Gender dynamics in cassava leaves value chains: The case of Tanzania

There is growing recognition of the importance of African leafy vegetables for achieving healthy diets, particularly amongst low-income households. In Tanzania, cassava leaves are an important vegetable, yet little is known about how their markets are organized and who benefits from participation and how. This study examines the structure of and gender dynamics in the cassava leaves value chain in Mkuranga District, Tanzania. Data was collected through structured and semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and observations. The findings show that the value chain is in its formative stage, yet, two thirds of the sampled farmers market cassava leaves. While the value chain is dominated by women, participation at different nodes is highly gendered, and so is the distribution of benefits. Private and public institutions urgently need to increase their support to the value chain, given the importance of the leaves in enhancing diets and as a source of income for women. Finally, future research on cassava should consider both tubers and leaves to understand the trade-offs and synergies between them.

Citation: 
Andersson, K., Lodin, J. B., & Chiwona-Karltun, L. (2016). Gender dynamics in cassava leaves value chains: The case of Tanzania. Journal of Gender, Agriculture, and Food Security. 1:2, 84-109.
Year: 
2016
Media Type: 
Journal Article
Geographic Focus: 
Access & control Banana Cassava Farmers Gender Gender analysis Gender equity Marketing Production Sweet Potato Value Chain Women's Empowerment

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