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“Hacking” Philanthropy: Infrastructure interventions as a tool of empowerment for the female farmers in Nigeria

The research of this project explored the role of Ford Foundation and its trustees in the so-called “developing world” and, more specifically, in Nigeria after the country’s independence with the creation and funding of IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture). The IITA expanded the strategic and geographic scope of the Green Revolution while boosted cassava yield eventually out-fought local richer in nutrients cultivations and contributed to making Nigeria the largest cassava producer in the world. By revealing the correlations between philanthropy, politics, food production, technology, economy, and female rights, the proposal rejects a solutionist design - such as the solutions that have been provided in the past by the western experts - and tries to engage the troubled landscape and the consequences of the western philanthropic interventions without presuming to fix them. It provides infrastructure and information through technology to women farmers to collect data and information regarding their crops but at the same time, it provides them the ability to manage their data and acquire community control authority over the tools provided.