What drives capacity to innovate? Insights from women and men small-scale farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Badstue, L and Lopez, D E and Umantseva, A and Williams, G and Elias, M and Farnworth, C R and Rietveld, A and Njuguna, E M and Luis, J and Najjar, D and Kandiwa, V (2018) What drives capacity to innovate? Insights from women and men small-scale farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security, 3 (1). pp. 54-81. ISSN 2413-922X

[img] PDF (It is an Open Access article) - Published Version
Download (824kB)


What are key characteristics of rural innovators? How are their experiences similar for women and men, and how are they different? To examine these questions, we draw on individual interviews with 336 rural women and men known in their communities for trying out new things in agriculture. The data form part of 84 GENNOVATE community case studies from 19 countries. Building on study participants’ own reflections and experiences with innovation in their agricultural livelihoods, we combine variable-oriented analysis and analysis of specific individuals’ lived experience. Results indicate that factors related to personality and agency are what most drive women’s and men’s capacity to innovate. Access to resources is not a prerequisite but rather an important enabling aspect. Different types of women have great potential for local innovation, but structural inequalities make men better positioned to access resources and leverage support. Men’s support is important when women challenge the status quo.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH)
CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
CGIAR Research Program on Gender & Agricultural Research Network
CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)
CGIAR Research Program on Maize
CGIAR Research Program on Rice
CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas
CGIAR Research Program on Wheat
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capacity to innovate, gender norms, agency and negotiation, personality traits, diffusion of innovations, gender and youth
Subjects: Others > Smallholder Farmers
Others > Innovation
Others > Asia
Others > Africa
Others > Gender Research
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2019 09:40
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/11185
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: This paper draws on data collected as part of GENNOVATE case studies funded by the CGIAR Research Programs on Wheat, Maize, Grain Legumes, Humidtropics and Rice, as well as RTB (Roots, Tubers and Bananas), A4NH (Agriculture for Nutrition and Health) and FTA (Forests, Trees and Agroforestry). Development of research design and field methodology was supported by the CGIAR Gender & Agricultural Research Network, the World Bank, the governments of Mexico and Germany, and the CGIAR Research Programs on Wheat and Maize. Data analysis was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The authors wish to thank the women and men farmers who participated in this research, as well as the local data collection teams in each of the study countries. Two competent teams led by Diana E Lopez in Mexico and Lucila Rozas Urrunaga in Peru coded the case studies. A special thank you also goes to our two anonymous reviewers who provided valuable feedback. The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and not of any organization.
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item