Asst. Professor Andrew Bell Leads Study on Balancing Agriculture & Conservation – Shows Women Are Integral to Sustainability

As BU Today writes, Asst. Professor Bell’s study “used video games to test ways of balancing agriculture and conservation — and found getting more women involved in decision-making may boost productivity and the planet’s health.”  

The international research team created three video games: GooseBump, NonCropShare, and SharedSpace. These simulations were given to farmers in seven countries to investigate reactions to crop yield vs. conservation concerns.  

The study, published in Communications Earth & Environment, found that putting women in charge of agricultural decisions creates better outcomes for both production and conservation.  

Sarobidy Rakotonarivo, a co-author of the study, noted that “[s]mall-scale rural farmers, although often portrayed as having low levels of education, are capable of wise choices. They are not the key obstacles to conservation as often assumed. Obstacles may be simply broader social barriers, such as very low agricultural productivity, that need to be addressed by other types of programs.” 

The full study can be found here.  

The BU Today article can be found here: How Do We Make Farming Better for the Planet? Ask Women

*All quotes are from the BU Today article, written by Andrew Thurston.