A-3/18 The importance of gender roles and relations in rural agricultural technology development: a case study on solar fruit drying in Mozambique

Many agricultural technology interventions that aim to improve farmers’ livelihoods focus on households as the unit of analysis and ignore gender roles that entail different benefits and costs for different household members. Agricultural projects have shown limited success where gender roles and relations were ignored and thus more gender sensitive research is needed in agricultural technology development to ensure social acceptance. In this study, we address this need by investigating the importance of gender roles and relations in the case of solar fruit drying in Mozambique. We apply a variety of gender sensitive participatory methods that enable farmers to actively take part in the technology development process. First results indicate that the costs and benefits of solar fruit drying are not shared equally between genders. Women have much less time available for using the solar fruit dryer. The data also indicate that certain steps in the solar fruit drying process are clearly gender divided. We finally discuss potential mechanisms that can be applied in agricultural technology projects that can create awareness of the risk to reproduce traditional gender roles and unequal relations in the development process of new agricultural technologies. Gender Technology and Development, 22(1), 40-58, DOI: 10.1080/09718524.2018.1444442

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