Increasing gender equality among small millet farmers in South Asia

April 29, 2016
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Gender equality among small millet

More than 1,600 women were involved in testing small millet varieties.

One reason for the decline in small millet cultivation is the drudgery involved in their processing, a task that traditionally falls to women. The Revalorizing small millets in South Asia (RESMISA) project has had a special focus on women, working to increase their role in research, reduce drudgery, and improve dietary diversity.

The introduction and testing of small farm machineries such as iron plows, threshers, and dehullers (which remove the husk from the millet seed) have significantly reduced the time and labour involved in cultivation and processing the crops.

More than 1,600 women farmers were involved in testing of small millet varieties, thereby learning skills in seed selection, intercropping, line sowing, and fertilizer application. In addition, more than 100,000 people were reached by a program to raise awareness of small millet-based foods, which included recipe training and food fairs.

Small millets have now been included in the midday meals at three schools and 13 childcare centres. 

Read the story of change: Increasing gender equality among small millet farmers in South Asia​ (PDF, 592 KB).

This document is part of a Stories of Change series that shares some of the emerging gender outcomes from research supported in Asia by the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund.