Feed The Future “Women Empowerment Initiative”

“We are interested in how women within households use their time and participate in agricultural activities and what trade-offs they may be making when it comes to their time use,” said Paige Castellanos, assistant research professor in the college’s office of international programmes.

U.S. Agency for International Development’s issued a $45,000 grant to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences under the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut Research. These researchers have been working to enable higher women empowerment and self-sufficiency among the female farmers in Ghana involved in cultivating peanut production. The primary focus of these projects is to promote gender equality and improve labor productivity. Under this project, a team of scientists from Penn State and Savannah Agricultural Research Institute in Nyankpala, Ghana, will work on a two-year study, at the University of Georgia.

This study will also look at “time poverty”, term coined to highlight limitations to take on new responsibilities and tasks by women owing to their household commitments. The study shares a holistic perspective on the division of labour at home and on the farms based on the gender to have a better idea on prioritizing tasks to increase the productivity of women.

The research team will not only be working towards recognizing the value of women’s participation and contribution in this field, but also will be educating the farmers about effective and efficient production and farming techniques.

 

Intern, Vidula

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