New Insights of the Role of Women in Agrifood Systems
Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
- Chair: Alexis Villacis, Arizona State University
Gender and Agricultural Aspirations: Evidence from Rwanda, Kenya, and Ecuador
AbstractDespite the extensive scholarly focus on the aspirations of individuals across different dimensions,
the aspirations of rural women in the agricultural domain have largely been overlooked. This oversight is concerning given the growing migration of men seeking better employment opportunities outside rural areas. As a result, many women are assuming the principal role in agricultural activities, underscoring the need to understand their aspirations in this context. Using farm and household surveys, we gather nationally representative data from smallholder farmers in Ecuador, Kenya, and Rwanda and investigate the relationship between gender and aspirations in agriculture. Results reveal that gender does indeed play a significant role in shaping aspirations in agriculture, with 5 women exhibiting lower ambitions for the future. Given the unique challenges and barriers that affect women’s aspirations, these findings highlight the need for gender-sensitive policies and programs to promote a more inclusive and sustainable agricultural sector. We contribute to the growing body of research that highlights the importance of considering the intersection of aspirations with other social and psychological factors in order to understand what provides the best incentives for investments for the future.
Who Bears the Cost and Who Reaps the Benefits? Exploring the Role of Farm Size in Spouses’ Desired Fertility: Evidence from Tanzania
AbstractFertility decline in Sub-Sahara Africa, particularly in rural areas, has been much slower than in other developing countries. Gaps in fertility preferences between men and women can determine households’ fertility outcomes as men desire more children than women and have more bargaining power in household decisions. Moreover, low population density and agricultural livelihoods that characterize Sub-Saharan Africa may depress the cost of high fertility due to the relatively high return to family farm labor. We investigate the role of farm size and land tenure in explaining husbands’ and wives’ fertility preference gaps and fertility outcomes in rural Tanzania. To address the potential endogeneity between households’ fertility and land investment decisions, we leverage the experimental variation of an informational family planning intervention that randomized the inclusion of husbands in household consultations about modern contraception. We explore the heterogeneous effects of the family planning intervention on fertility preferences and outcomes by farm size and land tenure. Preliminary work suggests that, before the intervention, land farm size was associated with a higher desired number of children for men but not women, substantially increasing the fertility preferences gap between husbands and wives. The intervention decreases the households’ costs of fertility control and has differentiated effects by households’ agricultural cultivated area and land acquisition at baseline. A greater understanding of the role of agricultural land in the gendered costs and benefits of fertility may help explain the stalled decline in fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Women’s Associations: From Rights to Agroecological Markets
AbstractSmallholder, indigenous farmers play a key role in food systems around the world. They apply traditional farming practices that ensure the sustainability of food production and at the same time, they meet the dietary demands of many urban consumers, especially for organic vegetables and dairy products. This study examines the position of women’s associations in the central Ecuadorian Andes, discussing their evolution from rights-based to market-oriented groups producing and selling agroecological products. We discuss how the history of these associations has led them to play a role in local politics and national policies around agriculture. We also highlight how these groups have succeeded both economically and socially, while also noting the challenges they face, as observed by themselves and outsiders. While the history of women’s agroecological production groups in Ecuador may be unique, as it is entrenched in indigenous rights movements, our results also point to opportunities and obstacles that are more common across small scale farmers. We highlight how these results deserve attention from both policymakers and agricultural
- A1 - General Economics