International is studying how women and men control and manage banana cropping systems in Burundi, and how this can influence the adoption of technologies that can help farmers manage a deadly banana disease.
Bioversity International is promoting a simple but effective approach called Single Diseased Stem Removal (SDSR). In order to be effective, SDSR requires the regular engagement of all household members involved in cropping activities, as it is based on regular monitoring, early removal of emerging male buds, and removal of diseased plants, among other control practices.
To get such involvement from household members, scientists from Bioversity International realized that they would need to understand how gender affects household member relationships with the cropping systems. The initial results from this research are explained by Bioversity International’s François Iradukunda in a blog on GREAT website.
“Our preliminary results show that banana is owned and controlled by men, as are cropping practices and the selection of banana varieties. These findings demonstrate that although banana is the main source of income, this does not necessarily mean that it contributes to the household’s well-being, since it is not benefiting both men and women. Therefore, there may be a disincentive for women to contribute to banana management activities and banana disease control if they are not getting the benefits from the crop,” François Iradukunda
Gender is of critical importance for the adoption of new tools and technologies. Research shows that inequalities in access to and control over agricultural production assets and market benefits contribute to lower productivity, lost income, and higher levels of poverty, as well as undernutrition.