Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

By Chris Knight and Elizabeth Asiimwe
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Global Development

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, Gender-Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) will host its first virtual Symposium on Gender Responsive Crop Breeding: Community Research Showcase. The live event will be accessible by Zoom and Facebook Live. The broadcast will begin at the following regional times on November 24, 2020:

  • 8 a.m. EST (New York)
  • 1 p.m. GMT (London)
  • 2 p.m. WAT (Abuja)
  • 4 p.m. EAT (Kampala)
  • 5:30 p.m. IST (New Delhi)
  • 8 p.m. WIB (Jakarta)

The event will bring together interdisciplinary research teams of plant breeders, pathologists, socio-economists, anthropologists, food processing and quality experts from more than 10 countries in Anglo and Francophone sub-Saharan Africa to share their work. The  presenters are from a range of institutions including National agricultural research Institutions, universities, and CG Centers. The event will summarize these research teams’ work to produce crop improvement focused agricultural research that delivers equitable benefits to women, men, boys and girls. Since its establishment in 2016, GREAT has trained more than 250 professionals in gender responsive agricultural research methods.

A full program is available on the GREAT website.

The talks will be presented by teams formerly trained by GREAT, as well as GREAT mentors and trainers.  There will also be a panel presentation featuring speakers from the gender and plant breeding ecosystem. The presentations will revolve around gendered participatory varietal selection, gender dynamics in breeding systems, intrahousehold relations influencing seed access among others.  

Key presentations at the Symposium on Gender Responsive Crop Breeding: Community Research Showcase will include:

  • Dynamics of Farm Work, Household Duties and Labour Engagement for Men and Women in Maize Production in Northern Ghana by Eyram Natson;
  • Gendered varietal and trait preferences of common bean value chain actors in Uganda: Implications for breeding by Eileen Nchanji; 
  • Gender dynamics in banana seed systems and impacts on banana bunchy top disease recovery in Cameroon by GREAT Fellows Lillian Nkengla and Bonaventure Omondi,
  • Insights and lessons from gender-responsive RTB food product profiling studies in East and West Africa by Lora Forsthye; and
  • Reflections on Gender Integration at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab by Jessica Marter Kenyon.

GREAT Principal Investigator and co-founder, Professor Margaret Najjingo Mangheni at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda said, “We received dozens of fantastic and thoughtful abstracts from our Community of Practice (CoP) across the region. These people work on crops and food value chains that are integral to improving the livelihoods of women and men, their families, and communities at large. The work that will be showcased in this symposium demonstrates the impact GREAT has had on transforming the way researchers and their institutions approach the question of gender in agricultural research and development.

We are looking forward to seeing more agricultural researchers coming on board with the GREAT vision, that we need to equip researchers to create more inclusive and effective agricultural systems by addressing the priorities of both women and men in sub-Saharan Africa," Mangheni said.

GREAT delivers training to agricultural researchers from SSA in the theory and practice of gender-responsive crop improvement research, seeking to increase opportunities for equitable participation and the sharing of benefits from agricultural research and improve the outcomes for smallholder women farmers, entrepreneurs, and farmer organizations across sub-Saharan Africa.

By building and engaging communities of researchers equipped with the skills, knowledge, and support systems to develop and implement gender-responsive projects, GREAT advances gender-responsiveness as the norm and standard for agricultural research and crop improvement.

GREAT is a collaboration between the Department of Global Development at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

GREAT leadership

Margaret Najjingo Mangheni
GREAT co-director
Makerere University

Faculty profile

GREAT leadership

Hale Ann Tufan
GREAT co-director
Cornell University
Cornell Global Development

Faculty profile

Margaret Mangheni
Female professor stands in outdoor archway

Keep Exploring

Louise Erskine looks off into the distance holding a camera

Field Note

Building Food and Community Solidarity Across North America: A Photo Series

  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture
  • Global Development


Migrations initiative wins $5M Mellon grant for racial justice

Migrations: A Global Grand Challenge, part of Global Cornell, has won a three-year, $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Just Futures Initiative that will bring together scholars across the university and beyond to study the links between racism, dispossession and migration.

  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development