Gender mainstreaming in agriculture:/ Case study of Farmers in pig production in Chibombo District
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Livestock Development Trust (LDT) is a private and public partnership established in 2002 that seeks to promote livestock development initiatives for farmers in a gender sensitive and participatory manner. This survey was an attempt to find out how much of gender concepts have been mainstreamed in the Agricultural sector in Zambia especially in the areas were rural producer organizations such as LDT in partnership with Agricultural Support Programme (ASP) are operational. The study was triggered by the low levels of female participation in development initiatives such as the pig production facilitated by LDTThe study covered just one part of Chibombo District in Zambia, namely, Katuba Agricultural Camp in the areas known as Mutakwa, Namununga, Shikwesha, Mutokoma and Chombela. A total of 70 farmers were interviewed. The sample was composed of two types of farmers- the beneficiaries of the LDT initiative and non-beneficiaries.Participation of males and females in crop and livestock (pig) production was analyzed in light of decision making, problems encountered in pig production and their influence on other enterprises, the perceptions of farmers about LDT selection criteria, the level of gender mainstreaming in the study area and diversification by female farmers The study reveals that though participation by females in crop production is higher than in pig production but less than that of males relative to pig production; statistically there is no association between gender of farmer and engagement in pig production. Further more, both male and female farmers indicated that no significant gender related problems exist in pig production and other livestock.The differences in participation levels in pig production by both males and females were due to different decision-making power that exists between them. On the overall, the study reveals that males make most decisions than females, concerning what to produce and have control over both household production resources and money. The study also reveals that not much has been done in sensitizing farmers about gender in the study area. Only those farmers that are under ASP expressed some level of gender awareness, but the majority of fanners did not receive such information. This indicates that not much has been done the in study area concerning gender, hence the level of gender mainstreaming is low.Based on the study findings, it is recommended that intentional efforts should be made by LDT project managers to recruit female farmers in lucrative enterprises such as pig production. Women that are willing but do not have resources should be given preference to reduce gender imbalances. It is also recommended that ASP facilitators should sensitize farmers in their operational areas on equity issues with regard to access to and control over resources within households. The government should also develop more channels of communication to improve on awareness of gender issues as a way of reaching the majority of farmers who do not receive such information.
- Agricultural Sciences