Social and gender analysis report: Barotse Floodplain, Western Province,Zambia

There is increasing awareness that integrating gender into development frameworks is critical for effective implementation of development strategies. In working to alleviate rural poverty, the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) recognizes that “business as usual” gender integration approaches will not deliver lasting and widespread improvements in agricultural productivity, poverty reduction and food security. In response, AAS operationalized a gender transformative approach.

Piecework (Ganyu) as an indicator of household vulnerability in rural Zambia

Piecework (ganyu) is short-term, casual labor common in rural Zambia and neighboring countries. Reliance on piecework as a strategy to cope during food shortages in the rainy/cultivation season can restrict own-farm production, and thus, is regarded as an indicator of a household's vulnerability to food insecurity. Based on a household's level of participation in piecework, we explore this claim in rural Zambia using survey data collected during the rainy and dry seasons in 2009.

Gender-transformative approaches to address inequalities in food, nutrition and economic outcomes in aquatic agricultural systems

Over the past few decades, scholars and practitioners working on gender and development issues have advocated for more in-depth analyses that explore and foster change in the social institutions that create and perpetuate gender inequalities. Gender integration approaches in a research and development context are thus not something new. However, mainstream agricultural research and development programs often apply a rather simple understanding of gender to the design of such approaches, resulting in poor implementation.

Gender situational analysis of the Barotse Floodplain

Zambia’s rivers, lakes and wetlands support extensive agriculture, fisheries and livestock production and contribute to the livelihoods of about 3 million people or 25% of the country’s population. These aquatic agricultural systems are particularly important to poor people and provide significant opportunities for agriculture-based economic growth. The majority (72%) of the Zambian population is engaged in agricultural activities, of which almost 65% are women. There is now widespread recognition of the importance of gender and development.

Food and nutrition security in the Barotse floodplain system

The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is being implemented in ten communities in the Barotse floodplain of Zambia’s Western Province. With a focus on the rural poor and vulnerable, the AAS program aims to reduce poverty and improve food security by harnessing the development potential, productivity and diversity of aquatic and agricultural systems.

Exploring the intricate relationship between poverty, gender inequality and rural masculinity: A Case study from an Aquatic Agricultural System in Zambia

Many Zambians rely on wetlands, lakes, and rivers for their livelihoods. Social norms and power relations restrict access to natural resources provided by these aquatic agricultural systems for certain social groups, thus differentially impacting livelihood security (especially for women). A gender transformative lens and the concept of the “masculine rural” helps exploring poverty in the Barotse Floodplain in western Zambia.

Dialogue to address the roots of resource competition: Lessons for policy and practice

Conflict management is an intrinsic element of natural resource management, and becomes increasingly important amid growing pressure on natural resources from local uses, as well as from external drivers such as climate change and international investment. If policymakers and practitioners aim to truly improve livelihood resilience and reduce vulnerabilities of poor rural households, issues of resource competition and conflict management cannot be ignored.

Assessment of agrobiodiversity resources in the Borotse flood plain, Zambia

Concerns about perceived loss of indigenous materials emerged from multiple stakeholders during consultations to plan and design the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems for the Borotse hub in Zambia’s Western Province. To come to grips with and address the concerns, the AAS Borotse hub program of work included an assessment of agrobiodiversity to inform community-level and program initiatives and actions.

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