Nelly Bassily | January 14, 2008
Whether preventing post-harvest losses, preparing crops for the market, or cooking meals, women are often responsible for processing harvests. These labour intensive processes – like shelling groundnuts – are essential to turning crops into food and income for rural families. But as this story demonstrates, the work can sometimes be made easier when women pool their resources and try new processing methods or technologies.
You may consider researching a story about women and post-harvest processing in your area, by seeking to answer questions such as:
-What sorts of post-harvest food processing work are commonly carried out by women in your area?
-Has anyone in your area developed a new technology or production process to make processing more efficient? Have agriculture extension workers or NGOs introduced any such technologies or methods to your area; if so, have farmers found them useful?
-In what ways do women on your area work together to make food processing more efficient?
You may also consider using one of these scripts from DCFRN’s most recent package, on women working together to process crops:
–Fonio (Package 82, Script 6 November 2007) describes how women combine their time, money, and cooking knowledge to prepare nutritious meals
–Rural women process and sell shea butter (Package 82, Script 8, November 2007) describes how a women’s association shares the time-consuming work of turning shea nuts into shea butter
These scripts discuss issues of appropriate technology and women:
–Appropriate farming tools for African women farmers (Package 82, Script 7
–Improved cookstoves make life easier for women (Package 73, Script 2, January 2005)
Finally, you can find video and audio clips on the Universal Nut Sheller and the Full Belly Project here:
-Video (9 minutes):
-Audio (28 minutes):