An ongoing project in Rwanda is focusing on increasing the consumption of milk, which is considered a promising way of promoting income generation activities and nutritional outcomes. Many parents and other farmers are learning how to improve both the production of milk and their children’s nutrition.
Ahead of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019, the ILRI gender team got thinking on how to sensitize staff on gender in research.
Both in the scientific community and the media, there are a lot of talks about sustainable livestock systems, what they are and how to promote them. A sustainable farming system is one which is economically viable, socially acceptable, environmentally friendly and transferable to the future generations. But achieving sustainable smallholder milk production systems in developing countries, including Tanzania, is limited by many constraints including low cow productivity, shortage of feed, limited access to inputs and outputs markets and degradation of natural resources.
Recently, ILRI researchers from the Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods (PIL) Program and the collaborative CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) developed and implemented a two-day training curriculum on equity and gender for the finalists from the first veterinary class at Malawi’s Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The key findings indicate that milk business is more lucrative for men than for women due to gender-based constraints faced by women milk traders. For instance, access to and purchase of milk from producers is mainly favourable to men due to cultural norms that hinder women such as inability to travel to remote areas due to house chores and inappropriate means of transport (mainly motorbikes).
The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative (GBI) envisions the development of a comprehensive toolbox aimed at the analysis and incorporation of gender perspectives from the very beginning of a breeding program, right through to implementation and impact assessment.
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has been partnering and collaborating with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (EATIH) under the Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth (PREG) to hold livestock trade facilitation (business-to-business) forums in five Kenyan counties. This initiative has been implemented in Nairobi, Marsabit, Wajir and Isiolo counties to promote more efficient trade between livestock buyers, sellers and producers.