«Women-only focus group discussion in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. 17 August 2011 i Version 1 – August 2011 Contents Abbreviations and Acronyms Executive ...»
1. Initiate an internal discussion about programmatic approaches and which groups of women to target. The breadth and impact of P4P’s operational approach to gender is related to which groups of women the programme wants to focus on, and the extent to which WFP is able to change current P4P operations. Some groups (notably groups 2,3 and 4), will require an expanded approach, which may not fit into P4P’s current remit.
This discussion should centre around two approaches:
Basic programmatic approach would be primarily gender aware and focus on group 1, with limited outreach to group 2, which is the case in the majority of P4P countries.
Enhanced programmatic approach would be more transformative and expand its reach to more strongly target groups 1 and 2 and also reach groups 3 and 4. This would include possible changes to, and diversification of the current groups of crops and food products procured through P4P (including more processed food products that fit into the overall WFP food basket); and monitoring of the household’s food and nutrition security situation more closely. This would consider the household, and hence women’s needs, and place greater emphasis on livelihoods.
2. Conduct local level gender assessment. Country Offices should carry out their own gender analysis. The improvement of women’s participation in agricultural development programmes and access to agricultural services must begin with an analysis of men’s and women’s roles along two related dimensions: their role in agriculture and their role in the household.
3. Create packages of mutually reinforcing measures in collaboration with farmers’ organisations, women’s groups and all other stakeholders/partners. Interventions that aim to support women’s participation and support gender equity have to tackle gender discriminatory norms and practices at multiple levels, i.e. at the household level, community level, market level and national level, and they must be designed as a package of mutually reinforcing measures. In order for P4P to support the varying pathways out of poverty for rural women and men, specific measures will be required in each country that have been adapted to a range of contextual factors.
4. Ensure that gender activities are accompanied by a rigorous M&E framework that specifically looks at context-specific gendered outcomes of programme activities to ensure learning.
5. Employ participatory methods in project planning, design, implementation and M&E.
Involving women and men in the process of project planning, design, implementation, and M&E through meaningful participation, can increase the likelihood of the success of a programme. Gender analysis should pursue participatory methods, so that specific solutions consider the priorities of women.
Specific recommendations on practical actions Overall, the literature review and research validates the usefulness of the practical actions identified in Occasional Paper II, but for full effect these should be undertaken together with
the general recommendations above. In relation to this, specific recommendations include:
Increasing gender sensitisation through designing inclusive (women and men, girls and boys) activities that are framed positively (see Section 5.1).
Supporting women’s active participation in groups, initially by considering the suitability of women-only vs. mixed groups. Ensure that group activities are linked to gender sensitisation (see Section 5.2).
Addressing women’s time constraints by reflecting on women's specific productive and reproductive labour commitments and including women in the selection and development of labour saving tools. It is important to ensure that men understand the value of women’s labour through gender sensitisation (see Section 5.3).
Supporting women’s functional literacy by ensuring that literacy training is included in existing capacity development activities and is linked to both the particular activities that women are involved in and the programme's actions to address women’s time and mobility constraints (see Section 5.4).
Supporting women’s extension, training and information needs by adapting training to women’s capacity and priorities, using innovative methods of participatory (or peer) learning and increasing the use of women extension workers (see Section 5.5).
Increasing women’s access to financial services by focusing on the suitability of products from a gender perspective, and linking to financial institutions that have the capacity to design and provide ethical products better suited to women’s needs (see Section 5.6).
A number of complementary actions additional to the practical actions described in WFP
P4P Occasional Paper II have been identified through this specific assignment, including:
Linking to organisations that support women’s access to land, e.g. through leasing arrangements and joint purchase (see Section 5.7.1).
Focusing on ‘women’s crops and productive activities’, ensuring that women’s role in the value chains of these crops and food products are maximised. This might include supporting the capacity development of women traders (see Sections 5.7.2 and 5.7.3).
Supporting access to rural labour markets, ensuring that quality jobs are provided (see Section 5.7.4).
Highlighting the successes of women farmers within the programme (see Section 5.7.5).
The P4P programme offers WFP and its partners a unique opportunity to target women more effectively and efficiently. Implementing these recommendations, as part of a comprehensive gender strategy, will ensure that P4P can better support women’s integration into the ‘purchase-for-progress’ model in cost-effective and locally empowering ways. This will assist WFP and agencies like WFP to achieve the dual aim of feeding the hungry and poor whilst building the resilience of local communities.
1 Introduction In developing countries, and particularly in rural areas of developing countries, women play a major role in household and community survival strategies and contribute significantly to the rural economy. However, their important role is not translated into equality of opportunity in gaining access to productive resources, markets and services (Fontana with Paciello 2010; FAO 2011a; WB, FAO, IFAD 2009). Although men and women are likely to share a lack of access to opportunities, disadvantages are often magnified for women who tend to face additional constraints by virtue of their gender. This difference between men and women is referred to as the ‘gender gap’.
The existence of this ‘gender gap’ has been shown to impact negatively on the performance of agricultural development initiatives, food and nutrition security, and on the well-being of the rural poor in particular (FAO 2011a; Udry 1996; Kennedy in Quisumbing et al 1995).
Therefore, to achieve sustainable improvements in the lives and well-being of the rural poor, agricultural and rural development initiatives must offer innovative approaches to development challenges that engage, empower and invest in women for the long term1.
The World Food Programme (WFP) recognises these challenges and has commissioned this report which is aimed at identifying practical ways of supporting the enhanced participation of women in the Purchase for Progress (P4P) Programme through desk and field based study.
