Gender Responsive Cereal Grains Breeding in Uganda

  • 11th August 2017
  • by secretary
GREAT support course
From left, Maria Nassuna-Musoke, Peace Musiimenta and
Margaret Mangheni, all from Makerere University, look at
wheat growing in the Ithaca Community Gardens
with Devon Jenkins, GREAT project support
specialist in IP-CALS, during a recent visit to Cornell.

7-16 August 2017.  
In the joint Cornell and Makerere University project Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT), researchers learn how to identify the needs of women and men when setting priorities, implementing projects, and measuring and communicating project outcomes. They also broaden their understanding of the integral role of gender in their work as scientists and agricultural development professionals.

This is the second of five trainings on the theory and practice of gender-responsive agricultural research offered over the course of the five-year project, which started in 2016. The first course, Gender-Responsive Root, Tuber and Banana Breeding, concluded in February 2017.

Participating research teams in the grains course come from Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia and Madagascar.

The teams will focus on pressing challenges in Africa, including:

  • cereal grains production within the Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Maiduguri, Nigeria
  • building cereal grain resiliency in changing climates in Niger and Tanzania
  • and sustaining maize, cowpea, rice and sorghum productivity in Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Madagascar. 
  • They address grain-breeding issues ranging from improving productivity and preserving genetic diversity to protecting against plant disease.
  • Subsequent trainings will be offered in small ruminant breeding, and dairy and legume value chains. 

All projects incorporate a gender lens to better address the role women play in these crop production systems. 

  • They receive support from an e-learning module of resources on the GREAT course website
  • A second week of training on data analysis, interpretation and advocacy is scheduled for Jan. 15-19, 2018, at Makerere. 
  • For sustainability, GREAT will create a center of excellence for gender-responsive agricultural training at Makerere, and the GREAT curriculum will be integrated into short courses and agriculture degree programs there.

GREAT is funded by a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Among other partners, GREAT collaborates with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA).