Naila Kabeer’s Seeds of Change harvest: a ‘simple’ question of respect and equality

During the Seeds of Change conference, the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research team approached several people from the ‘Gender in Agriculture’ crowd to interview them on their work, on their insights about the conference and their outlook on the next frontiers of our field of research. Find an overview of all conference related outputs here.

In this very special and very personal interview, we are privileged to feature eminent scholar Naila KabeerProfessor of Gender and Development at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political ScienceKabeer reflects on gender in agriculture, her life lessons on gender and suggestions on areas to further explore and for future gender scientists to take at heart.

What is at stake with gender in agriculture – where are the key opportunities in this domain?

We know that less and less is being contributed by agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) across the world, yet in Asia and Africa, large numbers of women remain in agriculture. Large sections of agriculture are often neglected because of the preoccupation with commercialization and exports. But quite a lot of agriculture is about meeting the basic subsistence needs for food, particularly among poorer farmers, and this very often is regarded as the domain of women farmers. So it is their labor and efforts that are being overlooked.

The challenge is how to increase the productivity of subsistence agriculture so people can live off of it but also have some surplus to invest, to save and to build sustainable pathways out of poverty.  The background to this challenge is that we are living in an era of environmental degradation, liberalization of everything which permits the legal grabbing of land in vast tracts of the developing world. This makes the possibility of systematic support to poorer farmers even harder. I also worry about the extent to which agriculture is becoming industrialized. What impact does the widespread use of chemicals in agriculture and genetically modified crops have on our health and on the environment?

Read the full interview here: