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Integrating gender into a small-scale cotton development program


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Presented by Rekha Mehra at the Gender and Market Oriented Agriculture (AgriGender 2011) Workshop, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 31st January–2nd February 2011

Presented by Rekha Mehra at the Gender and Market Oriented Agriculture (AgriGender 2011) Workshop, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 31st January–2nd February 2011

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  • Husbands and wives work jointly on all tasks, incl. planting, spacing, weeding, cultivating and harvesting and planning production, especially labor allocation
  • DZL – ZAMBIA DUL – UGANDA – Although DUL POs were formed when DUL registered farmers into its outgrower network, there is not a strict one-to-one correspondence between registered farmers and memberships of DUL POs – It could be that husband and wife both are members of PO and only one is a registered farmer Less than 20% of farmers registered with DUL in 2007 signed contracts in 2009
  • I used the word attendance (in the title) and not participation on purpose NO DATA ARE AVAILABLE FOR ZAMBIA AND UGANDA
  • DATA ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR ZAMBIA AND UGANDA - The issue of credit for farming was not brought up by either men or women during the research. Free donations of seed and farm equipment are an aspect of the post-conflict recovery programs being implemented by DUL as well as NGOs, and this may be blunting the need for credit. In ZAMBIA: Married women have minimal access to factors of production [e1]   independently from their husbands, so the underlying issues limiting cotton production across all households, irrespective of gender, function in this context. These include relative prices of cotton and maize, limits on the amount of land small holder households can open and cultivate without traction, and general scarcity and cost of inputs, equipment, labor and credit. Female headed [e2]  households are affected by the same constraints, but amplified by insecure land rights and second class status in terms of access to the inputs, labor, equipment and credit that is available   [e1] this sentence is confusing. Is it that married women know little about the factors of production... or they have minimal access to production inputs   [e2] not going to hyphenate any more -- you decide if it should be hyphenated and then make consistent Cotton is the only major crop in Zambia where farmers are given inputs on credit as part of an outgrower scheme. Inputs for crops grown in rotation with cotton, especially maize, have to be purchased
  • Transcript

    • 1.  
    • 2. Integrating Gender into a Small-Scale Cotton Development Program Rekha Mehra, Ph.D.
      • Workshop on Gender and Market-Oriented Agriculture
      • (AgriGender 2011)
      • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
      • 31 January-2 February, 2011
    • 3. The Cotton Development Program
      • Partnership between DEG/GTZ and private sector cotton ginners
      • 3 countries: Malawi, Uganda and Zambia
      • Countries where
        • Per capita income low (e.g., $250/year in Malawi
        • Poverty rate is high (e.g. 38% in Uganda, 70% in Zambia)
    • 4. The Cotton Development Program
      • Cotton is a major cash crop and main source of income for low-income producers
      • But cotton facing problems: low yields, low returns, lack of access to inputs and credit and lack of market access for small-scale producers
      • Goals of the program: are to increase productivity, improve market linkages and increase of small-scale farmers on a large scale
    • 5. Program Implementation
      • Private sector ginners implement program
      • Contract with individual farmers—sell them inputs; expect farmers to sell them cotton
      • Agents/distributors offer “package” of inputs and services :
        • Training in improved farming practices
        • Seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and other inputs
        • Credit to buy equipment
      • May work through producer groups
    • 6. Goals of Gender Studies
      • Devise gender strategies to ensure both women and men
        • participate in project activities and
        • benefit from improved productivity, market linkages and better returns
    • 7. Gender Analysis Involved
      • Understand gendered roles and responsibilities; constraints and opportunities
      • Identify entry points for interventions—remove constraints; tap opportunities
      • Well-targeted set of gender indicators to complement & fit overall program indicators
    • 8. Gender Context
      • Women lag behind men in education and literacy
      • Land is a critical asset: but women have limited access regardless of legal situation
      • Gender-based violence and polygamy affect household labor allocation and decision-making in cotton production & income disposition
    • 9. Gender Assessment Methodology
      • ICRW conducted field research from Jun-Dec 2009
      • Rapid assessments
      • Document reviews; key informant interviews; focus group discussions with
      • --company and project staff;
      • --field staff (e.g. agents),
      • --ginnery staff (employees and managers);
      • --farmers (women and men)
    • 10. Gender Study: Findings
      • Women provide much of the labor for cotton production—from planting to harvesting, and some marketing
    • 11. Roles and responsibilities A common reality:
      • WOMEN
      • Women provide labor for all aspects of cotton production
      • Even and preparation especially when done by hand (cases in Zambia Eastern Province where women also seen owing and plowing)
      • Polygamous HHs: cases in which women cultivate cotton plots separately from husbands
      • MEN
      • Men control decisions relating to crop management, marketing and cotton income
      • Land preparation: done by men especially when using oxen
      • Men dominate use of pesticides (women involved in hauling water for sprayers) + marketing and sale
    • 12. Gender Study: Findings
      • Women are underrepresented in all program activities and outreach
        • as farmers and contractors
        • in access to inputs
        • in attendance at trainings
        • in farmer group membership
        • among program implementation staff
    • 13. Sex distribution of farmers: Zambia and Uganda * estimates based on names of contractees - 57% unambiguous – 43% missing values ** data provided only for farmers with 2009 contracts => proxy for sex ratio of farmers
    • 14. Attendance in trainings Shire Valley (Malawi)
    • 15. Access to inputs provided on credit (Malawi)
    • 16. Returns to cotton farming
      • Accrue directly and, in some cases, exclusively to men
      • Men avoided sharing with wives information on payments received
      • Some men reported sharing with wives 10-20% of income earned from cotton (e.g., )
      • Other men agreed with wives on use of income—labor dependency for next season
    • 17. Why do returns to women matter?
      • Vis-à-vis the program, the objective is to increase yields, incentives matter:
        • Women reduce labor on cotton production when price is low, payments come late, or returns are not shared from their work on “men’s” cotton plots
    • 18. Gender Integration Potential
      • Access to project inputs—farm input delivery, credit, training
      • Contracting
      • Producer group membership
      • Payments to women farmers
      • M&E to show results
    • 19. Gender Integration Strategies
      • 1. Address returns to women farmers
        • Contract with married women farmers, e.g., Via separate plots for women--some men willing (Zambia)
        • Transparency in payments—right to information/equality in decision-making
        • Gender dynamics training—build into training curriculums—some already happening
    • 20. Gender Integration Strategies
      • 2. Improve ratio of women training participants
        • Intensify outreach to women—improve information flow to reach women with right messages
        • Enroll couples in training or organize separate trainings for women
        • Hire more women extension agents
        • Select more women lead farmers on demonstration plots
    • 21. Gender Integration Strategies
      • 3. Increase women’s participation in producer organizations
        • Change membership criteria for women to qualify
        • Alternatively, organize women-only groups
        • Increase women in leadership
        • Encourage bye-laws that establish spousal rights;
        • Ensure women and men understand laws; & understand payment systems
    • 22. Gender Integration Strategies
      • 4. Track progress and results via monitoring and evaluation system
        • Systematically collect sex-disaggregated data
        • Obtain baseline gendered understanding
        • Set gender-based targets and select indicators for progress on gender goals
    • 23. Expected Results of Gender Integration
      • Program planners and implementers take full account of women as farmers
      • Change the way programs are implemented to ensure both women & men have access to resources and information
      • Agricultural development programs work better
      • With success, benefits accrue to both women & men—lives improve; economies improve
    • 24.