The Unintended Side-Effects of a Major Development Strategy: Commercialization of Smallholder Production and Women Empowerment in Uganda

Proscovia R. Ntakyo, Marrit Van Den Berg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As many African countries promote commercial agricultural production, it is important to understand how this strategy influences the intra-household balance of power. Commercial crops are traditionally considered the domain of men, and women empowerment may suffer. We use a quasi-experimental design to address the relation between commercial production and women’s voice within the household in rural Uganda. We compare empowerment in households in an area targeted by a large program stimulating rice as a non-traditional cash crop with similar households elsewhere using double robust regression methods. We conclude that the commercialisation program had a significant negative effect on women empowerment in production and women’s control over income, while men’s empowerment in those domains increased. We find only weak effects for social empowerment. Based on these results, we recommend that policies and programs to stimulate commercial agricultural production among smallholder include a strong gender component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1626
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Volume58
Issue number8
Early online date13 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Commercialization
  • intra-household bargaining
  • smallholders
  • women empowerment

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