ArticlePublisher preview available
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract and Figures

Smallholder farmers in Rattanakmondol District, Battambang Province, Cambodia face challenges related to soil erosion, declining yields, climate change, and unsustainable tillage-based farming practices in their efforts to increase food production within maize-based systems. In 2010, research for development programs began introducing agricultural production systems based on conservation agriculture (CA) to smallholder farmers located in four communities within Rattanakmondol District as a pathway for addressing these issues. Understanding gendered practices and perspectives is integral to adapting CA technologies to the needs of local communities. This research identifies how gender differences regarding farmers’ access to assets, practices, and engagement in intra-household negotiations could constrain or facilitate the dissemination of CA. Our mixed-methods approach includes focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, famer field visits, and a household survey. Gender differences in access to key productive assets may affect men’s and women’s individual ability to adapt CA. Farmers perceive the practices and technologies of CA as labor-saving, with the potential to reduce men’s and women’s labor burden in land-preparation activities. However, when considered in relation to the full array of productive and reproductive livelihood activities, CA can disproportionately affect men’s and women’s labor. Decisions about agricultural livelihoods were not always made jointly, with socio-cultural norms and responsibilities structuring an individual’s ability to participate in intra-household negotiations. While gender differences in power relations affect intra-household decision-making, men and women household members collectively negotiate the transition to CA-based production systems.
This content is subject to copyright. Terms and conditions apply.
Conservation agriculture and gendered livelihoods
in Northwestern Cambodia: decision-making, space and access
Daniel Sumner
1
Maria Elisa Christie
1
Ste
´phane Boulakia
2
Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published online: 11 August 2016
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
Abstract Smallholder farmers in Rattanakmondol District,
Battambang Province, Cambodia face challenges related to
soil erosion, declining yields, climate change, and unsus-
tainable tillage-based farming practices in their efforts to
increase food production within maize-based systems. In
2010, research for development programs began introduc-
ing agricultural production systems based on conservation
agriculture (CA) to smallholder farmers located in four
communities within Rattanakmondol District as a pathway
for addressing these issues. Understanding gendered prac-
tices and perspectives is integral to adapting CA tech-
nologies to the needs of local communities. This research
identifies how gender differences regarding farmers’ access
to assets, practices, and engagement in intra-household
negotiations could constrain or facilitate the dissemination
of CA. Our mixed-methods approach includes focus group
discussions, semi-structured interviews, famer field visits,
and a household survey. Gender differences in access to
key productive assets may affect men’s and women’s
individual ability to adapt CA. Farmers perceive the
practices and technologies of CA as labor-saving, with the
potential to reduce men’s and women’s labor burden in
land-preparation activities. However, when considered in
relation to the full array of productive and reproductive
livelihood activities, CA can disproportionately affect
men’s and women’s labor. Decisions about agricultural
livelihoods were not always made jointly, with socio-cul-
tural norms and responsibilities structuring an individual’s
ability to participate in intra-household negotiations. While
gender differences in power relations affect intra-house-
hold decision-making, men and women household mem-
bers collectively negotiate the transition to CA-based
production systems.
Keywords Gender Livelihoods Conservation
agriculture Decision-making Cambodia
Abbreviations
CA Conservation agriculture
CIRAD Centre de Coope
´ration International en
Recherche pour le De
´veloppement
DMC Direct-seeding mulch based cropping
systems
FGD Focus group discussion
FPE Feminist political ecology
KHR Cambodian Riel
KR Khmer Rouge
MAFF Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fishers
MFI Micro-finance institution
OIRED Office of International Research, Education
and Development
PADAC Projet d’Appui a
`la Diversification Agricole
du Cambodge
SANREM
IL
Sustainable Agriculture and Natural
Resource Management Innovation Lab
&Daniel Sumner
dmsumner@vt.edu
Maria Elisa Christie
mechristie@vt.edu
Ste
´phane Boulakia
stephane.boulakia@cirad.fr
1
Office of International Research, Education and
Development, Virginia Tech, 526 Prices Fork Road,
Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
2
Centre de Coope
´ration International en Recherche
Agronomique pour le De
´veloppement, El Aceituno - Carrera
5a n29-32 Officina 282, Centro Commercial la Quinta,
Ibague, Colombia
123
Agric Hum Values (2017) 34:347–362
DOI 10.1007/s10460-016-9718-z
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Ensuring sustainability needs to balance the adequate management of natural resources while preserving the socio-economic activities of the people living in the watershed [16]. Without having an accurate understanding of the social and environmental challenges, development policies could exacerbate existing inequalities and poverty [17]. Inclusive management of resources can contribute to higher sustainability and more equitable socio-economic (and social) outcomes for the people living in the watershed [18][19][20][21]. ...
