Women find business opportunities
with mechanization

Tools make it easier to operate farm machinery and inspire entrepreneurial women

Social norms and the physical effort required to operate heavy farm machinery can exclude women from agriculture and related business opportunities.

Through mechanization solutions, CIMMYT is helping women to overcome these challenges and become successful entrepreneurs.

In Nepal, women head more and more farming households, as their partners and young men have left to work abroad. However, women are not always familiar with farming practices, especially heavy equipment. Through the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), CIMMYT introduced farmers in Nepal to the precision spreader, a hand-operated device that is easy and convenient to use for all. It also distributes fertilizer evenly, so farmers use the right amount and save money.

Starting two-wheel tractors can also pose a challenge for women entrepreneurs. Halima Begum, a farmer in Bangladesh’s Chuadanga district, wanted to provide mechanization services for other farmers in the area, to increase her income. However, cranking to start up the tractor required a lot of strength and she had to rely on others for help.

Now, using an electronic self-starter, she can start the tractor with the flick of a lever. This device reduces the risk of accidents and encourages women and youth to become entrepreneurs of agricultural mechanization services. CIMMYT, through the CSISA project, is manufacturing these self-starter attachments for two-wheel tractors in Bangladesh.

Similarly, in Zimbabwe, Agatha Dzvengwe and Marianne Jaji have become successful entrepreneurs as two-wheel tractor service providers. One of the key outcomes of the Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) project, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), is to increase awareness among women and youth of the business opportunities related to small-scale mechanization.

“We have been freed from the burden of toiling in the field. Now that I own a two-wheel tractor, the society respects me more,” Jaji said.

Partners and funders

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

© 2020 International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
We would like to thank all funders who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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CREDITS

Editors-in-chief
Rodrigo Ordóñez, Geneviève Renard
Project coordination
Alison Doody, Emma Orchardson
Art directors
Clyde R. Beaver III, Alfonso Cortés, Nancy Valtierra
Layout and design
Nancy Valtierra
Web development
Ricardo López
Graphics and illustrations
Ángel Eduardo Aguilar, Clyde R. Beaver III, Alfonso Cortés, Marcelo Ortiz, Eliot Sánchez,
Nancy Valtierra
Writers and editors
Ricardo Curiel, Leslie Domínguez, Mary Donovan, Alison Doody, Jennifer Johnson, G. Michael Listman, Marcia MacNeil, Marta Millere, Matthew O’Leary, Emma Orchardson, Samuel Storr
Contributors
Ricardo Ampudia, Lone Badstue, Hans Braun, Johanna Braun, José Juan Caballero Flores, Denise Costich, Susanne Dreisigacker, Andrea Gardeazabal Monsalue, Elias Garcia, Bram Govaerts, Filippo Guzzon, Jesús Herrera, M.L. Jat, Victor Kommerell, Timothy J. Krupnik, Jean-Flavien Le Besque, Joshua Masinde, Terence Molnar, Dina Najjar, Natalia Palacios, Thomas Payne, Kevin Pixley, B.M. Prasanna, Michael Quinn, Rajiv Kumar Sharma, H.S. Sidhu, José Luis Torres, Martha Wilcox
Photography
Alfonso Cortés, Georg Goergen/IITA, Uttam Kumar, Peter Lowe, Johnson Siamachira, Love Kumar Singh/BISA, Sam Storr, CIMMYT Archives
ISSN#
0188-9214
Correct citation
CIMMYT. 2020. Seeds of change. CIMMYT Annual Report 2019. CDMX, Mexico: CIMMYT.
AGROVOC descriptors:
Maize; Wheat; Plant breeding; Genetic resources; Innovation adoption; Plant biotechnology; Seed production; Food security; Sustainability; Research policies; Economic analysis; Cropping systems; Agricultural research; Organization of research; Developing countries. Additional Keywords: CIMMYT. AGRIS category codes: A50 Agricultural Research; A01 Agriculture– General Aspects. Dewey decimal classification: 630

© International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), 2020. All rights reserved. The designations employed in the presentation of materials in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of CIMMYT or its contributory organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. CIMMYT encourages fair use of this material. Proper citation is requested.

ACRONYMS

ACIAR
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
AGROSAVIA
Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation (Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria)
ATA
Agricultural Transformation Agency
BISA
Borlaug Institute in South Asia
BrAPI
Breeding Advanced Programming Interface
CCAFS
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security
CIAT
International Center for Tropical Agriculture
CIMMYT
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
CRP
CGIAR Research Program
CSISA
Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia
CSSRI
Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
EIAR
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
EiB
CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform
FACASI
Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification
FAO
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
ICAR
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
ICARDA
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
IFPRI
International Food Policy Research Institute
IIASA
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
IITA
International Institute for Tropical Agriculture
INIFAP
Mexico's National Forestry, Crops and Livestock Research Institute (Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias)
IRRI
International Rice Research Institute
MAIZE
CGIAR Research Program on Maize
MENA
Middle East and North Africa
MDGs
Millennium Development Goals
ODK
Open Data Kit
OPV
Open-pollinated variety
PET
Polyethylene terephthalate
PIM
CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets
R&D
Research and Development
SADER
Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (Secretaría de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural)
SDGs
Sustainable Development Goals
SDSN
Sustainable Development Solutions Network
SMS
Straw Management System
STMA
Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa
TReNDS
Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics
UN
United Nations
USAID
United States Agency for International Development
WHEAT
CGIAR Research Program on Wheat

Sustainable Development Goals

On September 24, 2013, the newly formed United Nations (UN) High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held its first meeting. At the Rio+20 Conference, Member States also agreed to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were to build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were established in 2000 and expired in 2015.

Of the 17 individual goals, 10 relate directly to CGIAR activities and to CIMMYT’s mandate. The SDGs have set the pathway for the next 15 years of agricultural, social, and economic development. Likewise, CGIAR has transformed its approach to ensure that its work aligns with the ambitious goals.

CIMMYT, through its research for development activities, is working toward a world free of poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation. CIMMYT and CGIAR efforts help bring the world closer to reaching the goals, such as the empowerment of women, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the improvement of health and nutrition for the world’s poorest people.

CIMMYT’s work contributes to the following SDGs:

About CIMMYT

CIMMYT — the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center — is the global leader in publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. Headquartered near Mexico City, CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR System and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat and the Excellence in Breeding Platform. The Center receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.

For more information, visit www.cimmyt.org.