|Gender Issues in Integrated Pest Management in African Agriculture (NRI, 1995, 26 p.)|
The purpose of this publication is to examine the relevance of gender issues in the development and implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) in African agriculture. To date, little attention has been paid to gender aspects of IPM, and no comprehensive literature exists on this topic. This lack of reference to gender in the IPM literature would seem to imply that issues of gender are irrelevant to IPM or that IPM is irrelevant to women farmers. A review of the literature on women in agriculture, however, reveals that women are, in fact, the main agents of pest management in African agriculture. It also reveals that gender influences the knowledge, perceptions and needs of farmers, as well as their access to agricultural technologies, information and productive resources. Building on this information, this paper seeks to show that, although thus far neglected, gender is an issue which has important implications for the generation and implementation of IPM. In establishing the relevance of gender to IPM, this paper is organized around a series of five questions:
(a) To what extent do women participate in pest management activities?
(b) Do the technological needs of women in IPM differ from those of men?
(c) Are the specific technological needs of women farmers taken into account in the research and development of IPM technologies.
(d) How are IPM technologies diffused and do they reach women farmers?
(e) How does the knowledge and expertise of women farmers differ from that of men, and do women farmers have any particular contributions to make towards the generation and implementation of IPM technologies?
The paper is divided into three sections. The first is an introduction, providing a brief overview of the fundamental concepts of IPM and gender. In the second section, each of the above five questions is considered, based on evidence from across Africa gained from a review of the literature and drawn from interviews with researchers and practioners at national and international research centres. Finally, the policy implications of the paper's findings are discussed and some recommendations for achieving greater gender sensitivity and effectiveness in IPM are provided.