SP 10
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11.10.2017 15:24 Age: 10 days
Category: SP 10, SP 7

Addressing Gender in Agricultural Value Chains: Research and Practice of African Indigenous Vegetables in Kenya

The corresponding subprojects 7b and 10 analyze meal cultures and gender dynamics. © HORTINLEA

PhD Workshop Berlin,
Invalidenstr. 42, Room 1231

Even though AIVs (African Indigenous Vegetables) are an integral part of the Kenyan diet and meal culture, their potential for food sovereignty and sustainable livelihoods has not yet been fully explored: lacking agricultural policies for indigenous crops and the stigmatization as ‘weed’ and ‘poor people’s food’ stemming from the introduction of exotic vegetables by colonial rulers are at the root of low consumption.

Much of the labour and knowledge in producing and consuming AIVs is provided by women. However, on the production side, there is evidence that women lack access and control over necessary resources and may not benefit from the current upgrading of the crop as men take greater control in production and marketing. On the consumption side, the preparation of AIVs is time-consuming and clashes with other productive and reproductive duties. Moreover, sociocultural norms cause the maintenance of a traditional division of labour within households. Although a slight change takes place in urban contexts, care work is still being understood as women’s work.

If we want to shape development in the future along lines of fairness, gender equity and sustainability, it becomes thus vital to understand past and current developments of AIV value chains. We must explore who is included and who is left behind, focus on the inherent power relations along the chain - starting from seed management to cooking and eating within the household – and critically assess them from a gender perspective. The aim of this workshop is to address the power relations and the social embeddedness of the AIV value chain in Kenya by presenting and discussing the final results of the HORTINLEA PhD projects on the gender perspective in value chains of AIVs and on their “Meal Cultures” as perspective on food sovereignty.

The discussion of the workshop will focus on the diverse aspects of food systems, together with an analysis of their implications and finally on the policy recommendations to create a more just, gender equal and sustainable AIV value chain in Kenya.

The workshop will consist of ‘researcher meets researcher’ sessions, in which Rhiannon Pyburn (Royal Tropical Institute - KIT, Netherlands), expert on gender equity in inclusive value chain development, and Anke Niehof (Wageningen University, Netherlands), expert on the household economy and care work, will comment on the PhD-candidates’ work.




9:00 – 9:15
Welcome Remarks
Christine Bauhardt, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

9:15 – 9:45
Introduction of the Hortinlea Project
Suse Brettin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

9:45 – 10:30
Gender Dynamics in Agricultural Value Chains
Rhiannon Pyburn (Royal Tropical Institute - KIT, Netherlands)

10:30 – 10:45
Coffee Break

10:45 – 11:45
Commercialization of African Indigenous Vegetables and their Effect on Gender Dynamics in Kenya
Ruth Githiga, African Center for Technology Studies, Kenya

11:45 – 12:45
The Role of Women in Ensuring Food Security in Structural Conflict in Kenya
Emma Oketch, African Center for Technology Studies, Kenya

12:45 – 14:15
Lunch Break

14:15 – 15:00
Women as Gatekeepers to Family Nutrition: Paradoxes of Power, Preferences and Morality
Anke Niehof, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands

15:00 – 16:00
The Bittersweet Consumption of African Indigenous Vegetables: A Meal Sovereignty Perspective
Meike Brückner, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

16:10 – 16:15
Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:15
AIV Consumption in Kenya - Choices and Challenges
Anne Aswani, African Center of Technology Studies, Kenya

17:15 – 17:30


Meike Brückner (meike.brueckner@remove-this.gender.hu-berlin.de)
Inken Behrmann (inken.behrmann@remove-this.hu-berlin.de), Division of Gender and Globalisation