March 15. https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2019.1589073.

Author: Chandni Singh

Abstract:

Rapid environmental change, increasing climate variability, land fragmentation, and underlying institutional lacunae have shaped rural livelihoods in India. Increasingly, rural-urban migration has been a significant livelihood strategy to manage risks, meet aspirations, and move out of increasingly unprofitable agriculture. I argue that this movement of people is changing shape household structures, and the metrics to assess these transitions, often through categories of male- and female-headed households, fall short in understanding the experiences and outcomes of migration. Using a household survey (n = 825) and life history interviews (n = 16) to study rural-urban migration in South India, I demonstrate that shifting household configurations due to migration and commuting have implications for the risk management strategies people undertake. This calls for an expanded understanding of the ‘household’, which captures the realities of multi-local households, and consequently, for an expanded conceptualisation of ‘local adaptation’. Such an understanding is sensitive to the ‘beyond-local’ flows and networks that shape household risk management behaviour and has implications for improving the effectiveness of climate change adaptation interventions.

Keywords: migration, aspirations, intra-household dynamics, gender, adaptation, India, climate change

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Gender and Conservation Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

Citation:

Wekesah, Frederick M., Edna N. Mutua, and Chimaraoke O. Izugbara. 2019. “Gender and Conservation Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review.” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 17 (1): 78-91.

Authors: Frederick M. Wekesah, Edna N. Mutua, Chimaraoke O. Izugbara

Abstract:

Conservation agriculture (CA) involves the practice of concurrent minimum tillage, permanent soil cover using crop residue, and crop rotation. Evidence indicates that CA increases agricultural productivity, reduces farming labour requirements, and improves soil quality. While CA is practised in several African contexts, little is known about its interaction with gender. This review synthesized knowledge on the interplay of gender and CA in sub-Saharan Africa. The review highlighted the relative neglect of gender issues in research on CA in SSA. Existing research was limited both in quantity and to a few countries in the region. There was also little critical focus on gender as a social phenomenon: a few of the studies conceptualized gender in terms of the socially constructed roles of men and women while the majority framed it in terms of the sexual categories of male and female. Compared to men, and due largely to gendered barriers, including lack of access to land; machinery; inputs; extension services; and credit facilities, women farmers adopted CA less and disadopted it more. CA increased women’s incomes, labour involvement, household food security, as well as risks for land and crop dispossession by men when farming becomes lucrative. It also increased workloads, employment opportunities and health risks for women. CA positively altered gender relations, boosting women’s participation in agricultural decision-making at the household level. Deliberately enlisting women as beneficiaries; working with men to advance their understanding of women’s needs in agriculture; and offering agricultural inputs directly to women are some strategies that enhanced women’s participation in CA. Gaps in current research on gender and CA include: critical focus on and understanding of gender as a social construct in relation to CA; the long-term impacts on CA for gender relations, incomes for men and women, and women’s empowerment; the sustainability of strategies for supporting gendered participation in CA; and the dynamics of gendered access to local farmland markets for CA. 

Keywords: gender, conservation agriculture, sustainable agriculture, Sub-Saharan Africa, women, men, land

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2019

Women Growing Livelihoods through Food Security: Inanda’s Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative

Citation:

Tshishonga, Ndwakhulu. 2016. “Women Growing Livelihoods through Food Security: Inanda’s Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative.” Agenda 30 (4): 62-73.

Author: Ndwakhulu Tshishonga

Abstract:

This article explores the successes and challenges women face in their attempt to feed and take care of their families in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, and uses primary and secondary sources. Due to climate change and policy fragmentation household food security and nutrition remain a perpetual challenge, especially for women eking out a living on the periphery. One of the premises that this paper is based on is the assumption that women are prime producers of their communities’ food, which is mainly for food security. Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative (IYSC) could be seen as an initiative that entrenches this role, adding to the burden of women’s care work and ‘subordination’. Contradictorily, the initiative offers women the opportunity to transform this role, empowering them and enabling them to take control of their lives in many ways. Issues pertaining to food security and insecurity are intertwined with women’s struggle for land, which mirrors the unfinished business in post-apartheid South Africa. The case of IYSC is used to interrogate opportunities and challenges besetting the efforts of mainly women in Inanda township. The Secondary Co-Operative is an apex co-operative body formed in 2013 and it has four primary co-operatives. This association was formed with the primary purpose of improving the functioning of agricultural co-operatives within the Inanda area in dealing with food insecurity, poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Keywords: food security, women, livelihoods, Inqolobane Yobumbano Secondary Co-operative, agricultural co-operatives

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

African Indigenous Food Security Strategies and Climate Change Adaptation in South Africa

Citation:

Tlhompho, Gaoshebe. 2014. “African Indigenous Food Security Strategies and Climate Change Adaptation in South Africa.” Journal of Human Ecology 48 (1): 83-96.

