Women farmers are 'eye-openers' for researchers
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CTA. 1993. Women farmers are 'eye-openers' for researchers. Spore 47. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Hundreds of women farmers recently attended open-days at research centres in Malawi and Zimbabwe. For the researchers open days will never be the same again, such was their impact. The open days, which were for women farmers only, were organized by...
Hundreds of women farmers recently attended open-days at research centres in Malawi and Zimbabwe. For the researchers open days will never be the same again, such was their impact. The open days, which were for women farmers only, were organized by The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at the Chitedze Research Station in Malawi, and at Matopos in Zimbabwe. At Chitedze the farmers saw progress in pigeonpea and groundnut breeding while the Matopos day concentrated on cereals, particularly sorghum and pearl millet. Of particular interest was the pearl millet variety Okashana 1, which was on trial from Namibia. Originally developed by ICRISAT, it has doubled the average local pearl millet yields in Namibia. During the open days the women farmers took part in lively discussions with the researchers. Of particular concern was the difficulty of getting seeds of new varieties and the lack of appropriate dehulling and grinding machines in the rural areas. Relieving women of this labour-intensive chore would allow more time to be spent in the field. Dr Lewis Mughoho, Director of ICRISAT's Southern African Programmes said the two open days had been a lesson to him. He had been much impressed by the way the women had participated. ICRISAT PO Box 776 Bulawayo ZIMBABWE
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