#5 - Maria Alejandra Garcia - CGIAR, Rural Women, World Food Day & Ending Poverty through Agriculture

This is a very special episode in partnership with CGIAR and CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network to recognise, International Day of Rural Women (15th October), World Food Day (16th October) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17th October). CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR Centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector. Now the participation and inclusion of rural women is so important to meet the growing need for food and eradicate poverty. Women are central to many development projects around the world. In this episode, I interview Maria Alejandra Garcia who is an Assistant Researcher at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia. She works on projects related to rice production in Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, which is culturally seen as "male crop" in the region. As such, the work that women do in rice production is often not recognized and therefore not supported. Maria Alejandra’s work is to understand how gender plays a role in agriculture and what can be done support rural women in having access to the same resources and opportunities as men. This episode brings to light the importance of good research, how it affects development programs, government policies and business decisions, and what happens when women are left out. 

People/ items mentioned in this episode:

CIAT’s website

CIAT’s blog


CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network website

CGIAR website


Show Notes:

  • Maria Alejandra explains how gender affects roles in agriculture and why this can be a problem for women [05:24] 
  • How does good research help with the problem of rural women’s lack of access to resources and opportunities in agriculture [10:25]
  • "Some studies have shown that programs of rural development that …. if we don’t include women, in same way as men in all these programs of rural development it is very difficult to achieve these [global] goals"  [16:07]
  • What is a day in the life of a researcher like? [25:36]
  • Maria Alejandra shares interesting learnings from her research on gender and agriculture, in particular, rice [32:58]
  • How can people help if they are not in research or agriculture? [42:22]
  • Three Things [50:15]