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Innovative agricultural extension for women : a case study in Cameroon (Inglês)

Agricultural extension has not been particularly kind to Africa's women farmers. On a continent where women produce 90 percent of the food and 60 percent of total agricultural output, insensitivity and neglect by extension services is the norm. Numerous case studies have pointed out the "gender gap" that exists in the provision of extension services to women farmers. Compared to male farmers or farming couples, women farmers receive far less attention from extension services, thus benefiting less from improved farming techniques. However, in Cameroon's North West province, over the last five years, the Mission de Developpement de la Province du Nord-Ouest (MIDENO), has been implementing a project to improve agricultural production in the province. In terms of agricultural extension, the project has hired almost 200 new extension agents, one-fourth of whom are women. The overall representation of women in the extension service is now 18.3 percent, among the highest in developing countries. The paper is organized into three Chapters : Chapter I deals with the agricultural and policy setting in which MIDENO was designed; Chapter II is devoted to the MIDENO case study; Chapter III attempts to generalize from the MIDENO case and determines the extent to which the MIDENO's experience and success can be sustained and replicated.




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