TomorrowNow conducted a gender study to understand the role of women in seed breeding across the trial ecosystems of Kenya and Rwanda.
East Africa – As part of Project Osiris, TomorrowNow visited the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Katumani Station and One Acre Fund Rwanda to gain a better understanding about the role of gender in seed trial operations as well as their weather needs.
A visit to farmers affiliated with KALRO Katumani seed trial management value chain and One Acre Fund’s Rwanda research station provided an assessment of the role and impact of women, capturing the voice of female farmers, and better understanding their need for weather information.
- Future decision support tools have to be developed in line with the different weather needs of trial management. For instance, Trial specialists (data analysts) require historical weather data while trial officers would need both short term & seasonal forecasts.
- Even as seed breeding processes are affected by agro ecological factors that can be managed using weather information, gender issues in seed breeding are critical and considered during participatory variety selection.
- As an example, we learnt from experts that women trial participants favor qualitative attributes like taste and color while male farmers are more focused on variety marketability (e.g. early maturing seeds)
- Moreover, an increase in the number of women farmers involved in community participation in seed breeding trials will enable them to source for their own seeds and become trainers of other farmers (women farmers tend to be more prompt with management practices and feedback sharing).
- As a way forward, we recommend that stakeholders conduct additional gender case studies to ensure that seed trial management initiatives generate solutions that are community-first and inclusive.
Read more about Project Osiris HERE.
Georgina Campbell Flatter
Georgina is the co-founder and Executive Director of TomorrowNow.org - a global non profit leveraging transformative philanthropy to connect next generation weather and climate technologies with communities in need. Prior to TomorrowNow.org, Georgina spent a decade at MIT where she was a senior lecturer and led global initiatives designed to bridge technology and social impact. Georgina has worked on many innovation initiatives for organisations including: the MIT Legatum Center, MIT REAP, the XPRIZE Foundation, the World Bank, USA Dept of Energy, MIT, Harvard and Oxford University. Georgina is mother of two, passionate about empowering the next generation of STEM leaders, with a focus on women and youth, and is an active member of her local community. She acts as trustee and advisory board member for several charities (The Darwin Centre, Mama Foundation, FOSPs) and is a local Parish Councillor. She read Material Science at Trinity College Oxford and Technology and Policy at MIT.