... Access also depends on capital. Farmers who have the financial means to pay for pumps can get groundwater for their farms, can pump water from the canals to their fields, or can build their own storage to reserve water for when is needed [17]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving sustainable water resources management objectives can work in tandem with poverty reduction efforts. This study evidenced the strong social hydrological linkages that exist in Cambodia, which allowed for presenting a broader understanding of water resources challenges to better formulate and connect policies at the local and national levels. Models are often not developed with household- or community-level input, but rather with national- or coarse-level datasets. The method used in this study consisted of linking qualitative and quantitative social analysis with a previously developed technical water planning model. The results from the social inequalities analysis were examined for three water use types: domestic, rice production, and fishing in three parts of the watershed, namely, upstream, midstream, and downstream. Knowledge generated from the social analysis was used to refine previous water planning modeling. The model results indicate that without household data to consider social inequalities, the technical analysis for the Stung Chinit watershed was largely underrepresenting the shortages in irrigation supply seen by groups in the most downstream sections of the irrigation system. Without adding social considerations into the model, new policies or water infrastructure development suggested by the model could reinforce existing inequalities.
... About 70% the province's population belongs to the indigenous people such as the Phnong, Stieng, Tompoun, Charay, Kroeung, Kavet, Lun Kachak, and Praov. The most profound indigenous groups with high population are in the Tompuon (33,506), Charay (24,834), and Kroeung (22,122). Agriculture is an important booster for provincial economy. In 2011, the majority (about 83.22%) of the total households in this province relied on agriculture as their main source of income where 76.31% were rice producers. ...
... Women spend approximately the same amount of time in wage employment as men. Men's tasks include those considered to involve considerable physical effort, such as tillage activities (plowing, discing, and furrowing) and herbicide application [22]. Whereas, women's tasks include transplanting, weeding, irrigating and other field operations that are relatively not considered to be physically demanding. ...
Article
Full-text available
A study was undertaken in Koun Mom district of Ratanakiri province in Cambodia to analyze the perceptions of the current status and constraints to soybean production and identify solutions to improve production and the management practices. Primary data were collected by personal interviews at field level of 130 producers. Most respondents were in the medium age category, Grade 4 education, with an average land holding of 2.96 ha and annual income of KHR 6,195,548 Riels (about 1548 USD). In terms of economic and production constraints, the high cost of fertilizers, severe insect and disease infestation, were identified as most important. Association with independent characteristics and scientific orientation were not significant, but education, land holding, annual income, socioeconomic status, and risk preference were significantly associated with constraints to soybean production. Within the context of sustainable agricultural production practices, it is suggested to improve high-yielding genotypes, ensure timely availability of high-quality seeds, and identify appropriate crop management practices (planting dates, planting density, nutrient and water management practices) and find ways to efficiently and effectively disseminate information to farmers to enhance soybean production in the region. In addition, extension agents and other agencies should provide soybean farmers marketing information, establish viable links between farmers and relevant stakeholders and private sector to improve access to inputs and modern technologies while the local and state governments should establish rural markets with good market infrastructure to enable farmers have high returns from soybean production.
... CA interventions in Southern Africa have resulted in low adoption (Brown et al., 2017;Bouwman et al., 2021), disadoption of CA post project (Arslan et al., 2014;Chinseu et al., 2019;Habanyati et al., 2020) and conflicts between some CA and conventional agriculture practices Thierfelder et al., 2012;Valbuena et al., 2012). Thus, micro and meso level studies are important to inform planned agricultural interventions (see Sumner et al., 2017 for the importance of understanding gendered practices and perspectives in CA technology promotions). After a systematic review of sustainable intensification, Himmelstein et al. (2016) advised that methodologies must depend upon adaptations of several development techniques for different types of communities. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the use of conservation agriculture (CA) as a climate adaptation strategy among smallholder farmers in Eastern Zambia. Using 761 household interviews and 33 focus group discussions (FGDs) with smallholder farmers from six districts, data was collected on how smallholder farmers in the region experience climate change, what CA practices they had adopted, and benefits and challenges associated with CA practice. Results show that men and women farmers had similar experiences of climate change, namely late onset of a shortened rainy season, intra-seasonal drought and higher temperatures. Farmers' perceptions of gender-mediated effects of climate change had important nuances. The three most cited effects of climate change on women mentioned by women were lower crop yields, outbreaks of armyworms and reduced livestock fodder. The men thought women were most affected by increased hunger, lower crop yields and reduced domestic water sources. According to the women FGDs, men were most affected through reduced crop yields, increases in livestock diseases and increased hunger. The men self-reported reduced crop yields, reduced water for livestock and outbreaks of armyworms. Both men and women saw CA as having climate change adaptation benefits. For the women, men most benefitted from CA through the high moisture holding capacity of basins, higher crop yields and reduced labor requirements through use of oxen ripping. The men most appreciated the high crop yields, improved soil fertility and reduced costs as less fertilizer is used. The women cited the high moisture holding capacity of basins, high crop yields and improved soil fertility as benefits they most commonly derived from CA, while the men thought the women most benefitted from CA through the higher crop yields, improved soil fertility and crop tolerance to droughts. The study concludes that there is room for CA to serve as a climate smart agricultural system for both men and women smallholder farmers in Eastern Zambia. However, this will require addressing important challenges of high weed pressure, high labor demands, and low access to manure, and CA farming implements. The CA package for Zambia should include access to timely climate information and climate informed crop choices.
... Given the broad scope of concerns surrounding empowerment, scholars have examined many topics across a wide range of contexts [33]. Studies have examined many topics, including educational attainment [37], political participation [38], gender-based domestic violence [39], resource control [40][41][42], entrepreneurialism [43], well-being [44], household decision-making [45][46][47], time poverty [48], and health [49,50]. While women's empowerment is intrinsically important, studies in developing countries have shown that empowering women can also improve children's health and education [51], decrease child mortality [52], improve the organizational effectiveness of businesses [53], increase agricultural productivity [54], and increase economic growth and reduce poverty [55]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Women's empowerment has a great influence on health, nutrition, education, and the overall well-being of societies as well as of the children and households. This study investigates the effect of women's empowerment on poverty reduction and focuses on household deprivation, in terms of education, health, and standard of living. Primary data was collected from 914 married women from rural areas of Bangladesh using a well-structured questionnaire and a random sampling technique. Descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and ordinary least squares models were used in this study. The results indicate that increased women's access to education, asset ownership, decision-making power on children's health and education, and access to medical facilities, have caused a significant decline in income poverty and multidimensional poverty. However, gender violence, taking resources against women's will, and preventing women from working outside, have caused a considerable decline in per capita income and an increase in income poverty and multidimensional poverty. Overall, it is found that women's empowerment has a great impact on the reduction of income poverty and multidimensional poverty in society. The findings of the study can assist and guide policymakers to initiate appropriate strategies for women's empowerment to reducing poverty in Bangladesh while making progress towards other social and developmental goals.
... To increase the sustainability of rural livelihoods, research at the individual-or household-scale is of particular importance since livelihood decision-making is focused within these realms (e.g., Sumner et al., 2017). A wide variety of useful secondary social science datasets are available for such examinations. ...
Article
Full-text available
Linking people and places is essential for population-health-environment research. Yet, this data integration requires geographic coding such that information reflecting individuals or households can appropriately be connected with characteristics of their proximate environments. However, offering access to such geocoding greatly increases the risk of respondent identification and, therefore, holds the potential to breach confidentiality. In response, a variety of “geographic masking” techniques have been developed to introduce error into geographic coding and thereby reduce the likelihood of identification. We report findings from analyses of the error introduced by several masking techniques applied to data from the Agincourt Health and Socio-Demographic Surveillance System in rural South Africa. Using a vegetation index (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)) at the household scale, comparisons are made between the “true” NDVI values and those calculated after masking. We also examine the tradeoffs between accuracy and protecting respondent privacy. The exploration suggests that in this study setting and for NDVI, geomasking approaches that use buffers and account for population density produce the most accurate results. However, the exploration also clearly demonstrates the tradeoff between accuracy and privacy, with more accuracy resulting in a higher level of potential respondent identification. It is important to note that these analyses illustrate a process that should characterize spatially informed research but within which particular decisions must be shaped by the research setting and objectives. In the long run, we aim to provide insight into masking’s potential and perils to facilitate population-environment-health research.
... Responses and strategy changes are in part a function of cultural values and traditions that can only be assessed through social science assessment tools, and ethnographic studies are an essential tool in this process (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2010). For example, (Kura et al. 2017) found widely variable household resilience to displacement by hydropower within a single village in Laos, while (Sumner, Christie, and Boulakia 2017) showed how traditional gender roles directly impacted the effectiveness of conservation agriculture systems introduced to smallholder farmers in Battambang Province, Cambodia. ...
... Responses and strategy changes are in part a function of cultural values and traditions that can only be assessed through social science assessment tools, and ethnographic studies are an essential tool in this process (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2010). For example, (Kura et al. 2017) found widely variable household resilience to displacement by hydropower within a single village in Laos, while (Sumner, Christie, and Boulakia 2017) showed how traditional gender roles directly impacted the effectiveness of conservation agriculture systems introduced to smallholder farmers in Battambang Province, Cambodia. ...
... Attention to culture is vital in determining individual and shared values and identities and understanding how it facilitates or constrains livelihood opportunities and decision-making (Tao, Wall, and Wismer 2010;Forsyth and Michaud 2011). Moreover, a growing body of livelihood analyses have illustrated how power relations are involved in intra-household divisions of productive and reproductive tasks and livelihood diversification, especially along gender lines (Deere and Doss 2006;Wangui 2008;Arun 2012;Radel 2012;Sumner, Christie, and Boulakia 2017). ...
Article
Ethnic minorities in the uplands of northern Vietnam are experiencing rapid state- and market-induced economic and agrarian transformations. These communities are having to make important livelihood adaptations to adjust, while living at Vietnam’s economic and political margins. We analyse one such market-induced transformation that some upland communities are deciding to engage with, connected to an increasing demand for locally distilled alcohol. Against the backdrop of traditional production for domestic consumption, distilled alcoholic beverages are now (re)emerging as a cash-earning opportunity. Drawing on interviews and observations with ethnic minority Hmong and Yao women and men in Lào Cai Province, we analyse the degree to which household members have engaged with this market opportunity and the often complex reasons behind their choices. We reveal how an apparently simple shift in scale of a customary activity generates nuanced cultural, gendered and generational debates that, at times, are at odds with mere profitability.
Article
Farmer household livelihood choice has been critical in ecosystem and natural resource sustainability in developing countries. This paper investigates the choices of farmer household livelihood in a Karst environment in China by using a multinomial logistic regression model to analyze 676 farmer household questionnaire responses from 6 counties in Anshun City, Guizhou Province. The results show that factors such as land quality, regional accessibility, government policies, and farmer households' characteristics have significant effect on farmer household livelihood choices. Even though farmers are unwilling to live in areas of rocky desertification and soil erosion, the proportion of those who live in those areas is high, because alternatives are limited by environment conditions and farmer households' situations. Good regional traffic accessibility facilitates farmer households' part-time non-agricultural employment. Meanwhile, the Rocky Desertification Control Project increases migrant laborers. The study suggests that government policies diversify the choices of farmer household livelihoods in different eco-environment regions.
Chapter
The rapid development and change of agriculture in the context of climate change have caused significant environmental impacts in rural areas. This paper has the purpose to build a resilience indicators set and a framework to quantitative the resilience value to the rural commune in the North Delta, Vietnam. These indicators respond to the requirements of economic development, sustainable livelihoods, environmental issues, and increased resilience to climate change. For this purpose, a database was built based on questionnaire results, monitoring data collecting, and expert’s elicitation. Finally, these resilience indicators set was built with three capitals (natural, social and infrastructural capital), 17 sectors, and 50 indicators, as following: (i) the natural capital includes 1 sector as land use having 11 indicators of types land-use area; (ii) the social capital includes 9 sectors, and 19 indicators belong to Income, Poor rate, Employed labor rate; Education, Cultural, Health, Environment, Policy; (iii) the infrastructure capital includes 7 sectors and 20 indicators as components of Road condition, Irrigation system, House, Electricity; Community Facilities; Communication systems, and Energy. A framework for calculating resilience value also was built. The proposed resilience indicators set and the calculated framework was employed for two communes as Hai Dong (coastal commune, in Nam Dinh province) and Lam Dien (non-coastal commune, in Hanoi). The resilience results are 0.64 and 0.58 for the two communes, respectively. The presents detailed processes of the resilience indicator building and calculating should be suggested to apply widely in the rural communes in Vietnam.
