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Integrating gender and value chain analysis in agriculture: a guide for gender practitioners and value chain scientists

ILRI manual 10Integrating gender and value chains has been a challenge to gender and value chain practitioners, largely due to a number of factors including:

• These areas of specialization have rarely come together due to lack of or limited knowledge of the potential benefits of such undertaking

• Lack of skill to combine the two areas of specialization

• Literature on gender and literature on value chains are often presented in mutually exclusive spheres of knowledge and practice

To address this challenge, a desk study was conducted by gender scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), to document an annotated bibliographic review of published tools and approaches that have been used in gender and value chain analyses. The study constituted a review of existing literature and tools on gender and value chain analysis to produce a manual. The manual is intended to inform researchers and practitioners undertaking gendered value chains analysis and development in crops and livestock on tools that have been used in gender and value chain analyses.

The review documented past work on tools and approaches that have been used in gender analysis of crop and livestock value chains.,  It therefore, serves as an annotated guide to existing materials that discuss gender and value chain analysis in crops and livestock.  The guide aims to increase understanding of the influence of gender relations on roles of different actors and on interactions among actors within and across various nodes of value chains.

A gender-sensitive value chain approach increases visibility of men’s and women’s roles in various nodes and gender specific barriers to entry and opportunities for growth. Some documented barriers include low access to markets owing to cultural seclusion of women, reduced income control by women with increased commercialization and women’s lower access to technology. These barriers influence the level of entry in nodes/value chains and an actor’s capacity to compete with other actors.

The guide highlights three broad recommendations for consideration in the design and use of value chain analysis tools:

  1. Value chain analysis must be gendered to capture the different roles, opportunities and constraints for men and women
  2. Results of gendered value chain analysis must be used not only in designing value chain interventions (such as selecting the most appropriate value chain or target group) but also in guiding project implementation and in informing monitoring and evaluation systems
  3. Gendered value chain analysis should be undertaken by persons with sound knowledge in gender at the micro, meso and macro level.

Download the guide here


2 thoughts on “Integrating gender and value chain analysis in agriculture: a guide for gender practitioners and value chain scientists

  1. Thank you very much for sharing this interesting resource on gender in value chain development. Also for Agri-ProFocus this theme is a very important topic.

    Agri-ProFocus ( (APF) is a partnership with Dutch roots that promotes farmer entrepreneurship in developing countries. The partnership was founded in 2005. Agri-ProFocus as a network offers a central ‘marketplace’ where organizations, professionals, resources and knowledge come together.
    Agri-ProFocus has Agri-hubs in 12 African countries and in Indonesia

    Since 2008, Agri-ProFocus has been working to improve gender equity in agricultural value chain development.

    • An online platform with over 800 professionals
    • A book with cases from all over the world Challenging Chains to Change) (In English, French and Spanish)
    • The Gender in Value Chains Toolkit. The toolkit provides tools for every stage in the project cycle of a value cahin development programme (In English, French and Spanish)
    • Agri-ProFocus believes that organisations also need on-the-job-guidance/coaching on real-life cases to put gender-sensitive ways of working in practice, for this reason coaching tracks were developed. Gender in Value Chain coaching tracks have started in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Bolivia/ Peru and Kosovo coaching tracks, other countries, also in Western Africa are about to start.

    For more information on the activities of the gender in value chain network of Agri-ProFocus read here: .

    Please feel free to address me for more information

    Angelica Senders, gender in value chain network facilitator,

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