Designing agricultural technology for African women farmers: Lessons from 25 years of experience
MetadataShow full item record
This article reflects on the likelihood of African farmers adapting technology, and the impacts that new technology might have on African women's well-being. The results presented derive from an extensive and critical literature review. The author concludes that African rural households are neither homogeneous nor simple. Households have people cooperating and competing while following their multiple goals. Gender roles are complex therefore difficult to summarize. Failing to recognize the complexity of gender roles and the dynamic impact of changes has led many programs and projects to be unsuccessful. Gender roles and responsibilities may change as people respond to the ever-changing economic circumstances. Agricultural technology has different impacts on those who adopt them depending on access to resources such as labor, land, and inputs. Depending on the activities, adopting new technologies can have an impact on women's well-being. The reasons for technology adoption vary according to preferences and constraints. Addressing rural women's constraints can mean creating technologies for small scale farmers and low productivity lands. The authors also call for researchers' awareness for the need to include men and women in the development of a technology at all levels.