Stories of change: Increasing gender equality among small millet farmers in South Asia
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May 2014


This outcome story is one in a series that reports on research supported by the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), a program of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), undertaken with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). Produced by WRENmedia in April 2014.


Introducing small farm machinery reduces the time spent on post-harvest processing of small millets (largely by women) by 35-90%, and encourages male farmers to play a greater role. Working with scientists, farmers have improved their skills in small millets seed selection and cultivation, and identified varieties optimally suited to their specific contexts. Small millet-based meals have been introduced in three schools and 13 childcare centers, diversifying children’s diets; women are increasingly using small millets in their cooking. Women have reduced their dependency on men (who are often absent in search of work) by adopting iron plows, instead of the wooden plows traditionally made by men.