Can research help?
Increasingly, the international agricultural research community has come to recognize the importance of embracing an R&D paradigm that is gender-equitable and, ultimately, gender transformational. It is not merely an issue of political correctness or ideology; it is a matter of effectiveness. ICRISAT is no exception.
For more than two decades ICRISAT has considered gender-related research to be a central part of its research for development portfolio, and the Institute has assembled a large body of quantitative data and publications about the impact of gender inequity and how it impedes the adoption and diffusion of new technologies.
More recently, gender was codified as a central element of ICRISAT R4D agenda through its Inclusive Market-Oriented Development framework (IMOD). This framework is designed to help the rural poor - the majority of whom are female and under 25 years of age – take advantage of modern agricultural science by harnessing market forces. Early indications are that it is a winning strategy.
IMOD's goal is to help the dryland farmers grow their way out of subsistence through marketed-oriented agriculture that provides the means to escape poverty for good. Gone are the days when researchers assumed that the interface between technology development and markets would simply take care of itself.