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Batchelor S.,Gamos | Scott N.,Gamos | Manfre C.,Cultural Practice LLC | Lopez A.V.,Oxfam GB | Edwards D.,International Sustainability Unit
ICT for Sustainability 2014, ICT4S 2014 | Year: 2014

In this paper we present the findings of an in-depth consultation with 50 experts in Agriculture and ICT. The qualitative study explored how ICTs, particularly mobile phones, could be used to accelerate the uptake of Sustainable Agriculture in Africa. Situating the responses in a broad literature review, the data and subsequent analysis paint a broad picture of a converging landscape of agriculture and ICTs. Its main conclusion is that the application of ICT (including mobiles) in agriculture is sustainability neutral; that is to say that ICT is equally applicable to the expansion of conventional, high external input dependent agriculture, or to the development of more sustainable, agro-ecological approaches. The rapid growth in mobile phone penetration in developing countries therefore presents a significant opportunity to help underpin a transformation in agricultural development and food systems, but without a co-operative and focused effort across different stakeholders groups - local actors, private sector partners, donors, expert institutions, and national governments - the potential for mobiles to empower sustainable agricultural development is unlikely to be maximized. The paper outlines the major assumptions behind these statements, and presents a conceptual model for understanding the flow of information through the agriculture sector. © 2014. The authors.

Quisumbing A.R.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Rubin D.,Cultural Practice LLC | Manfre C.,Cultural Practice LLC | Waithanji E.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
Agriculture and Human Values | Year: 2015

Strengthening the abilities of smallholder farmers in developing countries, particularly women farmers, to produce for both home and the market is currently a development priority. In many contexts, ownership of assets is strongly gendered, reflecting existing gender norms and limiting women’s ability to invest in more profitable livelihood strategies such as market-oriented agriculture. Yet the intersection between women’s asset endowments and their ability to participate in and benefit from agricultural interventions receives minimal attention. This paper explores changes in gender relations and women’s assets in four agricultural interventions that promoted high value agriculture with different degrees of market-orientation. Findings suggest that these dairy and horticulture projects can successfully involve women and increase production, income and the stock of household assets. In some cases, women were able to increase their control over production, income and assets; however in most cases men’s incomes increased more than women’s and the gender-asset gap did not decrease. Gender- and asset-based barriers to participation in projects as well as gender norms that limit women’s ability to accumulate and retain control over assets both contributed to the results. Comparing experiences across the four projects, especially where projects implemented adaptive measures to encourage gender-equitable outcomes, provides lessons for gender-responsive projects targeting existing and emerging value chains for high value products. Other targeted support to women farmers may also be needed to promote their acquisition of the physical assets required to expand production or enter other nodes of the value chain. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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