by Dr Marcela Ramos – University of Glasgow
The social science component of the CoForLife project has been framed as being preoccupied with issues of current farmer practices and collaborative experiences – the role of indigenous knowledge; agency, collaborative learning and skills, as well as questions of farming process and adaptive practices.
Three broad questions have guided the design and data collection procedures: how climate change is experienced among male and female farmers? What are the barriers experienced while adopting new technologies to inform farming practices? What resources, opportunities and capacities do farmers have available/deploy in trying to incorporate new technologies and adapting to climate change? In November 2019, we returned to Patía to share findings from phase 1 of the project with the phase 1 participants through focus groups and presentations and to conduct new data collection activities, to further develop and enhance the gender-inclusive participatory focus that has characterized this research. In this visit, two focus groups were conducted.
The main aim of focus group one was to share preliminary findings from phase 1 of the project to include participants’ reflections and insights. In this way, we aim to assess, from a participatory perspective, if our conclusions were meaningful to the participants. Focus group two was undertaken after a presentation of the project aims and main features delivered to a women-only organization in Patía, named FUNAMUAFRO. The primary purpose of the focus group was to understand, from the perspectives of female smallholders, the challenges they have faced to develop their farming plans as a women-only organization and evaluate how their ‘farming agenda’ evolved after the first interview conducted in September 2018.
Based on the Patía fieldwork preliminary results and gender focus of the project, the proposal is to keep working with FUNAMAUFRO, to see how female farmers organized themselves to meet their goals and face particular challenges. Particularly interesting will be to follow up sub-groups organization and explore and understand sub-groups different experiences and characteristics.