Ulufa* – “From Seed to Feed”

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*“Ulufa” means “forage” in Dari, the local language spoken in Baghlan.

What are the systemic and gendered opportunities and constraints for innovation in forage value chains in Afghanistan? How are women and men (differently) positioned within the forage value chain, and how do gendered norms and values affect women and men’s ability to engage with, and benefit from, new forage knowledge and technologies? These are some of the questions that KIT, together with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), will try to unpack during a three-day workshop in Dubai starting Monday July 3.

The workshop, funded under an agreement between the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and ICARDA, is facilitated by KIT’s Remco Mur and Yngve Braaten, in collaboration with Shinan Kassam from ICARDA. The overall objective of the workshop is to assess and create a mutual understanding of the gendered opportunities and constraints for innovation in forage value chains within Afghanistan, with a special focus on Baghlan province. The workshop is part of a joint research initiative between KIT and ICARDA that started in April 2017, and will be completed in 2018**.

20 stakeholders involved in the Afghan forage value chain are participating in the workshop, bringing their experiences and context specific knowledge to enrich KIT’s and ICARDA’s understanding of local realities in the forage value chain. The participants include Afghan government officials, researchers, development practitioners, cooperative members, private seed and input suppliers, as well as farmers.

Of specific interest to KIT and ICARDA, is interaction with women that are involved within the forage value chain in Afghanistan. Through these interactions, KIT and ICARDA aim to elicit tacit knowledge that will help to shed light on the main drivers affecting the development and adoption of new knowledge, technologies, and seed varieties within forage value chains; and thereby, how different drivers affect women and men differently. Key questions for discussion include:

  • What are the different types of forage varieties cultivated? For what purpose?
  • What are the different functions within the forage value chain, with a focus on innovation.
  • Who are the stakeholders and what are their roles within the value chain, with a focus on gender, and more specifically on the role of women given prevailing social and custom norms related to female engagement.

More information on the workshop to follow.

** The research project is part of a larger initiative implemented by ICARDA in collaboration with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Read more about the project here.