International Women’s Day: How Kenya’s plant breeding stations are investing in women in science

Media: Smart Farmer Africa

In agricultural research, a notable gender gap persists, particularly within the crop breeding sector. While women have often been well-represented in breeding labs and offices, they’ve been less present in field research work. In Kenya, the disparity in this sector is often rooted in cultural norms and community values. This can be seen in plant breeding stations, where tasks such as mechanization, field and outstation trial management are disproportionately led by men.

Just a few years back for example, almost all the technicians working in field stations and data collection at CGIAR1 Kiboko plant breeding stations were men, forming male-dominated teams about 90% of the time.

But things are changing. More and more women are stepping into these field technical roles, and here’s how it’s happening.