Impacting Gender and Nutrition through Innovative Technical Exchange in Agriculture (IGNITE) Partners discuss findings of applied research on gender and nutrition integration in agriculture

IGNITE project (Impacting gender and nutrition through innovative technology exchange in agriculture) organized a research summit in Nairobi, January 23-25, to share findings and evidence gathered on six broad programmatic educational questions related to ways to effectively and efficiently increase women’s empowerment in agriculture as well as equitable consumption of nutritious diets. The summit was attended by more than 70 participants representing more than 20 IGNITE partners from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The IGNITE Research Summit brought together practitioners from the private sector, NGOs, government agencies, policy-making agencies, researchers and academia.

With food and nutrition insecurity on the rise in the world, Africa has not been spared. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022 (https://bit.ly/3WDYfZw), 828 million people experienced hunger in 2021, including 278 million people in Africa. There are many reasons behind food and nutrition [in]Security, which is often overlooked is the gender dimension.

Driven by the conviction that gender inclusion has an impact on food and nutrition security in Africa, the IGNITE project was launched in 2018. IGNITE is a five-year investment, implemented by Tanager (www.Tanagerintl.org), in partnership with Laterite (https:// bit.ly/3XDbXNB) and 60Decibels (www.60Decibels.com) to strengthen the capacity of African institutions to integrate nutrition and gender mainstreaming into their way of doing business and agricultural interventions.

IGNITE brings a modern gender and nutrition perspective to agriculture with 18 partner organizations of agricultural institutions, service providers, regulators and universities with significant continental reach and influence in 17 African countries,said Maureen Mungoa, IGNITE Team Leader and Tanager Country Representative in Kenya.

At the IGNITE Research Summit, the results of 16 research studies focused on decision-making, conducted jointly with six partner institutions, were shared and discussed. According to these institutions, on the one hand, dedicated technical assistance and training, gender and nutrition training, strategy development and implementation support were key to building the capacity of their staff and institutional capacity. On the other hand, evidence from research and concrete recommendations help them improve their business activities.

digital green (www.DigitalGreen.org) It is invested in an ambitious initiative called DAAS (Digital Agricultural Advisory Services) which aims to reach 40 percent of women as part of our activities. We worked with IGNITE to conduct a gender assessment and other research activities that resulted in the new Gender Policy. Today, sex is our focus, and we’re seeing results. For example, increased effectiveness of community agents (CBAs), better outcomes in dairy farmers uptake of our digital tools, more effective pilot farmer household experience,Daniel Tesfu, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, Digital Green, Ethiopia, participated.

Rufaro Madakadze, Senior Program Officer, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) (www.AGRA.org), shared, “…As a result of IGNITE’s research findings, we are rethinking, redesigning, and informing our institutional approach to agricultural extension. Across the board, more female village guides and village agents are being included in our programmes. ”

While attributing changes over the past three years, many of IGNITE’s partners also report that engagement with IGNITE has brought an entirely new meaning and perspective to sexuality and nutrition, influencing their activities. “Before IGNITE, it was the focus of a African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) (www.AATF-africa.org) was about productivity and income. Today, our approach to gender-sensitive nutrition and farming will result in farm mechanization benefits for cassava farmers in Nigeria,Dr. Cecilia Lemera, Program Officer and Lead Nutritionist for the AATF, participated.

The extensive information shared over the three days validated the existing body of evidence that increasing women’s income and empowering them to make more decisions about that income benefits the entire household through improved health, nutrition and education. However, the presence of specific case studies and rigorous data supporting this goal has been the driving force behind IGNITE’s design of its ambitious learning agenda.

We are extremely proud to be part of building a strong case for market players that there is a positive return on investment derived from integrating and mainstreaming gender and nutrition considerations into their business models. We now have the know-how, tools and experience to provide technical assistance on gender and nutrition integration and mainstreaming in agriculture. We are open to cooperation with institutions that have a need in those areas, and we will continue to improve the provision of technical assistance with existing partners,Maureen Mongoa concluded.

Access IGNITE research output and resources here: https://bit.ly/3EQPG8D

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Tanager.

Media contact:
Maureen Mongoa
Country Representative, Tanager (Kenya)
[email protected]

About Tanager:
Tanager is an international non-profit organization that brings people together at the table, on the ground, and across supply chains to co-create life-changing economic and social opportunities. Tanager is the lead partner in the IGNITE project. Learn more: www.Tanagerintl.org

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Impacting Gender and Nutrition through Innovative Technical Exchange in Agriculture (IGNITE) Partners discuss findings of applied research on gender and nutrition integration in agriculture

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