Innovation in Gender Responsive Breeding Workshop

5 – 7 October, 2017 | Nairobi, Kenya

Workshop background 

Widespread adoption and impact of new crop varieties and animal breeds on resource-poor farms depends on the tangible benefits these provide for the women and men involved in their production, consumption and marketing. For breeders to meet users’ needs, they need to understand the priorities that women and men assign to genetically determined traits. Many CGIAR breeding programs understand that if they overlook traits important to women users, this can aggravate household food insecurity and poverty. But breeding programs still don’t have enough practical methods and tools to help them decide how to be more gender responsive and consider gender differences in breeding schemes.

A workshop on Gender, Breeding and Genomics was held last year with support from the CGIAR Gender Network. The workshop concluded that the knowledge and experience exist to construct, in a short time, a clear strategy for gender-responsive breeding with supporting methods, tools and practices. However, this knowledge is scattered in different sectors and disciplines and needs to be connected by a multidisciplinary team effort.

The CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative is planning an Innovation Workshop in October involving the multidisciplinary team from the first workshop and a broader group of participants. The Initiative has commissioned a set of three papers as a key input for this workshop including 1) gender and social targeting 2) setting breeding objectives and priorities 3) case studies of gender-responsive breeding programs.

Workshop deliverables

  1. Key design elements for a gender responsive breeding programincluding:
    1. critical entry points in the breeding research cycle including genomics identified
    2. linkages to varietal dissemination and seed systems
    3. available and missing tools for gender-responsive breeding
    4. timeline and responsibilities for preparing working paper/article on design elements for a gender responsive breeding program
  2. Participant feedback and timeline with agreed responsibilities to finalize:
    1. paper on gender and social targeting
    2. paper on setting priorities for breeding
    3. working document (book) of case studies of breeding programs
  3. Guidelines for setting up community of practice for gender responsive breeding including communication plan
  4. Uptake pathway (theory of change) for GBI outputs potentially including:
    1. “Good cases” that can lead by example, backed up by effective communication to key audiences about what is working
    2. Post-workshop webinars
    3. A plan to reach/communicate with young, early career breeders in CG and partner university departments
    4. Policy brief for national programs and governments and networks making the case for the proposed changes
  5. Fund raising strategy and design ideas for a three-year initiative on gender responsive breeding to validate guidelines and tools