Cultivating women’s participation: strategies for gender-responsive agriculture programming

Publication year


Publication Author

Anjala Kanesathasan

Programs designed to enhance smallholder productivity must go beyond a focus on technical agricultural issues to address the underlying gender-related norms, priorities and constraints that may prevent women farmers from reaching their full potential.  This technical brief highlights promising approaches in reaching women based on the experiences of two projects working with farmers in Mbeya, Tanzania: TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative and Faida Mali’s Soil Health Project. The brief was developed through an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ICRW to support a community of practice on gender and agriculture called the Tanzania Gender and Agriculture Forum (TaGAF).    

Key learnings from the two projects include:

  • Set a Gender Goal
  • Communicate Gender-Related Intentions from Day 1 
  • Be a Role Model for Women’s Participation and Equality
  • Incorporate Women’s (and Men’s) Perspectives into Project Design
  • Use Communication and Training Approaches that Facilitate Women’s Engagement

The brief is part of a larger effort of TaGAF to support peer learning, capacity building and sharing on the practical “how to” of gender integration.