Gender mainstreaming in value chain development triggers women’s empowerment in Uganda

A gender focus introduced in value chain development in Uganda has allowed women and men to start new seed businesses, to train other farmers, and to share planting material of varieties that consumers want.

Banana is a major staple in Uganda. However, traders and other value chain actors face post-harvest loses that limit their incomes. The ‘Expanding utilization of roots, tubers and bananas and reducing their post-harvest losses’ (RTB-ENDURE) project implemented the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) with a gender lens to address this concern.

Jointly facilitated by Bioversity International and the International Potato Center (CIP), the PMCA began with a gendered value chain study to identify the needs of banana value chain actors and new market opportunities specifically considering post-harvest losses. This identified the short shelf-life of most cooking banana cultivars and the mismatch between the varieties grown by farmers and those demanded by consumers. Other challenges included low production of the market-preferred varieties due to a lack of access to clean and affordable planting materials, and limited linkages between farmers and major market outlets. Male and female value chain actors also highlighted these challenges in the first stakeholders’ meeting held as part of the PMCA.

Continue reading the story in the RTB 2017 Annual Report: From science to scaling.