Brokering Power and Access: Case Studies of Gender and Seed Systems

Seed systems often fail smallholder farmers and particularly the marginalized groups within, such as women or individuals of lower social status. Access and availability to preferred varieties and seed can improve seed crop productivity, and income. However, economic empowerment of women has not always led to structural improvements in women’s livelihoods or social status. Drawing on two case studies from Mali and India, this talk will explore how interdisciplinary approaches to agriculture research and development, that focus on cooperatives and social networks, enabled farmers access to high-quality seed and led to self-defined social and economic empowerment.