A case study were conducted in Ntove, Mukono district, Uganda to determine how gender norms and agency affect the capacity to innovate and adopt a technology like Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) across different contexts. The study was part of a global CGIAR undertaking which sought to understand the interactions between opportunity structure, agency and innovation; and how they impact on empowerment and development outcomes. Qualitative methods including community profiles, three focus group tools and two semi-structured individual tools were used to collect hierarchical datasets using different approaches at the village, household and intra-household levels. A total of 70 participants (39M, 31M) participated in the study. Findings revealed targeted capacity building for women in agronomic practices, nutrition and marketing increased women’s ability to cultivate; market and control income from OFSP. However women mentioned that they felt overburdened because they were increasingly becoming providers for their families and men were not contributing as much as they should have because of the perception that women had money now. Women faced additional barriers compared to men in their quest to generate income from OFSP and expressed frustrations related to time constraints, lower literacy levels, limited social networks and restricted physical mobility. Just four in ten local women could move independently on their own, thus limiting access to remunerable markets; among others. Since OFSP was increasingly becoming more marketable, men were also increasingly engaging in OFSP production; a crop that is mostly regarded as a woman’s crop. Male and female participants revealed that household resources and the most profitable enterprises remain largely under men’s control despite women’s increased economic participation. Male youth noted that while all youth encounter similar problems related to limited market access, female youth were likely to earn less, especially when barred to sell. Women greatly appreciated OFSP for its economic and health benefits, and attributed their positive change in agency (121%) to it. However, they perceived less poverty reduction (6%) compared to the men (27%) due to issues related to unequitable access to resources like land. Factors and trends shaping poverty reduction for women and men included access to trainings and inputs to expand production. This study revealed that even where a technology is gender responsive, static norms like land rights and physical mobility may impede women’s ability to fully harness the opportunity. This calls for good gender analysis before technology dissemination to enable design of multi-pronged holistic strategies that will spur adoption, innovative capacities and empowerment.
Publication Date: March2016
HOW TO CITE
Mayanja, S., Mudege, N. and Prain, G. 2016. Innovation and Development through transformation of gender norms in agriculture and natural resource management: the case of Ntove, Uganda. Presentation made at the 2016 Marketing, Processing and Utilization Cop Meeting in Tanzania.