Gender in Agriculture Partnership

Transforming agriculture to empower women and deliver food, nutrition and income security

Africa RISING publishes guidelines for capturing gender-sensitive stories in agricultural research and development

Gender-sensitive story writing is not only a professional and ethical aspiration but it can also improve development efforts and co-create more gender-balanced and inclusive societies.

From this conviction, Africa RISING has developed guidelines for capturing gender-sensitive stories which focus on gender-aware selection of sources, stories and visual material, the elimination of stereotypes and the use of fair language.

Practical case examples are given for readers. The authors analyse two example stories and critique of a selection of photos published by Africa RISING for their level of gender sensitivity.

This resource is meant to be a quick reference guide for partners implementing the project as they work with smallholder farmers to gather stories. It will also be used as foundational instruction material for subsequent trainings provided by the project communications team on how partners can effectively document success stories which are a standard requirement for all United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Feed the Future grants like Africa RISING.

Download the Guidelines HERE.
















Comparing the maize and OFSP enterprises, a profitability analysis revealed a higher gross margin for sweet potato (ZMW 33,633.80) than for maize (ZMW  ̶132.85) on a per ha basis. This indicates a BCR (Benefits Cost Ratio) of 2.34 for OFSP and ̶0.09 for maize. Therefore, for every ZMW 1 the Mumbas spend on growing OFSP they gain a benefit of ZMW 2.34 more, unlike their comparative loss of ZMW ̶0.09 realized from growing maize.


Future outlook in the face of changing weather patterns

The effects of changing weather patterns have, however, not spared the Mumbas. Poor rainfall in the 2015/2016 seasons negatively affected their dry-season production of roots and vines as their shallow wells dried up. Because of low productivity, they earned ZMW 2,550 from bartering only thirty 50 kg bags in 2016 from the dry-season production of the previous season. Still this income was good enough for the family to be able to buy other food stuff that they did not grow that year. For 2017, from OFSP vines produced in the 2016 dry season, they bartered 130 50kg bags of maize.


‘I am thankful that we got into this OFSP vine and root production venture,’ Mervis says. ‘It is changing our lives for the better. We have been able to build a house and are now planning to save up and buy a car that will enable us to expand our vine supply even to neighbouring villages. We are still learning new things as we go along.’


The Mumbas’ success story highlights how improved agricultural technologies placed in the hands of innovative ‘lead’ farmers can lead to significant improvement in livelihoods, ensure widespread scaling of improved agricultural technologies, and ensure farmer-friendly value chains that respond to localized community needs’ development.


The Africa RISING going to scale in Eastern Province of Zambia project is working to spread the OFSP and other improved agricultural technologies through various approaches and channels. In the OFSP scaling strategy, lead farmers such as Mervis and Aaron are known as decentralized vine multipliers (DVMs) who supply OFSP vine to their ‘local’ communities. Currently the project is working with 214 DVMs through an intricate and strategic network that ensures sweet potato planting material moves from the research stations to the farmers.

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