Food Security

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 1173–1187 | Cite as

Influence of gender on roles, choices of crop types and value chain upgrading strategies in semi-arid and sub-humid Tanzania

  • T. S. MnimboEmail author
  • J. Lyimo-Macha
  • J. K. Urassa
  • H. F. Mahoo
  • S. D. Tumbo
  • F. Graef
Original Paper


Upgrading strategies for a given product value chain might not result in the intended impact on different gender groups, if gender analysis is not undertaken. This study investigated the gender influence on preferred food and cash crops, as well as upgrading strategies in sub-humid Kilosa and semi-arid Chamwino Districts, Tanzania. A mixed methods research design was used to collect information from 595 respondents, while content analysis was used to qualitatively analyze qualitative data obtained from focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Our findings show that farmers from Kilosa and Chamwino had no differences with respect to preferences expressed by men and women for their first priority cash. Gender differences for choices were evident in relation to the second priority, food crops, in the semi-arid area and the third priority, which was also food crops in the sub-humid area, where women and youth differed from men on their views toward maize versus sorghum in the semi-arid region. Here, youth differed from women and men in how they viewed cassava versus rice. For upgrading strategies, which were only conducted with the first priority crops, most of the strategies preferred by men differed from those preferred by women and youth. In both areas, youth and women preferred upgrading strategies related to crop harvesting, transportation and primary processing, whereas men preferred upgrading strategies for farm inputs and crop marketing. Therefore, it is recommended that site-specific gendered analysis on upgrading strategies in agricultural value chains should be completed prior to introducing an intervention.


