Closing the Gender Asset Gap: Learning from Value Chain Development in Africa and Asia (IFPRI)


A recently released discussion paper by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on the gender asset gap, based on four project case studies, indicates that dairy and horticulture value chain cases have successfully increased the stock of both men’s and women’s tangible assets and those assets they own jointly. The four projects implemented in four countries (Uganda, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Bangladesh) have also increased social and human capital, particularly for women (Quisumbing et al., 2014).

To download and read IFPRI’s discussion paper on the gender asset gap, click here.

The first case study of IFPRI’s discussion paper on the gender asset gap features a Land O’Lakes Manica Smallholder Dairy Development Project in Mozambique, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture through the Food for Progress Program. The program aims to rebuild Mozambique’s dairy industry to meet market demand and to increase incomes for smallholder farmers through their participation in a sustainable dairy value chain. The program has provided training in soil conservation, milk collection, marketing, and animal husbandry techniques. It set up three milk collection, processing, and distribution centers and helped establish 11 dairy associations and three dairy cooperatives. Beneficiary households qualify to receive a cow according to established criteria, including the willingness and ability to invest their own resources in a dairy operation and to send two household members to all training courses, and the ability to make decisions about land use (Quisumbing et al., 2014).

To read more on Land O’Lakes Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project (GAAP) in Mozambique, click on the following link.

The second case study, CARE’s Strengthening the Dairy Value Chain (SDVC) project, works with 35,000 smallholder farmers in northwest Bangladesh to improve their dairy-related incomes. The first phase aimed to reduce key constraints that inhibit smallholder participation in the value chain: lack of farmer knowledge and coordination, weak milk markets, and limited access to productive inputs. The project helps create dairy farmer associations, mostly formed by groups of poor women smallholder dairy farmers. The project also aims to increase women’s employment throughout the value chain, as producers, as input suppliers, including as livestock health workers (LHWs), and in other jobs where they are typically underrepresented (Quisumbing et al. , 2014).

The third case study is Helen Keller International (HKI)’s Enhanced Homestead Food Production (EHFP) program, which was implemented from 2009 to 2012 in the Fada N’Gourma Department of Gourma Province in Burkina Faso with the aim of improving infant, young child, and maternal health and nutrition outcomes through a set of nutrition and production interventions targeted towards women (Quisumbing et al. , 2014).

The following is a link to HKI’s EHFP program in Burkina Faso:

The fourth project is the Harvest Plus Reaching End Users (REU) project, which introduced biofortified orange sweet potato (OSP) in Uganda in 2007 to increase dietary intake of vitamin A and reduce the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency. The REU project engages existing farmers’ groups, composed largely or entirely of women, in multi pronged intervention, including free vine cultivation, training of adult women in project households on the nutritional benefits of OSP, and trainings of farmer group members on marketing (Quisumbing et al., 2014).

The following is a link to REU project :