Hortinlea is an interdisciplinary research project addressing food security in East Africa, particularly in Kenya. 18 East African and German universities and research institutes work collaboratively to produce and distribute knowledge in order to increase horticultural production and consumption, especially of indigenous vegetables. The overall goal is to improve the livelihood and nutritional situation of the rural and urban poor.
Gender Order: Embedding gender in horticulture value chains to close or reduce the productivity gap
This crosscutting subproject intends to empirically understand the gender dynamics in the horticultural value chain. It will investigate the changes within gender arrangements, in the division of labour and in productivity (productivity gap), that take place when a shift from a subsistence economy to a more market and partly export oriented production system takes place. Considering the important role of women in agriculture and horticulture with their overall contribution to food security, this project regards gender analysis and learning as important for understanding the complex interrelationship between food production, resources management and social relations.
The Meal Cultures subproject aims at understanding the cultural, social and gendered embeddedness of food security by investigating food habits and meal cultures. The underlying argument is that it is important to take account of people’s preferences and habits concerning food and nutrition in order to identify barriers to sustainable food security. Moreover, it is important to put nutritional habits and meal cultures in relation to social and gendered power hierarchies and socio-ecological problems. Ultimately, the objective is to broaden the concepts of food systems and value chains and thereby to significantly contribute to the improvement of the livelihood situation of rural and urban poor in Kenya.