Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Gender und Globalisierung



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Multiple Dimensions of Food Sovereignty
HORTINLEA Conference

Organised by the Division of Gender and Globalisation
June 23rd and 24th, 2016

Invalidenstr. 42, Room 1231

The world community is still confronted with high levels of hunger and malnutrition. The globalization of food—that is, export-oriented intensive agricultural production and the global sourcing strategies of dominant retailers—has intensified the problem of food and nutrition insecurity: There is evidence that the realization of higher crop yields through large-scale agriculture with high inputs of agrochemicals, such as hybrid seeds, fertilizers and pesticides holds many environmental, economic and health risks. Agricultural intensification leads, as many studies show, to a loss of biodiversity and natural resources and, thus, endangers food security and sustainable livelihoods. The loss of biodiversity goes hand in hand with a lack of dietary diversity which leads to micronutrient deficiencies or “hidden hunger”.
There is a significant body of scholarship that critically scrutinizes the globalization of food and calls for a relocalization of food practices in order to realize food sovereignty. This conference aims at critically discussing the conditions for localized food practices and food sovereignty from a feminist perspective. This will be done by particularly scrutinizing the potential of traditional underutilized crops, such as African indigenous leafy vegetables (AIVs) in Kenya, to tackle gendered power asymmetries in food production and consumption at local level. Indigenous leafy greens are portrayed as a panacea for food and nutrition insecurity; they inherently have the potential for more diversified and sustainable ways of food production and consumption. However, there is a growing trend of commercializing the production of traditional crops. How does this affect gender dynamics, social reproduction and sustainable livelihoods at local level? What are critical conditions for a relocalization of food practices and food sovereignty from a feminist perspective? What can we learn for the case of AIVs in Kenya?



Thursday, June 23rd

9:00 – 9:15
Welcome Remarks     
Christine Bauhardt Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Gülay Çağlar, Freie-Universität Berlin, Germany

9:15 – 10:45
How does HORTINLEA Relate to Questions of Food Sovereignty?    
Gülay Çağlar, Freie-Universität Berlin, Germany

10:45 – 11:00
Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30
From Protest to Policy: The Challenge of Institutionalizing Food Sovereignty
Hannah Wittman, University of British Columbia, Canada

12:30 – 14:15    

14:15 – 15:45
Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility – A Case Study from Kenya
Alexandra Kelbert, Institute of Development Studies, UK

15:45 – 16:00
Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:30
Domestic Value Chains and Innovation in Kenya: Reflections from a Gender Perspective
Anne Kingiri, African Center for Technology Studies, Kenya

17:30 – 18:30



Friday, June 24th

9:00 – 10:30
The Role of Women in Contributing to Food Sovereignty: The Case of African Indigenous Vegetables in Kenya
Emma Oketch and Ruth Githiga, African Center for Technology Studies, Kenya

10:30 – 10:45
Coffee Break

10:45 – 12:15
Redefining Indigenous Food: Local Perspectives on AIV Consumption in Kenya
Meike Brückner, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Anne Aswani, African Center of Technology Studies, Kenya

12:15 – 14:00

14:00 – 15:30
An Institutional Perspective on the Role of Women's Collective Action for Value Chain Participation. A Study Conducted in the Peri-Urban Area of Nakuru, Kenya
Wiebke Crewett and Sarah Beyer, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

15:30 – 15:45
Coffee Break

15:45 – 17:15
Utilizing Local Diversity to Promote Value Chains of Indigenous Vegetables: Gendered Effects of Value Chain Upgrading in Kenya
Lusike Wasilwa, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya


Wrap-up and End of Workshop

Contact:     Meike Brückner (,
                 Division of Gender und Globalisation