Gender-differentiated constraints in Malian semi-subsistence production: implication for integrated pest management and food security

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Virginia Tech

While a more concentrated effort has been made in the last decade to understand the complex household behavior patterns and structures of Mali’s crop production systems and incorporate them into the prevailing research paradigms, information is still lagging in terms of knowledge related to the impacts of gender in agricultural production. This study examines the effects of resource allocation and production decisions on the attainment of food security and net revenue maximization for farmers located in the Koulikoro region of rural Mali. A linear programming model is used to determine how gender-differentiated constraints, size of the household, and potential integrated pest management (IPM) technologies could influence specific nutrient deficiencies and the ability to achieve household food security. The results suggest that IPM has the greatest potential to enhance the ability of farmers to attain higher food self-sufficiency levels by targeting women’s crop production systems. Increasing the probability of successful adoption and sustainability of natural resource management practices through IPM should positively influence food security through improved resource allocation, higher crop yields, and prevented pesticide dependency. A more thorough understanding of intra-household and community gender relations in Mali is needed so that gender-differentiated constraints can be recognized as obstacles to overcome rather than barriers to IPM adoption.

Mali, Gender, agriculture, integrated pest management, food security