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

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Integrating gender into a small-scale cotton development program

  1. 2. Integrating Gender into a Small-Scale Cotton Development Program Rekha Mehra, Ph.D. <ul><li>Workshop on Gender and Market-Oriented Agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>(AgriGender 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Addis Ababa, Ethiopia </li></ul><ul><li>31 January-2 February, 2011 </li></ul>
  2. 3. The Cotton Development Program <ul><li>Partnership between DEG/GTZ and private sector cotton ginners </li></ul><ul><li>3 countries: Malawi, Uganda and Zambia </li></ul><ul><li>Countries where </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Per capita income low (e.g., $250/year in Malawi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poverty rate is high (e.g. 38% in Uganda, 70% in Zambia) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. The Cotton Development Program <ul><li>Cotton is a major cash crop and main source of income for low-income producers </li></ul><ul><li>But cotton facing problems: low yields, low returns, lack of access to inputs and credit and lack of market access for small-scale producers </li></ul><ul><li>Goals of the program: are to increase productivity, improve market linkages and increase of small-scale farmers on a large scale </li></ul>
  4. 5. Program Implementation <ul><li>Private sector ginners implement program </li></ul><ul><li>Contract with individual farmers—sell them inputs; expect farmers to sell them cotton </li></ul><ul><li>Agents/distributors offer “package” of inputs and services : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Training in improved farming practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and other inputs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credit to buy equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May work through producer groups </li></ul>
  5. 6. Goals of Gender Studies <ul><li>Devise gender strategies to ensure both women and men </li></ul><ul><ul><li>participate in project activities and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>benefit from improved productivity, market linkages and better returns </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Gender Analysis Involved <ul><li>Understand gendered roles and responsibilities; constraints and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Identify entry points for interventions—remove constraints; tap opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Well-targeted set of gender indicators to complement & fit overall program indicators </li></ul>
  7. 8. Gender Context <ul><li>Women lag behind men in education and literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Land is a critical asset: but women have limited access regardless of legal situation </li></ul><ul><li>Gender-based violence and polygamy affect household labor allocation and decision-making in cotton production & income disposition </li></ul>
  8. 9. Gender Assessment Methodology <ul><li>ICRW conducted field research from Jun-Dec 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Document reviews; key informant interviews; focus group discussions with </li></ul><ul><li>--company and project staff; </li></ul><ul><li>--field staff (e.g. agents), </li></ul><ul><li>--ginnery staff (employees and managers); </li></ul><ul><li>--farmers (women and men) </li></ul>
  9. 10. Gender Study: Findings <ul><li>Women provide much of the labor for cotton production—from planting to harvesting, and some marketing </li></ul>
  10. 11. Roles and responsibilities A common reality: <ul><li>WOMEN </li></ul><ul><li>Women provide labor for all aspects of cotton production </li></ul><ul><li>Even and preparation especially when done by hand (cases in Zambia Eastern Province where women also seen owing and plowing) </li></ul><ul><li>Polygamous HHs: cases in which women cultivate cotton plots separately from husbands </li></ul><ul><li>MEN </li></ul><ul><li>Men control decisions relating to crop management, marketing and cotton income </li></ul><ul><li>Land preparation: done by men especially when using oxen </li></ul><ul><li>Men dominate use of pesticides (women involved in hauling water for sprayers) + marketing and sale </li></ul>
  11. 12. Gender Study: Findings <ul><li>Women are underrepresented in all program activities and outreach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>as farmers and contractors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in access to inputs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in attendance at trainings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in farmer group membership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>among program implementation staff </li></ul></ul>
  12. 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
  13. 14. Attendance in trainings Shire Valley (Malawi)
  14. 15. Access to inputs provided on credit (Malawi)
  15. 16. Returns to cotton farming <ul><li>Accrue directly and, in some cases, exclusively to men </li></ul><ul><li>Men avoided sharing with wives information on payments received </li></ul><ul><li>Some men reported sharing with wives 10-20% of income earned from cotton (e.g., ) </li></ul><ul><li>Other men agreed with wives on use of income—labor dependency for next season </li></ul>
  16. 17. Why do returns to women matter? <ul><li>Vis-à-vis the program, the objective is to increase yields, incentives matter: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Gender Integration Potential <ul><li>Access to project inputs—farm input delivery, credit, training </li></ul><ul><li>Contracting </li></ul><ul><li>Producer group membership </li></ul><ul><li>Payments to women farmers </li></ul><ul><li>M&E to show results </li></ul>
  18. 19. Gender Integration Strategies <ul><li>1. Address returns to women farmers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract with married women farmers, e.g., Via separate plots for women--some men willing (Zambia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency in payments—right to information/equality in decision-making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender dynamics training—build into training curriculums—some already happening </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Gender Integration Strategies <ul><li>2. Improve ratio of women training participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensify outreach to women—improve information flow to reach women with right messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enroll couples in training or organize separate trainings for women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire more women extension agents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select more women lead farmers on demonstration plots </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Gender Integration Strategies <ul><li>3. Increase women’s participation in producer organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change membership criteria for women to qualify </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternatively, organize women-only groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase women in leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage bye-laws that establish spousal rights; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure women and men understand laws; & understand payment systems </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Gender Integration Strategies <ul><li>4. Track progress and results via monitoring and evaluation system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Systematically collect sex-disaggregated data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain baseline gendered understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set gender-based targets and select indicators for progress on gender goals </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Expected Results of Gender Integration <ul><li>Program planners and implementers take full account of women as farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Change the way programs are implemented to ensure both women & men have access to resources and information </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural development programs work better </li></ul><ul><li>With success, benefits accrue to both women & men—lives improve; economies improve </li></ul>