Us In The News

By: Kristen Dechert | September 17, 2019

Annie Mumba is working to increase the percentage of women engaged in fisheries and aquaculture in her home of Zambia. Elin Torell from the University of Rhode Island brings over a decade of experience empowering women in coastal conservation and fisheries projects around the world. Mbonyiwe Chakanga believes that empowering women to take on more opportunities in fisheries and aquaculture can result in improvements in production and management throughout her district and Zambia overall.

By: Kristen Dechert | August 30, 2019

This project aims to increase quality/quantity of fish benefitting nutrition and food security in Zambia, especially for women and children in the first critical 1,000 days of life. Project objectives include assessing the current state of small fish capturing, processing, and trading activities, identifying the social and gender barriers to entry and/or participation in these value chain activities for the different actors, particularly women and youth, assessing how small captured fish are accessed by different consumer groups and consumed within households, exploring the potential of upgrading the small fish value chain by improving processing, storage, and trading methods to reduce post-harvest losses and improve food safety, and exploring the use of small dried fish for further processing into fish powder and incorporating into locally appropriate foods for enhanced nutrition.

By: Kristen Dechert | August 30, 2019

A love of learning about languages and cultures attracted Laura Ingouf to Mississippi State, and this passion continues to drive her in and out of the classroom.

The Decatur, Alabama, native is a history and anthropology double-major, College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador and Presidential Scholar who enjoys studying how culture and language are used to empower groups and communities to do good.

“I’ve always been interested in the people who stand up for what is right, the things they create and the rhetoric they use to tell other people their story,” Ingouf said. 

By: Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish | August 12, 2019

In this video, U.S. PI Kathleen Ragsdale, U.S. co-PI Mary Read-Wahidi, and Zambia co-PI Pamela Marinda discuss their research about household nutrition and U.S. PI Delbert Gatlin discusses his studyfocused on alternative fish feed for tilapia farms to address improved sustainability in aquaculture. 

By: Augusta Dwyer | May 9, 2019

When it comes to women’s tenure rights, even laws that recognize communal and collective land tenure systems may not be enough if they are not gender sensitive.

During a session on women’s tenure security over common resources at the recent World Bank conference on land and poverty in Washington D.C., researchers pointed out some of the issues that lead to situations where, as Ruth Meinzen Dick, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

By: Alan Burns, Kathleen Ragsdale, & Mary Read-Wahidi | October 26, 2018

A five-year project on gender equity in Ghana’s Northern Region, which was set to finish this year, has been extended by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for an additional three years. This research is being conducted by two Social Science Research Center (SSRC) researchers, Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale, an associate research professor, and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi, an assistant research professor.

Funded by USAID, the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab is one of 23 Feed the Future Innovations Labs located at premier U.S. universities who work with institutions in developing countries to tackle global challenges in agriculture and food security. The Soybean Innovation Lab is focused on addressing this issue by improving soybean production among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

By: Keane, R. | September 13, 2018

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi (Mississippi State University Social Science Research Center) lead SIL’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research Team. In this SoyByte, they discuss the results gleaned from SIL’s work with the WEAI+, or the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index, with added soybean modules.

By: Rosemary Keane | September 5, 2018

Although women play a critical role in agricultural growth in developing countries, men and women smallholder farmers – even within the same household – often have different needs and priorities and experience different constraints in their access to agricultural resources and decision-making power. In sub-Saharan Africa, women farmers are vulnerable to inequalities in access to land and other critical resources, education and training, and power over agricultural decision-making that impact their agricultural productivity. At the same time, USAID estimates that “by empowering women farmers with the same access to land, new technologies, and capital as men, we can increase crop yields by as much as 30 percent helping to feed a growing population.” This is increasingly important as the global population is estimated to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Researchers Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi lead the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research team. They are examining these inequalities and how they impact smallholder farmers through often complex societal pressures such as plot allotment and restrictive gender roles. 

By: Rosemary Keane | July 26, 2018

This is the first of a series of stories written by Kelly Lower and Taylor Yarbrough, research assistants to Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi of the Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center. As part of SIL’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research (SGER) team, Dr. Ragsdale, Kelly, and Taylor are visiting the Northern Region of Ghana to conduct the second wave of the Soybean Uptake and Networking Survey (SUNS II) in collaboration with SIL’s in-country partner, Catholic Relief Services/Ghana (CRS). The SGER/CRS team is working in four districts in the Northern Region, Chereponi, Karaga, Saboba, and Tolon. 

By: Rosemary Keane | July 25, 2018

This is the final installment of a series of stories written by Kelly Lower and Taylor Yarbrough, research assistants to Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi of the Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center. As part of SIL’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research (SGER) team, Dr. Ragsdale, Kelly, and Taylor visited the Northern Region of Ghana to conduct the second wave of the Soybean Uptake and Networking Survey (SUNS II) in collaboration with SIL’s in-country partner, Catholic Relief Services/Ghana (CRS). The SGER/CRS team is working in four districts in the Northern Region, Chereponi, Karaga, Saboba, and Tolon. The SGER/CRS team has also begun conducting focus groups centered on gender and land tenure with men and women smallholder farmers in each of the four districts.

Taylor: Traveling to Ghana was a profound yet humbling experience for me. After seeing many Ghanaians who were street vendors working in the streets of Accra, Tamale, and Yendi, in order to provide for themselves and their families, I found a new respect for life. I began to appreciate all that I have and consider how blessed I was. During this trip, I vowed to no longer take my life for granted or complain about the minute things that I do not have, but to be grateful for the bare necessities. 

By: Rosemary Keane | July 17, 2018

This is the third of a series of stories written by Kelly Lower and Taylor Yarbrough, research assistants to Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi of the Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center. As part of SIL’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research (SGER) team, Dr. Ragsdale, Kelly, and Taylor are visiting the Northern Region of Ghana to conduct the second wave of the Soybean Uptake and Networking Survey (SUNS II) in collaboration with SIL’s in-country partner, Catholic Relief Services/Ghana (CRS). The SGER/CRS team is working in four districts in the Northern Region, Chereponi, Karaga, Saboba, and Tolon. 

By: USAID Agrilinks | May 17, 2018

Land tenure becomes an essential component of high yield, profitability, and sustained success growing soy.  Research at SIL’s SMART farm highlights the importance of preparing a good seed bed, raising soil pH to reduce acidity, and crop rotation to manage disease and pests.  All three of these criteria involve farmer investment in their land to improve soil quality and have the confidence that they will be able to obtain a return on their investments over time.

By: Rosemary Keane | May 9, 2018

This webinar is designed for non-social scientists who would like to use focus groups to better inform program planning, evaluation, needs assessments, gathering staff input, advocacy, or change management. We will draw from real-world experiences from the Soybean Innovation Lab conducting focus groups among men and women smallholder farmers in Ghanaian villages.

By: Sasha Steinberg | April 26, 2018

Animal and dairy sciences, biochemistry, biological engineering, chemical engineering, human sciences and psychology were among academic programs well-represented during Mississippi State University’s recent Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Hosted by the university’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, the annual competition received 165 submissions from students conducting faculty-guided research. 

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Email: genderimpactslab@ssrc.msstate.edu

 
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