Project gender specialist visits Kano center, Nigeria
As part of the monitoring activities under the ICRISAT-HOPE project, Gender Specialist Chanda Goodrich visited ICRISAT-Kano on 5-8 October. A roundtable discussion was organized between Dr Goodrich and ICRISAT-HOPE and TL II partners from the National Research Institutes (IAR, Zaria and LCRI, Maiduguri); the State Agricultural Development Projects of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States; and a local NGO, the Green Sahel Agricultural and Rural Development Initiatives (GSARDI). Discussions centered on gender mainstreaming in project implementation, importance of gender disaggregation in reporting and cultural and gender sensitivities, among others. Dr Goodrich also visited women and men farmers in Gambawa village and women processor project partners in Gumel, accompanied by ICRISAT Nigeria Country Representative Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe and Director of GSARDI, Alh Mohammed Adamu.
They were shown the project’s sorghum plots and integrated Striga control demonstrations by the various groups in Gambawa, and the local and improved processing of millet grains in Gambawa and Gumel, respectively. In Gambawa, women are very active in farm activities, doing more than 70% of contract weeding and almost 100% of threshing; planting is also largely done
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by women and children, while processing is exclusively a woman’s task in addition to household chores. The farmers thanked ICRISAT and GSARDI and promised to increase their participation
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in the coming years.
Women farmers have already benefited from the improved varieties and management system extended to them, such as lower incidence of Striga on improved sorghum varieties and management with early maturity and higher grain yields. It was agreed that two lead farmers will be identified, each to be provided 0.5 ha of land for demonstration of improved technologies of sorghum, millet and groundnut as
mother trials. A register will also be open for other farmers from which to choose crops and important constraints, allowing for group marketing and purchase of produce and input. Dr Goodrich encouraged the women farmers to cooperate more with the scientists on technology development and dissemination in the area, to
form cooperatives and have routine cash contributions to be used for agricultural and social activities.