What approaches have been successful in ensuring that women and girls benefit from market-oriented agriculture and agribusiness projects? Draw on evidence from Uganda and, failing that, from Kenya and Tanzania. Where possible, examine: key challenges facing women’s increased productivity and successful responses to them; women’s access to higher return and non-farm activities and its impact on income and poverty; the benefits of and approaches to non-farm activities related to the agricultural value chain; key channels and interventions for transmission of identified benefits; intervention components or complementary interventions critical to success; interventions that have not worked, failed to include or negatively impacted women.
Knowledge about women’s and girls’ benefits from commercial agriculture is limited but sufficient to form the basis of this report.
- Internal obstacles include: ownership, tenure and access in relation to land; a gendered division of labour and time; unequal domestic decision-making power; interactions between poverty, the harvest cycle and the food market; and changing household profiles and gender dynamics.
- Problems with national and international approaches are manifested by their limited success and some shortcomings to date. Persistent problems include: de facto gender and middle class biases; the creation of local dependency; problematic assumptions (e.g. promoting legal changes as a key means to change ownership of land); and a lack of gender mainstreaming.
- Promising approaches for national and international action are:
- Making interventions work for women and girls.
Making commercial food markets work for women’s income and assets.
- Securing land tenure and legal awareness for women.
- Strengthening cooperative action and participation, amongst others through farmer groups.
- Equipping women and girls better, through improved extension services and farmer field schools, agricultural inputs, appropriate technologies and dissemination of information.
- Making markets work for household food security, by promoting women’s crops, supporting crop diversity and security women’s rights to the cereal harvest.
Combaz, E. Women&#8217;s and girls&#8217; benefits from market-oriented agriculture in Uganda (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 998). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2013) 15 pp.