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Gender Participation Role in Food Production, Processing and Utilization at Konso Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Halabo Hazo, Admasu Yirgalem, Mengistu Tumayro, Abebe Fikadu


Staple food of Konso is Sorghum and it is said as ancient crop in the area. It has drought-resistant characteristics that makes basic food source for people. It is consumed in different form of dishes like cheqa, kurkufa, genfo and qita. Food security is an important issue in communities, as the area experiences high food shortages from April to August every production year. Labor division in area is considered egalitarian. Both genders often work together in the fields, but the main labor burden falls on women. To determine labor burdens as well as record perspectives from each gender, this research utilized qualitative data collection methods. Gender-segregated focus group discussions held to feel free to share their perspectives on gendered culture in area, without pressure from others. Data were analyzed using pairwise ranking, proportional pilling and direct matrix ranking. Results indicated that in addition to household chores, working on the farm was the responsibility of the Konso women. Women played key roles, completed major field management and food production activities. Results indicated that social and cultural biases limited access to control over resources for women in female- headed household (FHH). These cultural biases prevented women from participating in community decision-making. The result of this research concluded that an improved sorghum value chain is necessary for community, with nutrition education about foods provided to households in the district. Konso farmer’s particularly females should receive training in agronomic practices and extension experts should ensure trainings and extension services are gender-sensitive and inclusive to women.


Food production, food processing, food utilization, gender role, Konso zone

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