Article
Full-text available
It is remarkable that despite wide-ranging, in-depth studies over many years, almost no conservation agriculture (CA) studies consider gender and gender relations as a potential explanatory factor for (low) adoption rates. This is important because CA demands new ways of working with the farm system. Implementation will inevitably involve a reallocation of men's and women's resources as well as having an impact upon their ability to realize their gender interests. With respect to intra-household decision-making and the distribution of benefits, CA interventions have implications for labour requirements and labour allocation, investment decisions with respect to mechanization and herbicide use, crop choice, and residue management. CA practice may impact upon the ability of households to source a wide variety of crops, wild plants, and insects and small animals for household nutrition. Gender biases in extension service design can sideline women. This paper examines the limited research to date on the interactions between CA interventions and gender in East and Southern Africa, and, based on the gaps observed, sets out a research agenda. It argues that attention to gender in CA is particularly timely given the increasing interest in CA as a means of adapting to climate change.
Article
Full-text available
Rapid changes in agricultural systems call for profound changes in agricultural research and extension practices. The Diagnosis, Design, Assessment, Training and Extension (DATE) approach was developed and applied to co-design Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems in contrasted situations. DATE is a multi-scale, multi-stakeholder participatory approach that integrates scientific and local knowledge. It emerged in response to questions raised by and issues encountered in the design of innovative systems. A key feature of this approach is the high input of innovative systems which are often although not exclusively based on conservation agricultural practices. Prototyping of innovative cropping systems (ICSs) largely relies on a conceptual model of soil–plant–macrofauna–microorganism system functioning. By comparing the implementation of the DATE approach and conservation agriculture-based cropping systems in Madagascar, Lao PDR, and Cambodia, we show that: (i) the DATE approach is flexible enough to be adapted to local conditions; (ii) market conditions need to be taken into account in designing agricultural development scenarios; and (iii) the learning process during the transition to conservation agriculture requires time. The DATE approach not only enables the co-design of ICSs with farmers, but also incorporates training and extension dimensions. It feeds back practitioners’ questions to researchers, and provides a renewed and extended source of innovation to farmers.
Article
Full-text available
Measures of gender-based labor distribution can contribute to understanding the feasibility of agricultural development in mountainous subsistence farming communities. Conservation agriculture (CA) can provide sustained crop yield and improved soil and water conservation in mountain areas prone to degradation and where few inputs are available. This study sought to measure the gendered labor impacts of CA practices and to assess their feasibility in remote farming communities. We surveyed farmers in 3 tribal villages in the Middle Hills of Nepal, where communities consist of smallholder (<2 ha) farmers cultivating highly sloping, marginal lands. Face-to-face interviews and time allocation surveys were used to quantify distribution of labor and to identify engagement in agricultural decision-making in 87% of the households. On-farm plots were used to measure differences between the gender-based labor demands of conventional and CA practices. Results show that women bear a disproportionate burden (53–55%) of on-farm labor. Field trials showed that women would predominantly manage increases in labor demands from CA, particularly where more labor for plowing, sowing, and harvesting is required, yet 51.3% indicated that they have limited control over adoption of new practices. In situations where women are already overburdened, technologies that require additional labor may prove unsustainable. It is crucial to adapt technologies to provide gender-sensitive solutions and meet the needs of the local community. Identifying the gendered constraints of CA is vital to improving understanding of agricultural livelihoods.
Article
Full-text available
Households face many collective action situations, with members working together to produce livelihoods and allocate goods. But neither unitary nor bargaining models of the household provide frameworks to analyze the conditions under which households work collectively and when they fail to do so. Drawing on the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework based in the natural resource management literature, this paper explores the factors that encourage and inhibit collective action and provides insights into how to understand collective action problems within the household as dynamic, multi-actor situations with outcomes that can be evaluated by multiple criteria, not just efficiency. Comparison with the household literature also points to areas to strengthen the resource management literature through greater emphasis on human capital issues, including gender, health, and education.