Gender roles Crop types Value chains Upgrading strategies 



This paper is a product of the Trans-SEC project. Trans-SEC was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with co-finance from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The authors acknowledge the helpful suggestions by the reviewers.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Aubry, D., & Kebir, L. (2013). Shortening food supply chains: a means for maintaining agriculture close to urban areas? The case of the French metropolitan area of Paris. Food Policy, 4, 85–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blackden, M., & Canagarajah, R. S. (2003). Gender and growth in Africa: Evidence and issues. Paper prepared for UNECA Expert Meeting on Pro-Poor Growth, Kampala, Uganda.Google Scholar
  3. Bolwig, S., Ponte, S., Du Toit, A., Riisgard, L., & Halberg, N. (2010). Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into value-chain analysis: a conceptual framework. Developmental Policy Review, 28(2), 173–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Booth, A., Crouter, A. C., & Shanahan, M. J. (Eds.). (1999). Transitions to adulthood in a changing economy: No work, no family, no future? Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  5. Cagley, J. H., Cook, J. & Curran, S. (2010). Gender and cropping: Overview. EPAR brief. Accessed 6 Apr 2016.
  6. Coles C. & Mitchell J. (2011). Gender and agricultural value chains: a Review of current knowledge and practice and their policy implications. Working Paper No. 5. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.Google Scholar
  7. Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Daley, E. (2008). Gender, Uenyeji, wealth, confidence and land in Kinyanambo: the impact of commoditization, rural-urban change and land registration in Mufundi District, Tanzania. In B. Englert, E. Daley (Eds.), Women’s land rights and privatization in eastern Africa. Suffolk: James Curry Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. De Haen, H., Stamoulis, K., Shetty, P., & Pingali, P. (2003). The world food economy in the twenty-first century: Challenges for international cooperation. Development Policy Review, 21(6), 683–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Doss, C. (2002). Men’s crops? Women’s crops? The gender patterns of cropping in Ghana. World Development, 30(11), 1987–2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellis, A., Blackden, M., Cutura, J., MacCulloch, F., & Seebens, H. (2007). Gender and economic growth in Tanzania: creating opportunities for women. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  12. Emerole, C., Ihedioha, O., Anyiro, C., Nwachukwu, A., Osondu, K., & Ibezim, G. (2014). Comparative gender dimensions in food unsecured farm households in Orsu local government area of Imo state, Nigeria. American Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 4(4), 391–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fafchamps, M., & Hill, R. V. (2005). Selling at the Farmgate or traveling to market. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 87(3), 717–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. FAO (2009). Fact and figures on gender and food security-division of labour, factsheet. Rome, FAO.Google Scholar
  15. FAO (2011). The state of food and agriculture women in agriculture: closing the gender gap for development (PDF) (2010–11 ed.). Rome: FAO. ISBN 978–92–5-106768-0Google Scholar
  16. Fontana, M. (2011). The gender effects of Trade liberalization in developing countries: a Review of the literature: gender aspects of the Trade and poverty nexus: a macro-micro approach. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  17. Frertas, H., Jenkins, M. and Popjoy, O. (1998). The focus group a qualitative research method: reviewing the theory and providing guidelines to its planning. Working Paper No. 010298. ISRCGoogle Scholar
  18. Fulton, J., Ibro, G., Lowerberg-Deboer, J., & Otoo, M. (2012). Micro-entrepreneurship in Niger: Factors affecting the success of women street food vendors. Journal of African Business, 13(1), 16–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gilbert, C. L., & Morgan, C. W. (2010). Food price volatility. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B: Biological Sciences, 365(1554), 3023–3034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gómez, M., & Ricketts, K. (2013). Food value chain transformations in developing countries: Selected hypotheses on nutritional implications. Science, 332(6034), 1154–1155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Goss, J., Burch, D., & Rickson, R. (2000). Agri-food restructuring and third world transnationals: Thailand, the CP group and the global shrimp industry. World Development, 28(3), 513–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Graef, F., Sieber, S., Mutabazi, K., Asch, F., Biesalski, H., Bitegeko, J., Bokelmann, W. M., & Bruentrup, W. (2014). Framework for participatory food security research in rural food value chains. Global Food Security, 3(3), 8–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hamdani, S. (2006). Female adolescent rites and the reproductive health of young women in Morogoro, Tanzania. Accessed 20 Oct 2016.
  24. Herr, M. L., & Muzira, T. P. (2009). Value chain development for decent work: a guide for development practitioners, governments and private sector initiatives. CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland: ILO.Google Scholar
  25. Hsieh, H., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 15(9), 1277–1288.Google Scholar
  26. Hulley, S. B., Cummings, S. R. and Newman, T. B. (2013). Designing cross-sectional and cohost studies book promos. Accessed 22 Mar 2016.
  27. Ishengoma, C. G. (2004). Accessibility of resources by gender: the case of Morogoro region in Tanzania. In Gender, Economics, and Entitlement in Africa (pp. 53–66).Google Scholar
  28. Kaplinsky, R., & Morris, M. (2000). A handbook for value chain research. International Development Research Center: Ottawa.Google Scholar
