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Employment of women & youth

Key beneficiaries targeted by the initiative are women and youth and small enterprises were initiated and supported to encourage these two demographic groups to participate more fully in local agricultural sectors. New technologies were also disseminated to women and youth in target areas:

‘Cactus choppers’ were allocated mainly to women. The choppers are powered by hand and more efficiently cut cactus cladodes for ruminant consumption. Additionally, the machines are of relatively low cost (USD 326) and can be shared among small farmer households. The result: Maximizing feed resources for small ruminants, cutting down labor time and injuries, and promoting the usage of a readily available and climate-resistant crop.

Feed manufacturing units were prioritized for young entrepreneurs and sound sustainable businesses have been developed around this technology: a survey has been conducted on the seasonal availability of regional by-products; low-cost quality feed block formulas have been developed; and selected entrepreneurs have received training on business plan development. 

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Harpenden, United Kingdom, March 9 – ICARDA scientist Mustapha El Bouhssini received a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Plant Resistance to Insects.