On this quiet Sunday, the research team set off to visit three greenhouses nearby the compound we are staying in. This included greenhouses at Makump Bana, Mayoloh, and Mayagbah. The rest of the greenhouse team remained at the WHI center on various projects.
Again working with revised questions for each study, from water savings, to gender equity, to water conceptualization, we were able to collect even more data for analysis. After Atyia returned from the field she began to identify trends and challenges regarding gender equity within the data.
The gender equity study involves questioning women involved with greenhouse farming about how the tool is affecting them and what their role is the overall system is. We’ve been asking them about their support systems, how they learned to grow in the greenhouse, and whether or not the greenhouses are improving their lives, as in is the time, money and food worth all of the effort of changing their farming practices. We also wanted to know how involved they are in decision making with the greenhouse and whether or not their voice is being heard. Of course, we assessed how many of our farmers are women and whether or not we are providing them equal training, support, and attention. It is important for us to understand the level of ownership our women farmers have of the greenhouse they are involved with. In the case of associations, it is also critical to ensure that our women farmers are able to benefit from the group effort and that they are not being disregarded when the fruits of their toil are being distributed. We have also asked these women whether or not they would like to take their involvement in a group greenhouse to having their own personal greenhouse that their run on a commercial basis. Though it seems as if many would be interested in doing so, it is unclear whether or not they will actually take the steps to purchase their own greenhouse. This information will be integrated into a protocol on gender equity within the greenhouse supply chain and reported back to USAID as per their request. We will also be comparing our practices with those of similar ventures that we have found in the literature.