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Gender and the Legume Alliance

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Gender and the Legume Alliance: Integrating multi-media communication approaches and input brokerage is a project designed to support small-scale farming households to achieve sustainable legume intensification, by improving access to information and knowledge on farming techniques.

Proven and scalable sustainable legume intensification practices exist. They can make a positive contribution to addressing food security, without a detrimental environmental impact. However, the extent to which small-scale farming households can implement these new approaches is limited by many factors.

The two major factors have been identified as:

  • poor access to actionable information, especially information targeting different gender groups
  • a lack of appropriate linkages to markets for services such as labour, capital and sale and purchase of goods.

Other factors include:

  • inadequate incentives for adoption (including functioning markets)
  • lack of capacity to implement lack access to the necessary inputs
  • poor public/private sector policies
  • lack of capacity of farmers to communicate household needs for inputs and services.

GALA is delivered with financial support from UK-AID through the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa program administered by NRI.

The GALA project is led by CABI and has been developed in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania and the University for Development Studies, Ghana

Target crops

Ghana: Soybean

Tanzania: Common bean and soybean

Research question & hypotheses

The GALA project will aim to answer the research question:

  • what strategies are most effective for improving access to, and capacity to use, market, agronomic and other information / knowledge by resource-poor,small-scale farmers (especially women and youth, to achieve sustainable legume intensification?

In doing so, the GALA project will test the hypotheses that:

  • different communication channels and/or their combinations are more suited to different gender groups
  • brokering linkages between input supply and demand, through provision of information, can address the link between input and information supply.

As result of the evidence generated by the project in Ghana and Tanzania, public, private and NGO sectors will be provided with evidence on how communication channels, reaching resource-poor small-scale legume farmers, can be combined with activities to strengthen value-chains, to deliver sustainable agricultural intensification that does not cause further land degradation.

There is a particularly emphasis on how women and youth profit from these technologies.

Decision-makers can deliver more effective policies and investments leading to better targeted communication of information on sustainable agricultural intensification and more effective value chain initiatives can be develop

In turn, this can lead to:

  • an increase in the participation of resource poor small-scale farmers, especially women and youth, in markets
  • the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices by farmers, that will increase productivity of legumes.

Sharing lesson

National Learning Alliances (NLAs) are being established in each of the target countries. Victor Clottey, from the CABI is coordinating the Ghana Learning Alliance.  There will also be an International Learning Alliance “as a cross institutional community of practice whose role will be to develop a strategy for influence in policy and for building institutional capacity to share the lessons from the programme”.

The project started in April 2016.

Delivery team

Project management and research coordination

Silvestri Silvia, CABI and Edward Baars, IITA

Tanzania program: Deogratias F. Rutatora, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania (working closely with members of the Legume Alliance and the partners in the SILT project)

Ghana program: Francis Obeng University for Development Studies, Ghana

GALA News link 

  • 11 April 2011 news  How do soybean farmers get information? At the end of March the GALA team travelled to Tamale in Northern Ghana to help deliver training on data collection to 10 enumerators.
  • 11 April blog Film distribution for ‘all the farming family’ ASHC has partnered with Countrywise Ghana to produce and distribute a film on soybean farming. Countrywise is our partner because they too are passionate about film distribution.
  • 4 April 2017 blog Intra-household survey – Tanzania  Silvia Silvestri, GALA project manager, notes the GALA delivery team has been trying to understand how households in Tanzania obtained and share information on farming practices. The intra-household survey will help us to understand the effectiveness of different communication approaches and which currently change attitude and behaviour.
  • 12 February 2017 blog What agro-dealers think – a survey from Northern Ghana GALA partner Green Ef has recently carried out surveys into the range of products being stocked by agro-dealers in Northern Ghana. They also recorded the comments made by the agro-dealers.
  • 7 February 2017 blog  Soybean and the gender agenda…  The ASHC team shares reflections on how the Ghana soybean campaign is nuanced by gender
  • 12 January 2017 blog A soybean campaign plan for Ghana () The ASHC team explains its quest to find out how effective different media, and combinations of media, can be at encouraging farmers to trial and/or adopt improved legume technologies
  • 14 September 2016  GALA taking shape in Tanzania Silvia Silvestri, from CABI, explains that the Gender and the Legume Alliance (GALA) partners are planning to meet to kick-start the project in Tanzania … The GALA project will operate in Ghana and Tanzania