CGIAR Working Paper: Gender Differentiation of Farmer Preferences for Varietal Traits in Crop Improvement

2017 | Anja Christinck | Eva Weltzien | Fred Rattunde | Jacqueline Ashby

Download CGIAR’s recently published working paper entitled “Gender Differentiation of Farmer Preferences for Varietal Traits in Crop Improvement: Evidence and Issues.”

This publication is part of a new Working Paper Series of the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) and coordinated by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam. This Platform has evolved from the CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network. See blog post here


Changes in agro-ecological as well as socio-economic conditions lead to transformations of food and farming systems worldwide. Using plant varieties with new or different sets of traits can be one option for farmers to adapt to these changes; however, coping strategies and related varietal traits may vary for different groups of farmers, depending for example on their access to resources and assets, and their production goals. Gender is one major social category for which differences in this regard can be expected. Developing gender perspectives in plant breeding can thus be seen as part of a general approach to improving the scientific understanding of agricultural systems, and to understand the needs for, as well as potential benefits of, new technologies for specific groups of users. Hence, the overall aim of the present work was to systematically review the “state of the art” of gender differentiation with regard to varietal trait preferences in order to identify options for breeding programs to better address gender-specific needs, and how they may need to change in order to become more gender-sensitive.