Gender Constraints and Rice Varietal Characteristics Preferences in Lowland Rice Ecosystem in Ghana

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This study examined the constraints and differences in varietal preferences for male and female rice farmers in lowland rice ecosystem in Ashanti Region of Ghana. Successful development interventions such as dissemination of improved rice varieties are, by their nature, transformative but paying attention to gender constraints and varietal preferences will always make them more effective. Yet, these issues are not adequately documented and analyzed in adoption studies. A total sample size of seventy (70) rice farmers was randomly selected for an in-depth individual interview, using structured questionnaires. Analytical tools used were mainly descriptive and statistical methods. The results indicate that gender constraints are influenced by gender roles. The male constraints are lack of credit to expand cultivation, land preparation, bird scaring, land availability and weeding, whilst their female counterparts are credited to expand cultivation, bird scaring, weeding, labour availability and land preparation. Furthermore, the varietal preferences of males are marketability, good taste, good cooking quality, medium plant height and good aroma, whilst good taste, early maturity, high yield, high tillering ability and marketability loom very large in females’ choice of rice varieties characteristics. The paper concludes that Ghana needs to review her rice breeding policies to confront the challenge of low adoption of improved rice varieties, and in doing this gender constraints and preferences for varietal characteristics should be factored into breeding.
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Developing Country Studies ISSN 2224-607X (Paper) ISSN 2225-0565 (Online) Vol.4, No.15, 2014