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Gender, Agricultural Commercialization, and Collective Action in Kenya

  • Fischer, Elisabeth
  • Qaim, Matin
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    With the commercialization of agriculture, women are increasingly disadvantaged because of persistent gender disparities in access to productive resources. Farmer collective action that intends to improve smallholder access to markets and technology could potentially accelerate this trend. Here, we use survey data of small-scale banana producers in Kenya to investigate the gender implications of recently established farmer groups. Traditionally, banana has been a women’s crop in Kenya. Our results confirm that the groups contribute to increasing male control over banana. While male control over banana revenues does not affect household calorie consumption, it has a negative marginal effect on dietary quality. We demonstrate that the negative gender implications of farmer groups can be avoided when women are group members themselves. In the poorest income segments, group membership even seems to have a positive effect on female-controlled income share. Some policy implications towards gender mainstreaming of farmer collective action are discussed.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/126659
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    Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil with number 126659.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126659
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.iaae-agecon.org/
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    1. Martina Aruna Padmanabhan, 2008. "Collective action in agrobiodiversity management: gendered rules of reputation, trust and reciprocity in Kerala, India," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 83-97.
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    10. Bernard, Tanguy & Spielman, David J., 2009. "Reaching the rural poor through rural producer organizations? A study of agricultural marketing cooperatives in Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 60-69, February.
    11. Lauren Pandolfelli & Ruth Meinzen-Dick & Stephan Dohrn, 2008. "Gender and collective action: motivations, effectiveness and impact," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 1-11.
    12. John G. McPeak & Cheryl R. Doss, 2006. "Are Household Production Decisions Cooperative? Evidence on Pastoral Migration and Milk Sales from Northern Kenya," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(3), pages 525-541.
    13. Agarwal, Bina, 2000. "Conceptualising Environmental Collective Action: Why Gender Matters," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 283-310, May.
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    15. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
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