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Mainstreaming Gender Sensitivity in Cash Crop Market Supply Chains

Abstract

Gender-specific constraints on the production and marketing of cash crops have important implications for the ability of men and women to participate in market-oriented agricultural growth and development. This chapter analyzes how gender inequalities in resources result in different levels of participation, methods of production, and modes of marketing cash crops. Two empirical case studies of traditional perennial export cash crops—cocoa in Ghana and coffee in Uganda—provide empirical evidence on the effects of such constraints. Women cocoa farmers in Ghana face barriers in accessing input markets, particularly markets for labor and non-labor inputs, influencing their choice of production technology. In Uganda, the low quantities marketed, and lack of access to bicycles, limit female coffee farmers to marketing channels that have very low transaction costs, but which receive lower prices. To enable women to engage in cash crop production, the authors provide three context-specific recommendations: (1) improving women’s access to land and encouraging better integration of food markets through improved roads and increased mobile networks; (2) strengthening female farmers groups or marketing groups to which female farmers can belong so that women may achieve scale in marketing; and (3) improving access to credit and extension services to relieve female farmers’ constraints in purchasing quantity- or quality-enhancing inputs. Further work in assessing the patterns and underlying determinants of female engagement in a wide variety of cash crop markets will be needed to better identify the most appropriate interventions.

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Cash crops
  • Production
  • Marketing
  • Constraints and barriers

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Fig. 13.1

Notes

  1. 1.

    The positive impact of this increased demand of labor needs to be discussed since it may cause an increase in the total working hours of women.

  2. 2.

    However, as stated by Doss and Morris (2001), it is difficult to disentangle the causal relationships among these factors. To the extent that household size and composition affect productivity, female-headed households will be less productive. Reverse causality may also apply: a household may be female-headed because the farm had low productivity and the male head left to find better opportunities.

  3. 3.

    The information is drawn from the fifth round of the nationally representative Ghana Living Standards Survey and was matched for comparability to the data employed in the rest of the case study by looking at the same three regions (Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, and Western), and using the same definition of cocoa farmers (see discussion in data section below).

  4. 4.

    By which we identify all farmers who do not have a bank account.

  5. 5.

    We also note that the same qualitative results were obtained after estimating the model for female farmers against a subsample of male farmers managing the same size of cocoa farms as the sampled women. This additional step was taken as observed differences could be driven by the different distribution of the land variable between men and women in the original sample.

  6. 6.

    Details on how these estimates were calculated can be found in Hill (2009).

  7. 7.

    Well looked-after, healthy trees produce a ratio of 0.6 kg of Fair Average Quality (FAQ) coffee cherries for 1 kg of kiboko, while old and diseased trees produce kiboko with a lower ratio that can reach as low as 1:0.4.

  8. 8.

    It is worth noting that Table 13.8 presents data on gross returns. Households that engage in value addition incur costs of time, fuel costs (if applicable), and milling fees that will reduce the overall price differential reported. Given that we do not have data on time spent marketing, we cannot estimate the net return.

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Correspondence to Ruth Vargas Hill .

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Hill, R.V., Vigneri, M. (2014). Mainstreaming Gender Sensitivity in Cash Crop Market Supply Chains. In: Quisumbing, A., Meinzen-Dick, R., Raney, T., Croppenstedt, A., Behrman, J., Peterman, A. (eds) Gender in Agriculture. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8616-4_13

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