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TomorrowNow Conducts Women Empowerment Study in Kenya and Rwanda
December 1, 20222 min read

TomorrowNow Conducts Women Empowerment Study in Kenya and Rwanda

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.

Key Learnings

  • 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.