Gender roles in agricultural production in the Seychelles
This study examined the role of each member of the family in food production, investigated the type of farming activities the farm families are engaged in, gender specific roles, level of participation of the female gender, gender stereotypes and suggested the use of the information for policy advocacy and strengthening of agricultural service delivery in the Seychelles. Two investigative tools were used namely Focus Group
Discussion (FGD) and Interview Schedule.Atotal of 100 farmers were interviewed. The study revealed that the farmers were mainly crop farmers. There were no gender specific roles or stereotypes. Men were more involved in all the food production activities except food processing. Other areas of high level women participation were marketing (81%), farm hygiene (76%), record keeping (42.9%)and purchasing of inputs(81%). Low level female participation was a result of attitudinal change, difficult agricultural land terrain, unfavorable government policy and unwholistic approach of agricultural extension services which focused on only the farmer instead of the entire farm family. To achieve sustainable food production in order to ensure food security, the extension services need a new orientation and better funding to enable it carry out its function. The government should make available cultivable lands for food production and encourage women to own their own farms by giving priority to them in land allocation.
Keywords: Gender, role, production, stereotype