The Gendered Possibilities for Participating in Agricultural Intensification in Sub-Saharan Africa – a Longitudinal Perspective from Seven Regions in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia
22 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2020 Publication Status: Under Review
This paper looks at the gendered possibilities for participating in agricultural intensification in seven regions in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania, using a longitudinal, regional, mixed methods approach combining household level data on land, labour and use of agricultural techniques for male and female farm managers as well as qualitative data collected from within male-headed households and community level data. The analysis is based on a quantitative dataset covering 1070 small scale farmers covering the period 2002 to 2017/18, as well as around roughly 350 qualitative interviews collected over the course of a decade. The results point to great variation between the regions as well as the countries in terms of access to land, but also suggest that gender relations around land are changing as a result both of deliberate policies as well as the emergence of rental markets for land. Indeed, gender-based gaps in cultivated area have fallen in some regions, but are persistent in others. Surprisingly, neither tenure security nor formalisation of tenure is differentiated between male and female respondents, in any of the regions. Access to family labour is however smaller on female managed farms and labour shortages are generally higher on these farms in most regions. Capital and labour intensive technologies add to gender based differentiation in cultivated area in regions where commercial opportunities are driving intensification, whereas gender based gaps in the use of these technologies have narrowed in poor regions as a result of deteriorating conditions for male farmers.
Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa, smallholders, agricultural intensification, mixed-methods, gender, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia
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