«Women-only focus group discussion in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. 17 August 2011 i Version 1 – August 2011 Contents Abbreviations and Acronyms Executive ...»
ICRISAT then worked with the women in reclaiming the land through a system for rainfed horticulture production adapted to this land, known as ‘Bioreclamation of Degraded Lands’ (BDL). It involves digging small ditches (called demi-lunes in the Sahel) to collect and store rainwater, and planting drought-tolerant fruit and vegetable trees. Women cultivated traditional vegetables such as okra between the trees. Husbands were no longer able to take over their wives' successful economic activities because the land belonged to the group (Pasternak 2011).
P4P in Mali has been working with women’s groups that have gained better access to land. The chief of Logo village has given 10 hectares of land to a women’s cooperative supported by an international NGO. Similarly, in Zantièbougou the mayor has attributed 12 hectares to a women’s group supported by a local NGO. 63 Feedback from P4P in Mali.
5.7.2 Focusing on women’s crops and other productive activities As has already been discussed and implemented by a few P4P Country Offices, one way of supporting the increased participation of women in P4P may be to focus more on women’s traditional crops. As we have seen above, P4P’s action with women is constrained by the WFP basket of procured foods. This food basket is the same for P4P, although CIPs primarily focus on maize (71 per cent of procurement to date, see Table 6), but also include rice, pulses, sorghum and corn soya blend (see Table 7). The main challenge for P4P has been that that women do not tend to control maize production and marketing (WFP 2010b). This is also a clear finding of the fieldwork. The majority of women research participants in Ethiopia and Tanzania are unpaid family workers. They work on the family farm, regardless of the type of crop (cash crops and subsistence crops) and are rarely involved in trading of these crops.
As can be seen in Section 2.2.1 above and in the second column in Table 7, there are some areas where women are more involved in crops that are currently procured through P4P, e.g. maize in Zambia and pulses and rice in West Africa. Targeting women in these country should be relatively straight forward, as long as the practical constraints discussion above are considered. For instance, in Burkina Faso, WFP deliberately procures cowpeas because it is traditionally a crop controlled by women. Country data for Burkina Faso shows that women represent 56 per cent of smallholders delivering commodities to through P4P. The quantities each female farmer supply are very limited, however, as they only account for 15 per cent of the total tonnage procured as of January 2011.64 Focusing on these crops would still lead to quite marginal increases in women targeted in most countries. A more radical approach would be to target group 3, female producers/petty traders producing and marketing crops not currently procured through P4P. These women may not control staple crop production, but they have the potential to sell to WFP, through selling surpluses from their current production through P4P. The third and forth columns in Table 7 shows these potential crops and food products. Column three shows crops and food products currently within the broader WFP basket of procured foods (e.g. vegetable oil and blended foods) and column four shows crops and food products that are at times used by WFP in rations, but they tend to represent in-kind contributions from governments and corporate donors (e.g. smoked/dried fish). This last columns also shows potential products that could be bought from women should the food basket be revised to include food products with greater nutritional value (e.g. tomato puree or dried fruit).
This approach is potentially gender transformative in that it focuses specifically on
increasing women’s access to and control over income. This would involve:
Providing access to expert training, particularly in the domain of food processing.
Promoting women’s groups to achieve the potential of scale production, and allowing these producers to expand to other markets.
Feedback from P4P in Burkina Faso.
Table 6: Cumulated P4P contracts by commodity (Sept 2008-31 March 2011)
Source: Data extracted from the WFP Procurement Database on 4 May 2011 and cleared by ODPF.
75 Version 1 – August 2011 Apart from allowing WFP to target women more effectively through P4P, expanding the food basket in this way may also prove more cost-effective, as in-kind contributions are generally not as cost effective as cash contributions (WFP 2005a). The process for approving new food products is described in a WFP directive from 2005 and allows for decentralised procurement, provided that the food product has been assessed and agreed centrally (WFP 2005b).
Agro-processing activities, particularly related to fortified foods, are already implemented in certain pilot countries (Afghanistan, Guatemala, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia).
In fact two per cent of purchases since the launch of P4P were of processed foods, supporting pro-smallholder processing options, including high-energy protein supplements (Zambia), high-energy biscuits (Afghanistan), fortified blended foods (Mozambique and Guatemala), maize meal and corn soya blend (see Table 6 above). For instance, in Zambia, WFP is contracting small processors that obtain their raw commodities from smallholder farmers to process cassava and produce high energy protein supplements (HEPS). The NGOs running these small processing plants have gender policies in place. HEPS contain roller meal, soya flour, sugar and powdered milk. As women have been involved in the production of HEPS in the past and are also responsible for cassava and dairy production, processing and marketing, they are set to directly profit from this initiative (Zambia Daily Mail undated).
