BLOG: Mapping The Chain: Looking Beyond Production For Inclusive Agriculture Development

In a new blogpost on Microlinks, "Mapping The Chain: Looking Beyond Production For Inclusive Agriculture Development," Krista Jacobs and Jenn Williamson share some good insights reflecting on Feed the Future's first phase.

A key lesson learned from the first five years of Feed the Future is that providing access to inputs or knowledge of agriculture production is not enough: expanding women’s skills, roles, and market relationships in agriculture and food systems is critical for both women’s and men’s participation in and benefit from inclusive agricultural growth...

Through the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) initiative, they reviewed existing Feed the Future efforts in agricultural value chains beyond production. They found:

Only about one-fourth of the interventions covered in the landscape analysis had readily accessible sex-disaggregated data to show women’s and men’s involvement. Women were most often reached by business development, marketing and processing efforts... A small number of activities also reported increases in women’s sales, incomes and decision-making power within agricultural businesses or associations.

Thinking about FtF 2.0, they emphasize the need to strengthen gender M&E to improve learning and develop more adaptive, effective programming:

As Feed the Future moves forward, we need to continue to improve collection, reporting and use of sex-disaggregated data, especially to capture women’s and men’s involvement in input and service provision, post-harvest handling, and processing and marketing, as well as the control and use of the income generated by these activities. We need to make sure we clearly identify how both women and men are benefiting from their own work! ... 

The deeper understanding that comes from a robust review of evidence and lessons learned will allow for more rigorous identification of good practices that enhance women’s, men’s, boys’, and girls’ livelihoods and well-being throughout agricultural systems.

Read the full blogpost here. 

Readers interested in learning more about gender and agriculture development activities outside of production are welcome to review the report, Women in Non-Production Roles in Agriculture: A Literature Review of Promising Practices (LEO Report No. 38, Jul 2016), available on Microlinks.

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