International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Is Push-Pull Climate and gender smart for Ethiopia? A review

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Across sub-Saharan Africa, climate change is exacerbating pest problems for smallholder farmers. Push-pull technology (PPT) is an agronomic package designed to reduce the effects of Striga and stemborers on maize and sorghum production. As PPT is promoted in new areas, including Ethiopia, there is a need to review the evidence that the technology helps farmers mitigate or adapt to climate change. Furthermore, proponents need to consider whether tasks associated with establishing and maintaining PPT may worsen existing gender burdens. We assess whether PPT is climate- and gender-smart based on a review of 40 publications that included field experiments or farmer surveys. We find strong evidence that intercropping with drought-tolerant Desmodium effectively reduces Striga abundance and enhances grain yield. Although gender influences PPT adoption, there is a lack of knowledge about additional labor requirements for women. We recommend research focusing on 1) the efficacy of PPT under different climate conditions, 2) optimal timing of planting push and pull species; 3) evaluation of fodder outputs; 4) water requirements associated with establishment; and 5) implications for gender burden across cultural contexts. We suggest a participatory approach that integrates farmers’ perspectives to support climate mitigation, adaptation, and gender equity.

Publication Title

Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

Publication Date

1-1-2022

Volume

46

Issue

1

First Page

23

Last Page

55

ISSN

21683565

DOI

10.1080/21683565.2021.1958972

Keywords

climate change, Desmodium, Ethiopia, gender, push-pull technology, stemborer, Striga

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