Women in non production roles in agriculture: A literature review of promising practices
This review of literature (PDF) published by USAID reveals that there are many opportunities to increase women’s economic empowerment beyond interventions focused on production. While there is a wealth of information related to women’s economic empowerment through production, there is limited available data related to best practices and promising approaches for women’s empowerment at other value chain levels. This literature review aims to fill this knowledge gap by examining approaches to empower women or increase their incomes in four phases of the value chain outside of production: input and service provision, post-harvest handling, processing, and the marketing of agricultural goods. Overall, projects at all four value chain levels tended to direct women’s empowerment efforts and activities through producer groups or cooperatives. The review states that there is evidence that interventions have successfully generated social and economic gains for women by working through producer groups of varying sizes. This literature review points to quite a few good practices that generate positive socioeconomic impacts for women. These include the creation or strengthening of women’s groups; strategies to increase women’s participation in mixed groups; technical trainings for women; the provision of post-harvest or processing technology for women; collective marketing; and the inclusion of specific gender trainings in post-production interventions. The review focuses on three specific value chains: maize, groundnut, and horticulture (defined as fruit and vegetable production). Projects span the continents of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.