Even though in conventional farming, tilling was thought to increase soil fertility, in the long run, tilling reduces organic matter in the soil.
A shift to minimum tilling can be helpful but it may increase effort and require more time to be spent in weeding. If the costs and benefits are different for men and women then they may face different incentives to adopt this practice. In some communities, men till and women weed. Minimum tilling can reduce the time men spend moving the soil but can increase the time required of women for weeding.
In Burkina Faso, a project was implemented that taught farmers minimum tilling practices. However, these practices may or may not have been as beneficial for women as it was for men.
As seen in this example, Awa's work burden was increased as a result of adopting minimum tilling practices on her farm.
Another practice in soil management is pit plantation.
The practice of planting pits was used in this example in Burkina Faso.
This exercise challenges us to think of how planting pits can affect men and women differently.
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