Are Women Less Productive Farmers? How Markets and Risk Affect Fertilizer Use, Productivity, and Measured Gender Effects in Uganda

28 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Donald F. Larson

Donald F. Larson

Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations

Sara Savastano

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics; World Bank

Siobhan Murray

World Bank

Amparo Palacios-Lopez

World Bank

Date Written: April 20, 2015

Abstract

African governments and international development groups see boosting productivity on smallholder farms as key to reducing rural poverty and safeguarding the food security of farming and non-farming households. Prompting smallholder farmers to use more fertilizer has been a key tactic. Closing the productivity gap between male and female farmers has been another avenue toward achieving the same goal. The results in this paper suggest the two are related. Fertilizer use and maize yields among smallholder farmers in Uganda are increased by improved access to markets and extension services, and reduced by ex ante risk-mitigating production decisions. Standard ordinary least squares regression results indicate that gender matters as well; however, the measured productivity gap between male and female farmers disappears when gender is included in a list of determinants meant to capture the indirect effects of market and extension access.

Keywords: Climate Change and Agriculture, Labor Policies, Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems, Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems, Crops and Crop Management Systems

Suggested Citation

Larson, Donald F. and Savastano, Sara and Murray, Siobhan and Palacios-Lopez, Amparo, Are Women Less Productive Farmers? How Markets and Risk Affect Fertilizer Use, Productivity, and Measured Gender Effects in Uganda (April 20, 2015). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7241. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2596922

Donald F. Larson (Contact Author)

Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/decrgdonaldflarson/

Sara Savastano

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ( email )

Via Paolo di Dono
Rome, 00142
Italy

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via di Tor Vergata
Rome, Lazio 00133
Italy
+390672595639 (Phone)

World Bank

1818 H Street NW
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Siobhan Murray

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Amparo Palacios-Lopez

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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