There should be scope to extend such activities to other countries and to ensure that these target women specifically. This would also support WFP’s aims of increasing the nutritional content of the food basket (WFP 2008a) and ensuring that it contains locally appropriate food products.65 See for instance the John Hopkins and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: ‘*W]here possible, the food basket should also include locally available and culturally acceptable foods such as fruits, vegetables, condiments/spices, tea and coffee in order to add nutrients, taste and variety to basic foods, to increase the palatability, familiarity and acceptability of prepared foods and for the preparation of cultural/traditional foods and dishes. Populations generally will not consume a monotonous diet of three commodities (e.g. wheat, beans and oil) for months at a time’. (2008: page 458) FAO also states that ‘Wherever and whenever possible, food distribution should be combined with actions designed to improve self-reliant access to food. If an assessment has highlighted food insecurity as a contributory factor to malnutrition, and there are conditions suitable for agriculture and livestock husbandry, it is relevant to support food production and diversification. The activity should be appropriate to the context, introduce incremental change and reflect identified seasonal food shortfalls and nutrient gaps. Actions can aim to increase food diversity through field crop production, horticulture, rearing of poultry or small livestock, cultivation of fruit and nut trees, aquaculture/fishing, small-scale irrigation and the utilization of wild foods.’ (2005). This guide, as others, also mentions that food aid in the shape of basic commodities (e.g. staples, edible oils and fats, protein-rich food such as pulses and salt) is more appropriate for certain types of situations, e.g. first stages of an emergency. However, in the following stages, distributed food should be diversified.
These actions would need to be supported by additional activities. As women’s traditional crops have acquired a value, men have tended to encroach on women’s roles in production and marketing (Doss 2002). It is crucial to gain a greater understanding of women’s role in
these value chains. For example:
In Kenya, the development of export horticulture has led to erosion of women’s control over their produce as men realise the benefits of vegetable production (Dolan 2005).
Similarly, in Uganda, women in the fruit and vegetable trade lost out as markets were developed in Kampala and for export (WB, FAO, IFAD 2009).
In India, although women have traditionally managed milk production, men became increasingly involved in the sector. This was a result of an intervention that linked farmers directly to markets, removing the middleman. The leadership of milk cooperatives is traditionally dominated by men and despite a quota for women’s participation in management committees, participation remained low (Carr with Hartl 2010).
In Bangladesh, women face mobility restrictions and markets are considered male spaces. Women prefer to sell their produce to traders and middlemen on their doorstep, WFP, see http://friends.wfp.org/blog/wfp-makes-first-purchase-progress-women-farmers-sierra-leone.
Although cassava and milk is not in official implementation plan, ALINe has heard that SL CO is procuring a wider range of food.
Nweke 2009 Doss 1999; Green with Baden 1994; Gallina 2010 Brown 2008; AFD 2005 Farnworth and Munachonga 2010; Kumar 1994; Byrne 1994 Due to lack of involvement of women in agricultural activities, no particular women’s crops or food products can be distinguished.
rather than ask their husbands to take it to the market (Kelkar et al 2004 in Gallina 2010). Removing the middlemen here can thus lessen women’s control over their income, although profit margins may increase overall.
To ensure that a focus on women’s crops and food products actually benefits women and allows them to retain control over their income, it is thus important to create a better understanding of women’s role in the value chain84 of the crops and products in questions (Gammage et al 2005). This would include assessing the comparative potential of different crops or products, as the small scale production and processing may act as a barrier for WFP involvement through P4P.85 There are several methods for doing this and one that has shown potential is participatory analysis of stakeholders in the value chain (Gallina 2010;
Mayoux and Mackie 2007). Gender analysis can uncover the unique constraints and barriers that both women and men face in moving along the value chain, accessing markets and growing their businesses. This analysis should be used to design strategies that empower women to improve their situation within value chains, to enter new value chains and to interact with market intermediaries on fair terms (Gallina 2010).86 It is important to conduct a broader structural analysis of gender relations to ensure wider constraints to women’s participation are addressed, as some approaches to value chain analysis may neglect these.
As WFP already acknowledges, payments for commodities should be made directly to women, for instance through mobile phones belonging to women.
5.7.3 Supporting women traders The third group of beneficiaries identified include women traders, which P4P could work with through the conditional tender mechanism whereby traders engage with cooperatives.
As ICRW’s fieldwork in Rwanda showed, there is limited interaction with female traders currently in P4P (Kes and Mehra 2009). Particularly in West Africa, where women play a larger role in trading activities, WFP could offer, through supply-side partners, specifically targeted capacity development activities to cover business, marketing and qualityassessment skills to allow women traders to graduate from often small-scale activities to support larger purchases through P4P.
5.7.4 Supporting access to rural labour markets Our understanding is that WFP is considering providing women with access to employment in processing and packaging of food aid through P4P or other initiatives.87 Improving women’s ability to be in the formal labour market is critical to their economic empowerment. Apart from the real benefits of earning income, decent work offers the prospect of dignity and self-respect. It enables people to realise their potential and have Value chain analysis complements supply chain analysis in that is looks not only at the institutional links between producers, processors, marketers, distributors and consumers, but can be specifically focused on uncovering the economic, organisational, and coercive relationships among actors located along different points of the chain and to illuminate the different distribution of potential and actual benefits to these actors.
(Gammage et al 2005).
Feedback from P4P in Mali, for instance, states that women’s role in food processing is very small scale.
This type of analysis is being undertaken by Oxfam GB in Ethiopia, Mali and Tanzania. See Annex 2 of this report.
This was discussed during session on women at the P4P 2010 Annual Review in Mozambique, where participants from COs specifically referred to these activities as being potentially more efficient at supporting the participation of women in P4P, rather than their direct involvement in agricultural production.
fulfilling lives, reducing their susceptibility to poverty, hunger and disease. Societies which narrow the gender gap in employment will also boost their economic development and their rate of poverty reduction88 (Fontana with Paciello 2010).