A gender analysis of crop value chains in Chamwino and Kilosa Districts, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Gender issues fundamentally shape the totality of production, distribution, and consumption within an economy but have often been overlooked in value chain development. The current study adopted a cross-sectional study design and was carried out in Chamwino and Kilosa districts. The study’s overall objective was to undertake a gendered analysis in investigating smallholder farmers’ participation in the crop value chains, in Chamwino and Kilosa Districts in Tanzania. Specifically, it aimed at analyzing the influence of gender roles in upgrading strategies on multiple-commodity food value chains, assessing the gendered impact on food securing upgrading strategies using different gender tools, analysing gender in asset ownership and participation in market oriented crop value chains and determining pathways of addressing gender based constrains for equitable and sustainable participation in profitable crop value chains. The selection of the study sites was based on their agro-ecological characteristics, a balance of matrilineal and patrilineal societies, levels of food crop commercialization, availability of infrastructure, and accessibility to regional thus enabling a good comparison all together. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire from 600 randomly selected households and complemented with focus group discussions and key informants interviews. The sampling involved purposive sampling techniques. In the analysis the influence of gender roles in upgrading strategies on multiple-commodity food value chains were computed. The findings show that crops commonly grown in the two study districts are maize (Zea mays) and sesame (Sesamum indicum) are widely grown in Kilosa, while bulrush millet and groundnut are grown in Chamwino, 50% of these crops produced are sold. The results show that in Kilosa there was no difference between men and women in relation to upgrading strategies related to natural resources, in contrast to Chamwino District where a statistical difference between male and female farmers was iii observed. The results further show that female farmers in Chamwino are more concerned about processing and storage, with more than 50% of female farmers indicating processing and storage to be a problem compared to 26% of male farmers, implying that women in Chamwino are highly involved with processing and storage tasks or are more affected by processing and storage constraints than men. A closer look at the three value chain nodes (production, processing and marketing) shows that the main constraints relate to natural resources and production. Between 76% and 95% of the respondents indicated these as leading concern, followed by processing between 20% and 53% and lastly, the marketing node between 28% and 37%. The study concludes that gender difference in the choices of crops is associated with the impact and role of the particular crop on the respective gender, for example cash crop or food crop. The study further concludes that women and youth in both regions are the ones heavily involved in the lower end of value chain components such as production, processing and storage.The study further concludes that there is a strong association between MHH and FHH asset ownership and food crop commercialization and that although asset ownership is crucial, but not all assets serve the same purpose or same importance. On removing GBC the study concludes that the intention to remove GBC in value chain is iterative since most GBC involves multiple factors, therefore it is important to identify context specific strategies to ensure that the GBC are addressed. Lastly it can be concluded that both male and female headed households are forced into food crop commercialization due to wealth situation.At the household level, men are recommended to recognize how women are burdened by the activities in the household and create a better chance for women to participate in value chain activities by allowing them to make choices on their preferred crop and to take part in the decision making. The present study further recommends the Local Government Authority and project planners to consider youth as a gender group with the potential to drive the economic development through crop commercialization. The Local Government Authority and the MHH should consider gender aspects on matters concerning land ownership because it hinders effective participation.


PhD. Thesis


Gender analysis, Crop value chains, Chamwino, Kilosa Districts, Tanzania, gendered analysis, Smallholder farmers