Understanding Gender Differences on the Choices of a Portfolio of Climate-smart Agricultural Practices in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Teklewold, Hailemariam
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African Economic Research Consortium
Managing climatic risks and ensuring gender equality are critical to achieving sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In this regard, the uptake of a portfolio of farm level Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA) practices (such as cropping system diversification, soil and water conservation, reduced tillage, organic fertilizer, irrigation, etc.) becomes increasingly important to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity of farm households. CSA practices comprise interventions that aim to sustainably increase productivity, build adaptive capacity and reduce green-house gas emissions through diverse sets of soil, water and crop husbandry practices. We consider a set of the CSA practices that can be categorized into three broad categories: yield-increasing, risk protection, and resource conservation strategy sets. The issue of gender inequality in the adoption of CSA technologies, among others, has long been an important subject in most developing countries. Despite women’s important roles in the farming systems, women farmers may not have the same influence as their men counterparts on farming decisions regarding changing agricultural practices. Gender differences in agricultural technology adoption may be observed for a number of reasons including women’s lower initial endowments, bargaining power, access to financial resources, or institutional services. Differences in men’s and women’s responsibilities, priorities, and access to productive resources and institutional services at the community and household levels are crucial to describe the gender gap in agricultural investment.