Crop-Livestock / Drylands / Feeds / Forages / Gender / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Legumes / Livestock / LLAFS / Research / Southern Africa / Zimbabwe

Empowering women in integrated crop-livestock farming through innovation platforms in Zimbabwe

The ‘integrating crop and livestock production for improved food security and livelihoods in rural Zimbabwe’ project in Zimbabwe aimed to promote more diversified and better integrated crop-livestock farming systems by, among other interventions, promoting better access of women to higher value crops and livestock.

The project used innovation platforms to introduce better livestock feeds, improve market linkages for farmers to benefit from higher livestock productivity and to enhance knowledge and skills among support services enabling upscaling of the impacts of the integrated crop-livestock systems.

Key messages from this project are captured in this brief:

i. Innovation platforms empower women in agriculture significantly. In Zimbabwe, women play a significant role as decision makers regarding commodities such as goats and groundnuts. Innovation platforms that promote these commodities help women amplify their voice in exploring opportunities,
find solutions to challenges that they face and ultimately improve their competence, confidence,
and standing in their family and community.

ii. Market development can reduce gender inequalities. When women have better access to markets,
inputs, machinery and knowledge, their position within the household is reinforced. Their
contribution to total incomes increases, as does their decision-making power and confidence.

iii. Sustainable development comes with greater gender parity in farm and household management. Detailed analysis of women and men’s situation at farm and household level and the demonstration
of its impact on families’ food security, education and health is necessary to support positive
changes. Gender- sensitive innovation platforms support sustainable rural development as they
not only build more productive and resilient farms, more profitable and inclusive value chains,
but also stronger families and communities.

Read the brief:

Homann-Kee Tui, S., Senda, T., Dube, T. and Rooyen, A. van. 2018. Empowering women in integrated crop-livestock farming through innovation platforms: Experience in semi-arid Zimbabwe. Hyderabad, India: ICRISAT.

This brief is a product of the ‘Integrating crop and livestock production for improved food security and livelihoods in rural Zimbabwe’ project financed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

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