Gender Differences on Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea Adoption 

The Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea, developed by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), offers a pest-resistant strain of cowpea that serves as an alternative source of protein and macronutrients for smallholder farmers. The seed technology also increases cowpea yields by up to 70 percent. AATF has worked to increase uptake of PBR cowpea amongst smallholder cowpea farmers in Nigeria, via extension agents, demo farmers, and “observer” farmers. 

The Impacting Gender & Nutrition through Innovative Technical Exchange in Agriculture (IGNITE) project—a technical assistance mechanism to support African agricultural institutions in mainstreaming gender and nutrition into their programming and operations—conducted a lean data study to gauge AATF’s success in these efforts. IGNITE is implemented by a consortium consisting of Tanager, Laterite, and 60 Decibels. The PBR cowpea adoption research was led by 60 Decibels. 

The research, which incorporated a gender and nutrition focus, gathered feedback from AATF extension agents, demo farmers, and observer farmers. Some of the findings uncovered through the research:   

  • Extension agents found it harder to convince male farmers to try PBR cowpea than female farmers 
  • Male demo farmers were more likely to hold field days—yet were slightly less satisfied with PBR cowpea than female demo farmers 
  • At the same time, female farmers were less likely to attend field days  
  • Many farmers had not consumed PBR cowpea, though respondents believed consumption would increase with more trainings 

AATF is adjusting strategies, including incorporating more gender-specific communications, in response to the findings.

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