Gendered analysis of traits, preferences and frameworks for gender responsive variety development
Activity FP4-1.9 was designed with the purpose of understanding the trait preferences of male and female farmers and improve the integration of gender component in the breeding program so that the design and breeding plan is informed by the understanding of gendered preferences. Given that farmers (men and women) are the beneficiaries or end-users of the products, there is a growing need to include them in order to develop varieties that are preferred by and meet the needs/demands of farmers. Two studies were carried under Act FP4-1.9. The first study - Gendered analysis of traits preferences for gender responsive variety development, was conducted to understand the history of ICRISAT plant breeding programs in WCA; identify gender issues along the breeding cycle and identify critical gaps and areas for improvement to ensure inclusiveness and development of suitable and preferred varieties. Methods used to obtain data includes literature review, qualitative (focus group discussions and key informant interviews and observations) and quantitative (individual interviews) data collection methods. This activity is linked to the Post Doctoral Fellowship under the last CRP. The second study- Understanding social structures in cowpea varietal demands for women and men farmers in Segou Region, Mali. The purpose of this study is to understand the dynamics of social structures in cowpea trait identification and choices by farmers and to evaluate the identified traits in order to ensure their consideration in the development of new breeding materials by IER breeding program based in Cinzana, Mali. This study is a result of the collaboration between ICRISAT and GREAT training. Breeders and gender Scientists are involved in the development of breeding material (product profiles) and to familiarize the breeders with gender analysis so that the materials that will be developed will have the voice of and great impact on the farmers and end-users of products.