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Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets, Gender and Intra-Household Dynamics: Does the Choice of Commodity Matter?


  • Jemimah Njuki

    (International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi)

  • Susan Kaaria

    (Ford Foundation, Office for Eastern Africa, Nairobi)

  • Angeline Chamunorwa

    (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Harare)

  • Wanjiku Chiuri

    (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Kigali)


Linking smallholder farmers to markets and making markets work for the poor is increasingly becoming an important part of the global research and development agenda. Organizations have used various strategies to link farmers to markets. These approaches have mainly been evaluated for their potential to increase participation in markets and household incomes. The evaluations have assumed a unitary household where income and resources are pooled and allocated according to a joint utility function. In most households, however, income is rarely pooled and neither are resources jointly allocated. This article uses data from Malawi and Uganda to analyze what influences income distribution between men and women, focusing on the type of commodity, type of market and approaches used. The results indicate that commodities generating lower average revenues are more likely to be controlled by women, whereas men control commodities that are high revenue generators, often sold in formal markets.Relier les petits agriculteurs aux marchés et faire en sorte que ces derniers servent les pauvres sont des objectifs qui prennent une importance grandissante dans les programmes mondiaux de recherche et de développement. Les organisations ont mobilisé diverses stratégies pour relier les agriculteurs aux marchés. Ces approches ont surtout été évaluées pour leur capacité potentielle à accroître la participation aux marchés et les revenus des ménages. Les estimations sont basées sur l’hypothèse du ménage unitaire dont les revenus et ressources sont regroupés et répartis selon une fonction d’utilité commune. Dans la plupart des ménages, cependant, les revenus sont rarement mis en commun et les ressources ne proviennent pas non plus d’une seule source. Cet article s’appuie sur des données concernant le Malawi et l’Ouganda pour analyser ce qui influence la répartition des revenus entre hommes et femmes, en portant une attention particulière aux types de marchandises, de marchés et d’approches utilisés. Les résultats indiquent que les produits qui génèrent le moins de revenus sont généralement l’affaire des femmes alors que les hommes se chargent des denrées qui génèrent le plus de revenus, et qui sont souvent vendues sur les marchés formels.

Suggested Citation

  • Jemimah Njuki & Susan Kaaria & Angeline Chamunorwa & Wanjiku Chiuri, 2011. "Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets, Gender and Intra-Household Dynamics: Does the Choice of Commodity Matter?," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 23(3), pages 426-443, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:23:y:2011:i:3:p:426-443

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    Cited by:

    1. Andersson, Karolin & Bergman Lodin, Johanna & Chiwona-Karltun, Linley, 2016. "Gender dynamics in cassava leaves value chains: The case of Tanzania," Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment, vol. 1(2), March.
    2. Katia Alejandra Covarrubias, 2015. "The role of crop diversity in household production and food security in Uganda: A gender-differentiated analysis," FOODSECURE Working papers 32, LEI Wageningen UR.
    3. Fischer, Elisabeth & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Gender, Agricultural Commercialization, and Collective Action in Kenya," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126659, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Njuki, Jemimah & Waithanji, Elizabeth & Sakwa, Beatrice & Kariuki, Juliet & Mukewa, Elizabeth & Ngige, John, 2014. "Can market-based approaches to technology development and dissemination benefit women smallholder farmers? A qualitative assessment of gender dynamics in the ownership, purchase, and use of irrigation," IFPRI discussion papers 1357, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Birhanu Megersa Lenjiso & Jeroen Smits & Ruerd Ruben, 2016. "Smallholder Milk Market Participation and Intra-household Time Allocation in Ethiopia," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 28(5), pages 808-825, November.
    6. repec:eee:agisys:v:162:y:2018:i:c:p:77-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Namonje-Kapembwa, Thelma & Thelma, Antony, 2016. "Improved Agricultural Technology Adoption in Zambia: Are Women Farmers Being Left Behind?," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 245916, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    8. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:30:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0118-z is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0783-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Dave Nyongesa & Martin Kiogora Mwirigi & David Yongo & Stella Makokha, 2016. "Gender-concerns: do they matter in smallholder dairy groups in Kenya?," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 12(1), pages 1-17.
    11. Cecilia Navarra, 2018. "Contract farming in Mozambique. Implications on gender inequalities within and across rural households," WIDER Working Paper Series 026, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Chiputwa, Brian & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Sustainability standards, gender, and nutrition among smallholder farmers in Uganda," Discussion Papers 191001, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

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