Using digital technology to integrate gender into genetics in small ruminant and dairy systems
- Impact Area
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Julie Ojango, senior scientist in the Livestock Genetics program at the International Livestock Research Institute, specifically addressing sustainable utilization and management of animal genetic resources, leads projects in small ruminant and cattle breeding that use digital tools that enable better integration of gender into genetics research in the global south. She believes that livestock improvement programs must improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Incorporating smallholder farmers into client-responsive breeding programs has shown improved adoption of technical innovations. However, women, making up two-thirds of livestock farmers, have been historically left out of breeding project design. When selecting a breeding animal, men and women have different trait preferences, so breeding programs must be client-responsive and gender-responsive.
Ojango has integrated gender into her small ruminant and cattle breeding projects by ensuring women’s access to digital tools and involvement in the design process by hosting gendered focus group discussions.