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New publications: Gender differentiated small-scale farm mechanization in Nepal hills

Adoption of mini-tiller is significantly lower in female-headed households, CIMMYT researchers find.

The use of small-scale mechanization in smallholder farming systems in South Asia has increased significantly in recent years. This development is a positive step towards agricultural transformation in the region. Small-scale mechanization is now seen as a viable option to address labor scarcity and offset the impact of male outmigration in rural areas, as well as other shortages that undermine agricultural productivity.

However, most existing farm mechanization technologies are either gender blind or gender neutral. This is often to the detriment of women farmers, who are increasingly taking on additional agricultural work in the absence of male laborers. Minimizing this gender disparity among smallholders has been a key concern for policymakers, but there is little empirical literature available on gender and farm mechanization.

A new study by researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) addresses this gap, using data from six districts in the highlands of Nepal to assess the impact of the gender of household heads on the adoption of mini-tillers — small machinery used to prepare and cultivate land before planting.

Their findings reveal that, when it comes to mini-tiller adoption, there is a significant gender gap. Compared to male-headed households, explain the authors, the rate of adoption is significantly lower among female-headed households. Moreover, they add, when male- and female-headed households have similar observed attributes, the mini-tiller adoption rate among the food insecure female-headed households is higher than in the food secure group.

The authors argue that this gender-differentiated mini-tiller adoption rate can be minimized in the first instance by increasing market access. Their findings suggest that farm mechanization policies and programs targeted specifically to female-headed households can also help reduce this adoption gap in Nepal and similar hill production agroecologies in South Asia, which will enhance the farm yield and profitability throughout the region.

Read the full article in Technology in Society:
Gender differentiated small-scale farm mechanization in Nepal hills: An application of exogenous switching treatment regression.

Women farmers test a mini tiller on farmland in Ramghat, Nepal. (Photo: CIMMYT)

See more recent publications from CIMMYT researchers:

  1. Effect of missing values on variance component estimates in multienvironment trials. 2019. Aguate, F.M., Crossa, J., Balzarini, M. In: Crop Science v. 59, no. 2, p. 508-517.
  2. The relative efficiency of two multistage linear phenotypic selection indices to predict the net genetic merit. 2019. Ceron Rojas, J.J., Toledo, F.H., Crossa, J. In: Crop Science v. 59, no. 3, p. 1037-1051.
  3. High-density mapping of triple rust resistance in barley using DArT-Seq markers. 2019. Dracatos, P.M., Haghdoust, R., Singh, R.P., Huerta-Espino, J., Barnes, C.W., Forrest, K.L., Hayden, M., Niks, R.E., Park, R.F., Singh, D. In: Frontiers in Plant Science v. 10, art. 467.
  4. Modernising breeding for orphan crops: tools, methodologies, and beyond. 2019. Ribaut, J.M., Ragot, M. In: Planta v. 250, no. 3, p. 971-977.
  5. An update of recent use of Aegilops species in wheat breeding. 2019. Kishii, M. In: Frontiers in Plant Science v. 1., art. 585.
  6. Genetics of greenbug resistance in synthetic hexaploid wheat derived germplasm. 2019. Crespo-Herrera, L.A., Singh, R.P., Reynolds, M.P., Huerta-Espino, J. In: Frontiers in Plant Science v. 10, art. 782.
  7. Genetics for low correlation between Fusarium head blight disease and deoxynivalenol (DON) content in a bread wheat mapping population. 2019. Xinyao He, Dreisigacker, S., Singh, R.P., Singh, P.K. In: Theoretical and Applied Genetics v. 132, no. 8, 2401-2411.
  8. Studying selection criteria and genetic variability for improvement of indigenous maize in Pakistan. 2019. Maqbool, M.A., Aslam, M., Issa, A.B., Khan, M. S., Saeed, M.T. In: Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences v. 56, no. 4. 819-827.
  9. Genome wide association study of karnal bunt resistance in a wheat germplasm collection from Afghanistan. 2019. Gupta, V., Xinyao He, Kumar, N., Fuentes Dávila, G., Sharma, R.K., Dreisigacker, S., Juliana, P., Ataei, N., Singh, P.K. In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences v. 20, no. 13, art. 3124.
  10. Does caste determine farmer access to quality information? 2019. Krishna, V.V., Aravalath, L., Vikraman, S. In: PLoS One v. 14, no. 1, art. e0210721.
  11. Estimation of physiological genomic estimated breeding values (PGEBV) combining full hyperspectral and marker data across environments for grain yield under combined heat and drought stress in tropical maize (Zea mays L.). 2019. Trachsel, S., Dhliwayo, T., Gonzalez-Perez, L., Mendoza Lugo, J.A., Trachsel, M. In: PLoS One v. 14, no. 3, art. e0212200.
  12. Genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium using SNP (KASP) and AFLP markers in a worldwide durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum) collection. 2019. Roncallo, P.F., Beaufort, V., Larsen, A.O., Dreisigacker, S., Echenique, V. In: PLoS One v. 14, no. 6, art. e0218562.
  13. The abandonment of maize landraces over the last 50 years in Morelos, Mexico: a tracing study using a multi-level perspective. 2019. McLean R., F.D., Camacho Villa, T.C., Almekinders, C., Pè, M.E., Dell’Acqua, M., Costich, D.E. In: Agriculture and Human Values v. 36, no. 4, 651-668.
  14. Molecular screening of Zymoseptoria tritici resistance genes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using tightly linked simple sequence repeat markers. 2019. Mekonnen, T., Haileselassie, T., Kaul, T., Sharma, M., Abeyo Bekele Geleta, Kassahun, T. In: European Journal of Plant Pathology v. 155, no. 2, p. 593-614.
  15. Bacterial diversity based on a 16S rRNA gene amplicon data set from a high-altitude crater lake and glacial samples of the Iztaccihuatl volcanic complex (Mexico). 2019. Calvillo-Medina, R.P., Reyes‐Grajeda, J.P., Moreno-Andrade, V.D., Barba‐Escoto, L., Bautista‐de Lucio, V.M., Jones, G.H., Campos‐Guillen, J. In: Microbiology Resource Announcements v. 8, no. 12, art. e01636-18art. e01636-18art. e01636-18art. e01636-18art. e01636-18art. e01636-18.
  16. Mitigating the twin problems of malnutrition and wheat blast by one wheat variety, ‘BARI Gom 33’, in Bangladesh. 2019. Hossain, A., Mottaleb, K.A., Farhad, M., Barma, N.C.D. In: Acta Agrobotanica v. 72, no. 2, art. 1775.
  17. Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence III: benchmarking retrieval methods and sensor characteristics for proximal sensing. 2019. Cendrero-Mateo, M.P., Wieneke, S., Damm, A., Alonso, L., Pinto Espinosa, F., Moreno, J., Guanter, L., Celesti, M., Rossini, M., Sabater, N., Cogliati, S., Julitta, T., Rascher, U., Goulas, Y., Aasen, H., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Mac Arthur, A. In: Remote Sensing v. 11, no. 8, art. 962.
  18. Yield gains and associated changes in an early yellow bi-parental maize population following genomic selection for Striga resistance and drought tolerance. 2019. Badu-Apraku, B., Talabi, O., Fakorede, M. A. B., Fasanmade, Y., Gedil, M., Magorokosho, C., Asiedu, R. In: BMC Plant Biology v. 9, art. 129.
  19. Understanding factors associated with agricultural mechanization: a Bangladesh case. 2019. Aryal, J.P., Rahut, D.B., Maharjan, S., Erenstein, O. In: World Development Perspectives v. 13, p. 1-9.
  20. Wealth, education and cooking-fuel choices among rural households in Pakistan. 2019. Rahut, D.B., Ali, A., Mottaleb, K.A., Aryal, J.P. In: Energy Strategy Reviews v. 24, p. 236-243.
  21. Genome-wide association study and genomic prediction analyses of drought stress tolerance in China in a collection of off-PVP maize inbred lines. 2019. Nan Wang, Bojuan Liu, Xiaoling Liang, Yueheng Zhou, Song, J., Jie Yang, Hongjun Yong, Jianfeng Weng, Degui Zhang, Mingshun Li, Nair, S.K., San Vicente, F.M., Zhuanfang Hao, Zhang, X, Xinhai Li. In: Molecular Breeding v. 39, no. 8, art. 113.
  22. Wildlife trade and consumer preference for species rarity: an examination of caged-bird markets in Sumatra. 2019. Krishna, V.V., Darras, K., Grass, I., Mulyani, Y.A., Prawiradilaga, D.M., Tscharntke, T., Qaim, M. In: Environment and Development Economics v. 24, no. 4, p. 339-360.
  23. Correction to: high-throughput method for ear phenotyping and kernel weight estimation in maize using ear digital imaging. 2019. Makanza, R., Zaman-Allah, M., Cairns, J.E., Eyre, J., Burgueño, J., Pacheco Gil, R. A., Diepenbrock, C., Magorokosho, C., Amsal Tesfaye Tarekegne, Olsen, M., Prasanna, B.M. In: Plant methods v. 15, art. 52.
  24. Tradeoffs between groundwater conservation and air pollution from agricultural fires in northwest India. 2019. Singh, B., McDonald, A., Srivastava, A., Gerard, B. In: Nature Sustainability v. 2 no. 7, p. 580-583.