Author: Gaoshebe Tlhompho

Abstract:

The paper used a participatory and case study research approach to investigate the role of African Indigenous Food Security Strategies for climate change adaptation in Ganyesa Village, South Africa. The study revealed that local people, especially women, have over the years developed local food security strategies for climate change adaptation. These included knowledge of behaviours of living organisms, wind directions, position of stars as early warning indicators of changing weather conditions, selection of appropriate seeds and animal species, mixed cropping, and water harvesting technologies and food preservation techniques such as fermentation and sun drying for food security. These knowledge systems tend to be marginalized in the search for sustainable solutions for food security and climate change. The study recommends their documentation to inform policy, incorporation into educational curriculum. This will also assist in identifying gaps to be improved through interface with other knowledge systems.

Keywords: indigenous knowledge systems, climate change, women, food preservation, early-warning systems, educational curriculum

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Households, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

Gendered Reporting of Household Dynamics in the Kenyan Dairy Sector: Trends and Implications for Low Emissions Dairy Development

Citation:

Tavenner, Katie, Simon Fraval, Immaculate Omondi, and Todd A. Crane. 2018. “Gendered Reporting of Household Dynamics in the Kenyan Dairy Sector: Trends and Implications for Low Emissions Dairy Development.” Gender, Technology and Development 22 (1): 1-19.

Authors: Katie Tavenner, Simon Fraval, Immaculate Omondi, Todd A. Crane

Abstract:

Within the Kenyan dairy sector, climate change mitigation interventions are striving to sustainably intensify milk production while addressing the gender dynamics that mediate farmers’ ability to effectively participate in, and benefit from, low emissions development. In order to better understand these gender dynamics, household surveys were deployed by the East African Dairy Development (EADD) program to collect information on current practices of decision-making, resources, and labor dynamics within dairy farm households. Using the EADD survey results as secondary data, this study analyzes emergent patterns in these domains among cattle-keeping households in Bomet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, and Kericho counties in Western Kenya. In analyzing these patterns, paired sample tests revealed statistically significant differences in results based on the gender of the respondent. While there were some categories that women and men reported on similarly, other areas were hotly contested. These results provide important challenges, both methodologically and programmatically, in interpreting gender dynamics across these domains. This paper reflects on the challenges and the opportunities of these data for informing gender-equitable low emissions development in the Kenyan dairy sector.

Keywords: gender, dairy, household survey, low emissions development, livestock, Kenya

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2018

A Gendered Perspective of Vulnerability to Multiple Stressors, including Climate Change, in the Rural Eastern Cape, South Africa

Citation:

Shackleton, Sheona, Leigh Cobban, and Georgina Cundill. 2014. “A Gendered Perspective of Vulnerability to Multiple Stressors, including Climate Change, in the Rural Eastern Cape, South Africa.” Agenda 28 (3): 73-89.

Authors: Sheona Shackleton, Leigh Cobban, Georgina Cundill

Abstract:

Rapid global environmental change combined with other stressors is increasing the vulnerability of poor people worldwide. In South Africa, HIV/AIDS and climate variability, interacting with other localised risks are having differential impacts across communities, households and individuals. These stressors have the effect of undermining livelihood assets, decreasing adaptive capacity and constraining the ability to respond to new threats such as those expected under a changing climate. This Article considers the gendered implications of multiple stressors on livelihoods drawing on empirical data from a four-year research project in two sites in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The research was broadly framed within a livelihoods-entitlements approach and methods included a household survey, interviews and focus group discussions. Using data from these sources, this Article explores gender-differentiated vulnerability through an analysis of household livelihoods and assets, perceptions of vulnerability and food security, and the types of responses employed when faced with shocks and stress. Our findings indicate that although women and female-headed households are generally poorer and more at risk than men and male-headed households, in some situations women may be more innovative in their individual and collective responses to stressors and may have more social capital to draw on. Furthermore, men and male-headed households also face specific gender related vulnerabilities. We comment on the need to understand the underlying causes of vulnerability and the heterogeneity that exists at the local level, and consider how such knowledge can be translated into approaches that address vulnerability now and in the future.

Keywords: gender, climate change, multiple stresss, South Africa

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Health, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

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