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Gender dimensions of science and technology in agriculture and climate change: a case study development of sustainable agriculture in the Pacific (DSAP) project

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Mereseini Seniloli
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This short 10-page paper summarises the work of The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in implementing a sustainable agriculture development project across the pacific region (DSAP) since 2003. The key success factors of the project in promoting gender-equality, improving food security and livelihoods, whilst also addressing climate change related production problems, are emphasised. Central to the success of the project is the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) approach used at every key decision making point at regional, national and community levels. This approach incorporates a strong gender analysis component to identify agricultural production problems and solutions from the perspectives of women, men and youth in the communities. Other key success factors include:

Developing appropriate technologies through the participation of women and men farmers to improve their existing traditional agricultural systems. For example, soil and irrigation technologies were improved and developed.
Positive project leadership ensured the development of a solid foundation of gender enabling factors across the 16 countries. For example, gender training is encouraged for all staff and project partners.
The projects work with partners to create awareness and generate interests in young women and men to pursue an academic course in agriculture.

Recommendations include:

Education curricula in agricultural institutes should include modules on gender and participatory methods.
Technologies developed should address both the basic and strategic needs of women as these are complementary, and doing so ensures sustainability.
Collection of sex-disaggregated data is a must in collecting baseline data, especially in the conduct of agricultural census surveys.

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