A widely quoted estimate is that women produce 70 to 80 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) food. Increasing farmer productivity in SSA therefore requires understanding how these women make planting, harvesting, and other decisions that affect the production, consumption, and marketing of their crops. This brief provides an overview of the gender cropping series highlighting similar themes from the various crops studied, presenting an overarching summary of the findings and conclusion of the individual literature reviews. The studies reviewed suggest that differential preferences and access to assets by men and women can affect adoption levels and the benefits that accrue to men and women. Findings show that women have less secure access to credit, land, inputs, extension, and markets. Similarly, women’s multi-faceted role in household management gives rise to preferences that may very well be different from those of men. Participatory Breeding and Participatory Varietal Selection are two methods shown to be successful in developing technology that is more appropriate and more likely to avoid unintended consequences. Regularly collecting gender-disaggregated statistics can also result in a greater understanding of how technology has affected both men and women. Agricultural technology has the potential to enhance both men’s and women’s welfare and productivity, but unless gender is sufficiently integrated into every step of the development and dissemination process, efforts will only achieve a fraction of their total possible benefit.
This brief is part of a series of literature reviews exploring gender implications of improved cropping technology in Sub-Saharan Africa. Each crop-specific paper explores the role of women in production, and provides a framework for analyzing technology’s impact on women throughout the cropping cycle. Click the links below to explore the other briefs in this series.
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Executive Summary (EPAR Research Brief #64)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Rice (EPAR Research Brief #27)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cassava (EPAR Research Brief #32)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Wheat (EPAR Research Brief #36)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Maize (EPAR Research Brief #38)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sorghum (EPAR Research Brief #39)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Millet (EPAR Research Brief #40)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Yams (EPAR Research Brief #51)
- Gender & Cropping in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cotton (EPAR Research Brief #55)