Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture is needed to meet global climate policy targets. A number of low-emission development (LED) options exist in agriculture, which globally emits 10–12% of GHG emissions. In paddy rice production, alternative wetting and drying (AWD) can reduce emissions by up to 48%. Co-benefits of AWD include lower water consumption, lower use of fertilizer and seeds, and higher resistance to some pests and diseases. These are expected to result in improved benefits for individual farmers while lowering the sector’s overall contribution to GHG emissions. Women are strongly involved in rice production, hence improving their access to AWD technology, participation in decisions about it, and capacity to use it influences AWD adoption and resulting emissions. Involving women in AWD and LED more broadly also can provide distributional and procedural justice gains for women. The authors develop a conceptual model to show how these issues can be integrated. They suggest that intermediary organizations such as farmer associations and women’s organizations are central to enabling women to realize their personal goals while allowing gender to be taken to scale in LED, as is the case for other technology interventions. This requires work to expand their social capacities. A case study developed from work on taking gender-responsive LED to scale in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, illustrates the model.
February 15, 2018