1.1 The Purchase for Progress Programme For almost 20 years WFP has ventured into small purchases of food from rural producer organisations, with the aim of encouraging small farmers to supply WFP with local food surpluses, and in doing so offering financial savings to WFP and raising the incomes of poor farmers (Omamo et al 2010). In 2008, WFP launched a five-year pilot project called P4P with a focus on creating opportunities for low-income farmers (smallholder producers) to become competitive players in agricultural markets in a sustainable way. Through P4P, WFP is expanding its procurement of food from smallholder farmers to promote agricultural market development. This presents a unique opportunity to exploit more efficient linkages between its traditional procurement role and its building more resilience in agricultural production and food security.
The current global context is characterised by alarming rises in food and fuel prices, a lingering economic downturn, frequent extreme weather events and increasing humanitarian disasters and levels of hunger. Pursuing a model of local food procurement, with its associated cost savings to WFP, is a sensible move to ensure the stability of future provision of food for WFP programmes, particularly at the local level. Working more closely with smallholder farmers allows WFP to actively build longer-term resilience and food security for many poor producers.
For instance, closing the gap in the agricultural yields produced by men and women could bring the number of hungry people down by as much as 100 million - to 150 million people. The yield gap between men and women averages around 20–30 per cent, and most research finds that the gap is due to differences in resource use. Bringing yields on the land farmed by women up to the levels achieved by men would increase agricultural output in developing countries by between 2.5 and 4 per cent. Increasing production by this amount could reduce the number of undernourished people in the world by 12–17 per cent (FAO 2011a).
The P4P programme works in 21 countries, in five regions: East Africa, West Africa, Southern
Africa, Latin America and Asia, and is based on three critical components:
1. WFP's demand: Using new forms of procurement, such as competitive purchases through emerging commodity exchanges, direct contracts with FOs, warehouse receipt systems and forward contracts. In certain countries, P4P is also helping smallholder farmers to access the private sector food processing market.
2. Supply-side support: Working with partners to strengthen farmers’ capacity to increase the quantity and quality of crops and to improve farmers’ knowledge of markets; to reduce post-harvest losses as well as to strengthen the institutional capacity of FOs.2
3. Learning and sharing: Identifying appropriate mechanisms that help and can be shared with a wide range of stakeholders, in particular those governments intending to undertake pro smallholder friendly public procurement and develop secure markets for smallholder farmers. The best practices identified will be incorporated (‘mainstreamed’) into WFP’s long-term policies and programme practices. Information is being captured through a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system.
The overall goal of P4P is ‘to facilitate increased agricultural production and sustained market engagement and thus increase incomes and livelihoods for participating smallholder/low income farmers, the majority of whom are women’ 3. P4P aims to reach at least 500,000 smallholder farmers, increasing their incomes by at least US$50 a year within a five-year period.
As of 30 April 2011, WFP has contracted nearly 170,000 metric tons of food valued at over US$57 million. As of 31 March 2011, 107,000 metric tons of contracted foods have been delivered and paid for by WFP.
These purchases were made either directly from farmers’ organisations (FOs), small/medium traders and processors or through innovative platforms like Commodity Exchanges and Warehouse Receipt Systems.
By procuring locally through P4P, WFP has so far realised cost savings of US$22 million with respect to importing the same commodities from abroad.
With the 107,000 metric tons of food delivered to WFP, an estimated US$37 million has been paid by WFP to P4P vendors. WFP therefore estimates that US$37 million have been put more directly in the pockets of smallholder farmers and small and medium traders as a result of P4P purchases.
Over 960 farmers’ organisations representing more than 860,000 farmers have been identified to participate in P4P – over 200 farmers’ organisations have so far contracted with WFP.
Over 65,000 farmers, warehouse operators and small and medium traders have been trained in agricultural production, post-harvest handling, quality, marketing, finance.
One of the core capacities needed is the ability of FOs to aggregate the produce of a number of small-scale farmers.
World Food Programme (2010d) Purchase for Progress Global Logframe, Version 4, 27 September 2010 http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/reports/wfp229259.pdf
1.2 Gender and P4P WFP’s 2008 - 2013 Strategic Plan highlights the link between gender and hunger4, and reaffirms the organisation’s commitment to work at all levels to ensure gender sensitivity and equality. Building on this, the WFP Gender Policy (revised 2009)5 commits the organisation to establish new programme priorities and institutional support mechanisms which will aim to provide the optimum environment for successful gender mainstreaming.
P4P is among the new programme priority areas singled out for attention, given the key role that women play in producing food and sustaining the food and nutrition security of their households. WFP’s Gender Policy specifically refers to the inequality between women and men in accessing farming inputs, transport, markets and economic returns. WFP will actively
promote gender equity in the implementation of the P4P programme by:
Establishing minimum targets for the participation of women farmers in line with country contexts. This includes working with traders’ organisations and FOs to ensure that women are equitably represented, both as members and in management positions, and that women are the direct recipients of payments for their produce.
Ensuring that a monitoring, evaluation and reporting system is in place at the country level to track women’s participation.
The P4P programme offers WFP and its partners a unique opportunity to target women more effectively and efficiently, increasing their agricultural productivity and economic returns, and promoting their integration in various aspects of the agricultural value chain.
An overarching assumption of the programme is that women constitute the majority of P4P target beneficiaries6. The country implementation plans have specific targets on gender indicators and in many cases include targets of up to 50 per cent female membership in FOs.
The overall targets include: