EVENT | Agricultural Extension that Better Benefits Female Farmers

Published: 6 February 2024

Sustainability IRT & the Centre for Research & Development in Adult & Lifelong Learning Seminar on research into the accessibility of education & advice to female farmers in the Global South

Sustainability IRT Seminar & Centre for Research & Development in Adult & Lifelong Learning: 

Agricultural Extension that Better Benefits Female Farmers 

Presenter: Dr Heather Mackay, Department of Human Geography, Lund University 

Date:  Monday 26 February, 1:30-3PM

Location: University of Glasgow, Advanced Research Centre (ARC) Studio 2

Register for event here

What is needed for female smallholders in the Global South to better be able to access, attend, and implement, agricultural advice and training to benefit their livelihoods and family well-being? 

We have mapped and analysed the findings of more than 2500 articles to identify the barriers and enabling factors affecting female farmers. A thematic analysis of 20 highly relevant articles focused on the solutions and enabling factors that may support sustained improvement for farm women and their families. Preliminary results highlight some of the most critical factors needed for agricultural advice services and research to better serve diverse women farmers in contexts across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Our findings highlight how a focus on the women themselves–their literacy, numeracy, their time burden, their confidence is insufficient. Policy, research and extension must grapple with the deeper and more sensitive issues of the role of (and relationships with) men, of societal norms, traditions, religious practices and structural arrangements (such as women’s relative lack of power over resources compared to men), that perpetuate unequal terms for female farmers. We highlight a number of practical and institutional efforts that research has shown can better support female farmers, outlining important considerations for future research. 


About the speaker 

Heather Mackay is a geographer working at the intersection of agriculture, food, and urban life in the Global South. She worked for 10 years in international development for NGOs and private consulting companies in the UK, USA and Ghana before returning to academia. Her doctoral research, completed in 2019 at Umeå University, investigated in what ways transitions at the nexus of urbanisation, food environments, and lifestyles were occurring in secondary cities of Uganda. In addition, she has worked on smallholder African agriculture, urban agriculture and urban food systems, as well as in the topic of migration. Heather works across a mix of methods in her research including spatial (remote sensing, GIS), qualitative (particularly interviewing and focus group discussions), and quantitative (mainly in-field household surveys). 

First published: 6 February 2024

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