By Robert Shaffer, Vital Signs Fellows &Scientists_DSSG 2017 ,Africa Innovations Institute,Tanzania Forest Conservation Group,Wildlife Conservation Society Rwanda,The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Ghana
This analysis is a result of the collaboration between the eScience Insitute Data Science for Social Good Program and Vital Signs. Learn more about this program here.
In developing countries, agricultural intensification (defined as increased input per unit of land) is a key phenomenon of interest. These inputs may include land, fertilizers, pesticides and labor including use of agricultural machinery. Increasing agricultural intensification can contribute to aggregate-level increases in food availability and economic performance. However, these benefits may not be evenly distributed, largely based on unequal access to key inputs, either across landscapes or countries or according to some demographic feature of interest.
For the purposes of this study, we focus on investigating gender- and income-based equity outcomes as they relate to availability and usage of agricultural inputs. Previous studies examining the relationship between gender and input usage have returned mixed results; , for example, found organic fertilizer usage is substantially higher in male-headed households than female-headed households. By contrast, usage of improved fallows is largely unrelated to gender of household head. Here, we extend this investigation across an array of agricultural intensification indicators, and examine how usage of these inputs varies by gender and country in the Vital Signs dataset. We conclude by examining the relationship between input usage and landscape-level income and education equity outcomes.