Article
I-The agricultural innovation extension method. II-Managing soil fertility with cropping systems. III-Direct seeding, an organic soil management technique. Since the 1980s, Brazilian agriculture has extended to the humid tropical edge of the Amazon basin in western Brazil and onto the acid soils of the savanna (cerrados) where annual rainfall ranges from 2 000 to 3 000 mm. Frontier farmers, coming from the southern states, have introduced soybean monocultures and disc tillage techniques to develop highly mechanised farms of 200-2 000 ha. These farming practices have caused soil erosion on a catastrophic scale. Since 1986, the Franco-Brazilian research team and its development partners have demonstrated the extent of cropland degradation and the economic isolation of these areas. A participatory method of agricultural development, known as innovation-extension, has been developed in the western cerrados and a number of other regions of Brazil. The aim of innovation-extension is to propose cropping systems to farmers and professional agents in agricultural subsectors that are compatible with sustainable regional development and which can be reproduced inexpensively on a large scale. This experience has revealed that fertility management for degraded acid soil cannot be separated from economic risk, which has led to the development of a wide range of diversified agricultural systems now spread over more than 2 Mha of land in western and central western Brazil. Crop diversification is based on the productionof one or two cereal or forage crops per year (soybean, rainfed rice, maize, sorghum, millet, leguminous crops, forage grasses, cover crops, etc.), which may be associated with livestock production. Annual crop sequences are integrated into 3 or 4 year rotations. The most productive and innovative systems all use direct seeding: the main commercial crops - soybean, rainfed rice, maize - are sown directly into a well-established and inexpensive cover crop such as millet, sorghum or crotalaria, which precedes and succeeds the main cash crop. These cover crops produce cereals or fodder and a large amount of biomass which is necessary for maintaining fertility. In this way there is permanent plant cover to protect the soil from erosion. Cover crops are important in recycling nutrients that have been leached deep into the soil and thus there is minimum nutrient loss in the soil-plant system. Yields of more than 6 t of maize, 3-4 t of soybean and more than 4 t of rainfed rice per hectare have been attained. Farmers regard these systems as productive, profitable, stable and consider that they optimise and offer flexibility for the use of machinery.
Article
Since the 1980s, Brazilian agriculture has extended to the humid tropical edge of the Amazon basin in western Brazil and onto the acid solid of the savannah (cerrados) where annual rainfall ranges from 2 000 to 3 000 mm. Frontier farmers, coming from the southern states, have introduced soybean monocultures and disc tillage techniques to develop highly mechanised farms of 200-2 000 ha. These farming practices have caused soil erosion on a catastrophic scale. Since 1986, the Franco-Brazilian research team and its development partners have demonstrated the extent of crop land degradation and the economic isolaton of these areas. A participatory method of agricultural development, known as generation plus extension, has been developed in the western cerrados and a number of other regions of Brazil. The aim of development-extension is to propose cropping systems to farmers and professional agents in agricultural subsections that are compatible with sustainable regional development and which can be reproduced inexpensively on a large scale. This experience has revealed that management of fertility of degraded acid soil cannot be separated from economic risk, which has led to the development of a wide range of diversified agricultural systems now spread over more than 2 Mha of land in western and central western Brazil. The most productive and innovative systems all use direct drilling; the main commerical crops - soybean, rainfed rice, mazie - are sown directly into a well-established and inexpensive cover crop such as millet, sorghum or crotalaria, which precedes and succeeds the main cash crop. These cover crops produce cereals or fodder and a large amount of biomass which is necessary for maintaining fertility. In this way there is permanent plant cover to protect the soil from erosion. Cover crops are important in recycling nutrients that have been leached deep into the soil and thus there is minimum nutrient loss in the soil-plant system. Farmers regard these systems as productive, profitable, stable and consider that they optimise and offer flexiability for the use of machinery. There are three papers which comprise. This issue; they cover the agricultural generation plus extension method; fertility management using cropping systems; and direct drilling as an organic method of soil management.
Article
Feminist Political Ecology explores the gendered relations of ecologies, economies and politics in communities as diverse as the rubbertappers in the rainforests of Brazil to activist groups fighting racism in New York City. Women are often at the centre of these struggles, struggles which concern local knowledge, everyday practice, rights to resources, sustainable development, environmental quality, and social justice. The book bridges the gap between the academic and rural orientation of political ecology and the largely activist and urban focus of environmental justice movements.
Article
The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agricultural sector and comprises two subindexes. The first assesses empowerment of women in five domains, including (1) decisions about agricultural production, (2) access to and decisionmaking power about productive resources, (3) control of use of income, (4) leadership in the community, and (5) time allocation. The second subindex measures the percentage of women whose achievements are at least as high as men in their households. This article documents the development of the WEAI and presents pilot findings from Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Uganda.