Involved Countries: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Kyrgyzstan, India, Malaysia, Mozambique
Project Donor(s): CRP 6
Project Duration: 2012-2014
Project Partners: Bioversity International
Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) are a centre of crop origin and domestication, including many fruit and nut-bearing tree species which have a significant role in local people’s livelihoods. Wild forms and farmer cultivars of globally important fruit and nut species such as apple, wild pear, apricot, almond, pistachio, walnut, cherry plum, cherry, hawthorn, buckthorn and rowan originate in the region. Rural families use fruits and nuts for home consumption and derive on average 25% of their annual income from sales of fruits, nuts and fruit products. Genetic resources of fruit and nut species are threatened as market forces drive farmers to limit their crops to a few saleable varieties, and as a result of over-exploitation and degradation of natural ecosystems, changing climate and associated biotic factors such as increased pest and disease attacks. The genetic erosion increases the vulnerability of those people who depend on continued harvests of fruits and nuts, and that of their traditional knowledge on the management and uses of the resources which is also at risk as a consequence.
Women in Central Asia face particular constraints in sustaining benefits from fruit tree resources, because their rights to land and resources are often not safeguarded by traditions. Women’s access to agricultural inputs is also often particularly low. At the same time, women play significant roles in management and conservation of the diverse fruit and nut tree resources. Diversity of fruit species and varieties, including many valuable landraces and old local cultivars, is particularly high in home gardens which are traditionally maintained by women. Women perform many activities that add value to fruit and nut harvests, although these remain little documented.
The research examines the ways gender relations intersect with and influence tree management outcomes and gendered patterns of forest genetic resource use. The overarching goal of the Gender Research Fellowships Program (GRFP) is to strengthen the
capacity of national research teams to conduct gender-responsive
research. The GRFP’s specific objectives are threefold:
1) Fill knowledge gaps regarding gendered use, knowledge, skills, access, management and
conservation of tree and forest genetic resources;
2) Build skills in a set of tools that support gender transformative research;
3) Develop techniques to document gender transformative research processes