A model for working with agricultural cooperatives
This $190,000 grant from Ford Foundation will allow LWR to document and replicate in other cooperatives the Learning for Gender Integration methodology that has been implementing with the Flor de Pancasan Cooperative and local partner ADDAC since 2013 with the goal of demonstrating that by successfully integrating gender equity into the policies and practices of a farmer organization, positive economic outcomes for the cooperative and member households are generated.
($190k) to document and replicate the LGI methodology in other coops with the goal of demonstrating the business case for gender integration
In 2013, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and its partner the Asociación para la Diversificación y el Desarrollo Agrícola Comunal (ADDAC) came together to implement an innovative project that would target agricultural development and food insecurity with interventions that adopt a gender perspective. Working in Pancasán and targeting the local agricultural cooperative, Flor de Pancasán, the project applied a participatory gender analysis process to identify key constraints facing men and women farmers and identify policies and activities to overcome those constraints.
The project used simple analytical tools such as a gender based value chain analysis, gender gap analysis, results monitoring using sex-disaggregated data, and tools to change how the cooperative and member households understand the roles of women and men in the business of agriculture.Many gender equity initiatives build on a sense of social justice and rights. This project was able to also help participants discover a business case in agriculture for greater gender equity at the household and cooperative level and as such has established the economic incentives to carry the results forward. Cocoa yields have increased from 8.7qq/mz in 2012 to 10.8qq/mz in 2013, for both men and women farmers, with a higher percentage of women achieving increases than men. Women have implemented new best practices in coffee production at a higher rate than men. Farmers were taught to calculate women’s un-compensated contributions to the enterprise, allowing for better cost analysis. In this way, men are becoming more aware of how women contribute economically to farm operations and women report that they more highly value their own contributions.
Gender inequality in access to resources for agricultural production in rural areas has been reduced, in particular within producer organizations and member households, resulting in increased production and income.
A methodology for working with cooperatives and member households to identify and operationalize business incentives for increasing women’s access to resources for agricultural production is validated and documented.
Validated methodology, including lessons learned and outcomes demonstrating success is disseminated in partnership with farmer organizations in Nicaragua, Honduras and potentially other Central American countries.
Though the Learning for Gender Integration (LGI) project is still underway, and was a pilot with a single cooperative, others have expressed interest in learning from this experience. ADDAC works with a network of cooperatives and they organize cooperative forums.During the last forum Flor de Pancasán shared their experiences with gender equity, heavily emphasizing the economic results of their efforts, and there was much interest generated among the other cooperatives present in opportunities to learn from their experience. ADDAC is interested in scaling this work to the other cooperatives they work with.