Author: Rahma Adam

Gender-responsive demonstration plots and field days for the promotion and enhanced adoption of improved maize seed in Africa

Rahma Adam (2019)

This manual provides guidance for considering gender and social inclusion when designing and conducting demonstration plots and field days, to enhance the effectiveness of these two approaches in improving farmers’ knowledge and adoption of new, improved varieties. The first section of the manual defines key concepts, including agricultural demonstration plots, and gender and social inclusion, among others. The second section focuses on the importance of gender and social inclusion in the selection matrix for situating and designing demo plots. The final section reviews why gender matters when planning and executing field days.



What explains the gender differences in the adoption of multiple maize varieties? Empirical evidence from Uganda and Tanzania

Rahma Adam Paswel Marenya (2020)

Understanding the process that underpins the effective and equitable adoption of modern crop varieties remains an imperative for agricultural development in Africa. This study examines gender differences in adoption rates and determinants of the decision to adopt drought-tolerant (DT) and non-drought-tolerant (ND) maize varieties, based on analysis of maize production data from Tanzania and Uganda. Applying a switching regression with multinomial logit models, we exploit plot level adoption decisions by women and men individually or jointly with in the household, controlling for gender dimension of resource ownership along with other covariates. We find gender differences in the adoption rates for both DT and ND. The results suggest substitution effects noticeable in the decision to use one maize variety rather than another. As the size of the area about which both spouses are jointly owned increases, so does the likelihood that they will adopt DT. Furthermore, DT adoption is also more likely if farmers have experienced frequent climate shocks and dry spells in the past growing seasons. The differences in adoption behavior between men and women jointly or individually are attributable to a combination of the levels and returns of physical- and social-capital factors, as well as to structural issues. One important policy implication of the results is the need for targeted and disaggregated strategies for scaling modern maize varieties, instead of one-size-fits-all approaches.



Food security, sweet potato production, and proximity to markets in northern Ghana

Yetkin Borlu Rahma Adam (2017)

Debates concerning how to achieve food security tend to fall into one of two camps. The first is that high-technology, market-oriented approaches promise to enhance agricultural productivity and improve food security. The counterargument is that low-technology approaches, when combined with building social and physical infrastructure, are more effective at meeting people’s food needs. Using a survey of 540 farm households in northern Ghana, we assess the level of food security for smallholders by analyzing the influence of a low-technology and low-external-input approach, such as sweet potatoes, and that of the production of an improved, commercially produced crop, such as rice. We also measure the influence of market access. Our results indicate that sweet potato producers are more likely to be food secure than commercial rice producers. However, the proximity to and interaction with markets is also associated with farmer food security, even when controlling for measures of prosperity. These findings suggest that low-technology approaches and high-technology, market-oriented approaches should not be treated as diametrically opposed to each other. Enhancing smallholder production of low-technology staple crops like sweet potatoes is likely to improve well-being. At the same time, interventions to build the physical and social infrastructure necessary to enable market participation would also be likely to enhance smallholder well-being.


Agricultural development Infrastructure Markets CIENCIAS AGROPECUARIAS Y BIOTECNOLOGÍA

The dynamics of smallholder farmers’ acquisition and distribution of sweetpotato vines in the Lake Victoria Zone Region, Tanzania

Rahma Adam Lone Badstue (2018)

This paper offers new insights into smallholder farmer’s practices regarding acquisition and distribution of sweetpotato planting material in the Mwanza and Mara regions of Tanzania by examining three specific issues: (i) farmers’ sources of planting material; (ii) factors that influence farmers’ sourcing of planting materials outside their own farms and (iii) the types of transactions and social relations involved in farmers’ acquisition and distribution of sweetpotato planting material. Data were collected using mixed methods, including a survey of 621 households across nine districts, semi-structured key informant interviews with 28 women sweetpotato farmers, and six focus group discussions. Findings show that farmers in the study area rely almost exclusively on informal seed systems, and that the majority (> 56%) produce their own planting material. Individual, household and community level factors influence farmers’ acquisition of planting materials outside their own farms. The sources and mode of transaction related to acquisition/distribution of planting material are strongly influenced by the type of social relationship between the parties involved. Strong social ties facilitate the majority of local planting material acquisitions/distributions, and favor provision of locally available planting material as a gift/without payment. Weak social ties are primarily associated with the transaction modality of purchase/sale, and frequently help facilitate acquisition of new or exotic planting material. The findings provide entry points both for entities that seek to enhance small-scale farmers’ access to improved, high quality sweetpotato germplasm, as well as broader efforts to strengthen research and development strategies for integrating formal and informal seed systems.


Sweet potatoes Planting methods Smallholder Agriculture Informal Seed System Vine Access SMALLHOLDERS CIENCIAS AGROPECUARIAS Y BIOTECNOLOGÍA