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    182802

    Agricultural extension for women farmers in Africa.

    Saito KA; Weidemann CJ

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1990. xv, 57 p. (World Bank Discussion Papers No. 103)

    This paper proposes a series of operational guidelines on how to provide agricultural extension services in a cost-effective way to women farmers. All small-scale farmers, regardless of gender, face constraints, but the focus here is on women farmers in order to foster a better understanding of the particular gender-related barriers confronting women and the strategies needed to overcome them. Attention is concentrated on Sub-Saharan Africa in view of the crucial role of women in agriculture throughout the sub-continent. Worldwide operational guidelines for agricultural extension for women farmers are planned for later this year. The recommendations have been gleaned from the experiences of African governments, the World Bank and other donors, and researchers. Ongoing pilot programs have provided useful guidance about what can work to integrate women fully into the agricultural extension system and what problems are likely to emerge in different socioeconomic environments. This is, however, an ongoing process: it is a relatively new field and much remains to be learned. It will be especially important to test alternative approaches over the next few years. This paper will then be revised to incorporate new lessons of experience. This paper is organized as follows: Chapter 1 addresses the question of why women need help -- the role women have in agriculture, especially in Africa, and the particular constraints they face in terms of access to resources and information. Chapter 2 examines the information needed to modify extension systems to better reach women farmers, to modify the focus of research to address women's activities and constraints, and to monitor and evaluate programs. Ways to collect such data are also suggested. Chapter 3 deals with the transmission of the extension message to women farmers -- the role of the extension agents and the importance of gender, the use of home economists and subject matter specialists, and the use of contact farmers and groups. The final Chapter examines the formulation of the message to be delivered, and the linkage between extension and agricultural research and technology. (excerpt)
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