  29. Kowalski, P. et al. (2015). Participation of developing countries in global value chains: Implications for trade and trade-related policies. OECD Trade Policy Papers, No. 179, OECD Publishing, Paris.Google Scholar
  30. Ludena, C. E. (2010). Agricultural productivity growth, efficiency change and technical progress in Latin American and the Caribean. IDB Working papers No. 61. Purdue Universtity.Google Scholar
  31. Lyimo-Macha, J., & Mdoe, N. (2002). Gender and rural poverty in Tanzania: case of selected villages in Morogoro rural and Kilosa districts. Draft. LADDER Working Paper No. 18.Google Scholar
  32. Marshall, M. N. (1996). The key informant technique printed Oxford University. Journal of Social Science, 13(1), 92–97.Google Scholar
  33. Mitchell, J., Coles, C., & Keane, J. (2009). Upgrading along value chains: Strategies for poverty reduction in Latin America. COPLA: Briefing paper.Google Scholar
  34. Mnenwa, R., & Maliti, E. (2010). A Comparative Analysis of Poverty Incidence in Farming Systems of Tanzania. Special Paper No. 4.REPOA, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.Google Scholar
  35. Moore, D., Notz, W., & Flinger, M. (2013). The basic practice of statistics (6th ed.). New York: Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  36. Moyo, M., Mvumi, B. M., Kunzekweguta, M., Mazvimavi, K., Craufurd, P., & Dorward, P. (2015). Farmer perceptions on climate change and variability in semi-arid Zimbabwe in relation to climatology evidence. African Crop Science Journal, 20(2), 317–335.Google Scholar
  37. Mwololo, J. K., Mugo, S., Okori, P., Tefera, T., Munyiri, S. W. (2010). Genetic diversity for resistance to larger grain borer in maize hybrids and open pollinated varieties in Kenya. In Second RUFORUM Biennial Meeting (pp. 535–539).Google Scholar
  38. Nakazibwe, P. (2014). Towards a gendered agro-commodity approach. American Sociological Association, 20(2), 229–256.Google Scholar
  39. Neven, D. (2014). Developing sustainable food value chains. In Guiding principles (pp. 86–89). Rome: (FAO) food and agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  40. Nkamleu, G. B., Nyameck, J., & Gockowski, J. (2010). Technology gap and efficiency in cocoa production in west and central Africa: Implication for cocoa sector development. Working papers series No. 104, Africa development bank, Tunis, Tunisia.Google Scholar
  41. Nweke, F. I., Spencer, D. S. C., & Lynam, J. K. (2002). The cassava transformation: Africa’s best-kept secret. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Quisumbing, A. (2011). Do men and women accumulate assets in different ways? Evidence from rural Bangladesh. IFPRI Discussion paper 1096. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  43. Quisumbing, A. R., & Pandolfelli, L. (2010). Promising approaches to address the needs of poor female farmers: resources, constraints and interventions. World Development, 38(4), 581–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Riisgaard, L., Bolwig, S., Ponte, S., du Toit, A., Halberg, N., & Matose, F. (2010). Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into value-chain analysis: a strategic framework and practical guide. Development Policy Review, 28(2), 195–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schneider, I. L., Graef, F., Schindler, J., & Sieber, S. (2014). Cultural and gender differences in assessing upgrading strategies for enhancing food security in Tanzania (pp. 1–5). Tropentag Conference on International Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development, Prague, Czech Republic.Google Scholar
  46. Shayo, R & Martin, A. (2009). Gender and diversity situational analysis Tanzania country report: Natural resources Institute (pp. 1–40)Google Scholar
  47. Shiferaw, B., et al. (2014). Managing vulnerability to drought and enhancing livelihood resilience in sub- Saharan Africa: Technological, institutional and policy options. Weather and Climate Extremes, 3, 67–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Simiyu, R. (2013). Gendered access to and utilization of land by food producers in urban Kenya. Urban Forum, 24(3), 325–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. The World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, & International Fund for Agricultural Development. (2009). Gender in agriculture: Sourcebook. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Publications.Google Scholar
  50. Tsikata, D., & Yaro, J. (2014). When a good business model is not enough: Land transactions and gendered livelihood prospects in rural Ghana. Feminist Economist, 20(1), 202–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Van Staveren, I., Diane, E., Caren, G. C., & Niluefer, C. (2007). The Feminist Economics of Trade. Routledge IAFFE advances in Feminist Economics. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Vigneri, M., & Holmes, R. (2009). When being more productive still Doesn’t pay: Gender inequality and socio-economic constraints in Ghana’s cocoa sector. Paper presented at the FAO-IFAD-ILO workshop on gaps. Rome: Trends and Current Research in Gender Dimensions of Agricultural and Rural Employment.Google Scholar
  53. Young, L., & Hobbs, J. (2002). Vertical linkages in Agri-food supply chains: Changing roles for producers, commodity groups, and government policy. Review of Agricultural Economics, 24(2), 428–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. S. Mnimbo
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Lyimo-Macha
    • 2
  • J. K. Urassa
    • 1
  • H. F. Mahoo
    • 3
  • S. D. Tumbo
    • 3
  • F. Graef
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Development Studies InstituteMorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Institute of Continuing EducationSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Engineering and Land PlanningSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  4. 4.Centre for Agricultural Landscape ResearchMünchebergGermany

Personalised recommendations