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Gender & approaches: Indicative information

21 March 2017 Dannie Romney, ASHC project executive shares her thoughts on gender research undertaken with the support of Legume Alliance partners in Tanzania and currently informing the UPTAKE project:

During 2015 CABI commissioned iLogix to pilot an input brokerage system using beans in Tanzania as the target. The idea was that information on inputs could be traded to input dealers – so that they would be able to find farmers keen to buy inputs and could then service this demand in a cost effective way.

The brokerage element proved infeasible at this time due to a general lack of inputs. However, the work provided insights into the behaviour of different farmers regarding communication channels and has provided useful background research for the UPTAKE project.

The plan was to use the Farm Radio International Listening Post approach to create jingles/ radio spots to generate 7,000 leads through farmer call-in.

In the event this recruitment approach was not successful and we had to rely on partner agencies to supply phone numbers from their projects. The data was batched and distributions of age compared with 2012 census figures.

Batch 1: People who had used some form of interactivity to become known to one of a number of Farm Radio partner radio stations across the country during agricultural call-in programs, including the Listening Post. Note that the callers are not necessarily representative of the broader radio listenership.

Batch 2: Supplied by Africa Conservation Tillage -Rural Urban Development Initiatives (RUDI) and represented people undertaking a common bean conservation agriculture project. ACT-RUDI use farmer field schools to reach farmers

Batch 3: Collected for ASHC by Selian Agricultural Research Institute from farmer’s group members aligned to their Scaling Seeds Technology Project (SSTP) on common beans.

At least five attempts were made to contact each farmer by phone at different times of the day.

On making contact,  farmers were asked to participate in a 15 minute interview about their attitudes to common beans. Personal details were also collected. The person answering the phone and answering the questions was not necessarily the same person who supplied the phone number to the partner, but was presumed to be from the same household.

Analysis of the composition of the three batches shows us something about the reach of different approaches.


Table 1 presents the percentage of different age groups in the different batches compared to proportions of the rural population (table 1) and of individuals 16 or over (Figure 1).

  • Over 79% of respondents to the interactive radio are 15-40 compared to participants in the face-to-face extension programs (37% and 53% for SARI and RUDI respectively) and 34% of all people in rural areas (from the census). The high figure for under 40s interactive radio may reflect the greater willingness of younger people to engage with technology rather than being composition of the spectrum of the radio audience. 
  • Even teenagers called in to the radio (79 people).  Teenagers did not participate in the face-to-face programs, probably because older farmers were selected – or possibly because they did not have access to mobile phones.
  • The proportion of women calling in to the radio appeared to be low (only 14%), implying the approach is useful to engage young men (many of whom consider themselves to be household heads) but not young women. This may reflect the greater access to radio by men and greater willingness to use mobile technology [note that the phone may have been answered by a  man and therefor they would have completed the survey – regardless of who originally logged the contact with the radio show]

Batch 1


Batch 2


Batch 3


2012 Census – total rural population
Number in batch  2141 467 681 30,924,116
Number  where gender recorded 2010 391 573 30,924,116
% Men 84 74 59 48.9
% Head of household  74 91 91
Average age  32.2 39.6 43.9
% Girls 0-15 0 0 0 23
% Women 16-40  11 15 18 19
% Women over 40 3 4 23 9
% Men 0-15 0 0 24
 % Men 16-40  68 38 19 16
 % Men over 40 18 43 40 9
  • Face to face approaches engaged a much older audience and higher numbers of women, with women being younger overall compared to men, particularly in the case of farmers involved with ACT-RUDI.  This may reflect particular approaches they used to engage farmers, with women being specifically targeted, or a greater willingness of younger women to engage in group activities. 
  • Numbers from the census illustrate that for both radio and face-to-face approaches, the distributions of age group are skewed.  People over the age of 40 only make up 18% of the population in rural areas (Census, 2012).

Reference: National Bureau of Statistics Ministry of Finance and Office of Chief Government statistician Ministry of State, President Office, State House and Good Governance (2014) Basic Demographic and Socio-Economic Profile Report, Tanzania Mainland. Sourced: July 19 2016