Gendered and systemic constraints and opportunities to fodder production systems in Afghanistan
Remco Mur, Shinan Kassam. (31/12/2017). Gendered and systemic constraints and opportunities to fodder production systems in Afghanistan.
Livestock plays an important role in the livelihoods of many farmers in Baghlan province. A first reason for limited forage production and forage gap is that fodder crops compete with food crops. In addition, farmers do not perceive forage crops as important cash crops. Male tend to dominate activities related to the seed supply chain, production, decision making and marketing. Women do play a role in weeding (production) and post-harvest handling. uncertain rainfall patterns, recurrent periods of draught and water shortage, and flush floods are affecting animal rearing and forage production in Baghlan. Improved forage seeds are not widely available. Government’s capacity to take a coordinating role is limited. Thus, there is a need to improve knowledge and experience sharing among stakeholders. Local presence of public extension services to smallholder farmers is limited in Baghlan province. In addition, women face mobility constraints, hampering their access to service providers that are based in district centres. NGOs such as Action Aid and AKF try to fill the gaps, but their financial and human resources are limited. Male extension workers (and other service providers) cannot work directly with women due to cultural / social norms. Women extension workers are allowed to work with male farmers. In general there are not sufficient skilled and knowledgeable professionals working with smallholder farmers. Only communities targeted by NGOs might benefit from adequate services.