A crop of one’s own? Women’s experiences of cassava commercialization in Nigeria and Malawi


KIT’s Helena Posthumus joined Lora Forsythe and Adrienne Martin  from the Natural Resources Institute (UK) document women’s experiences in cassava commercialization in Nigeria and Malawi.

Gender in the commercialization processes

They find that gender plays a significant role in these commercialization processes, as the factors which enable or constrain commercialization are influenced by household structure, bargaining power and gender norms. This is complicated further by the intersection with other factors of social difference such as ethnicity and age. These factors, in turn, determine which market value chains men and women can participate in and the benefits they obtain.

Trends can be contradictionary & complex

Their results highlight various points at which women can participate and be excluded from commercialization, on the basis of their gender and bargaining power. However, trends within any one context can be contradictory and complex, with different spaces and opportunities that can empower or disempower women. The study poses additional questions for example how market interventions can be designed to enable women to increase and sustain their benefit from processing and marketing activities.

Read more in the latest issue of Agri-Gender, journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security