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New grant equips researchers to advance gender-responsive agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa

GREAT Pilot Course_low resolution

GREAT (Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation) is a new project that will equip researchers to create more inclusive and effective agricultural systems by addressing the priorities of both women and men in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

 Achieving greater parity among women and men in sub-Saharan Africa so they more equally share the benefits of agricultural research is the goal of an initiative announced today, on International Women’s Day, in the spirit of the Pledge for Parity campaign.

The $5M grant to equip researchers to create more inclusive and effective agricultural systems by addressing the priorities of both women and men in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been awarded to Cornell University, in partnership with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation, or GREAT, will deliver training to agricultural researchers from SSA in the theory and practice of gender-responsive research in the key areas of root, tuber, and banana breeding; grain and legume breeding; small ruminant breeding; dairy and legume value chains; nutrition and food systems; knowledge exchange (extension); and agricultural mechanization.

“Women play critical roles in food production and processing, but their input is frequently overlooked by agricultural researchers,” said Hale Ann Tufan, gender specialist and adjunct professor with International Programs in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who will lead the project for Cornell. “Gender-blind research projects and products inadvertently increase the burden on women and limit the potential positive impact of research outputs.”

“GREAT will increase opportunities for equitable participation and the sharing of benefits from agricultural research and improve the outcomes for smallholder women farmers, entrepreneurs, and farmer organizations across sub-Saharan Africa,” said Margaret Mangheni, associate professor at Makerere University who has over 20 years of experience with gender-sensitive agricultural development projects in Uganda and across Africa. Mangheni will lead the project at Makerere.

GREAT will train researchers to address the priorities of both women and men when setting project goals, implementing projects, and measuring and communicating project outcomes.

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