Towards a Gendered Agro-Commodity Approach


  • Primrose Nakazibwe Mbarara University of Science and Technology
  • Wim Pelupessy Tilburg University



Agro-Commodity Chains, Gender, Governance, Institutional Embeddedness, Intra-Household Relations


Commodity or value chains are the dominant means to channel agro-food products from cultivators to consumers. Direct open markets are either non-existent or insignificant . These chains are also the main mechanisms for integrating underprivileged groups into the world economy. Why do global value chains generate sorrow for many and joy for a few, and why are these outcomes heavily gender biased? To look for answers this article critically reviews the post-2000 and earlier gender literature by proponents and opponents of the mainstream value chain approach. The purpose is to provide a methodological contribution on the integration of gender into the commodity chain approach. Most studies have fo cused on the economic effects of chain dynamics on women in agricultural product and labor markets. Some have extended this reasoning with social and cultural effects. Despite these advances, analytical gaps still exist as most existing research has concentrated on the agricultural nodes of modern, high value chains and lacks a gendered conceptual foundation. Scarce attention has been given to traditional staple crops, non-agricultural nodes, and feed back effects of gender relations on the chain. Our results indicate that an appropriate GCC approach should also consider the gendered impacts of the interaction between the governance structure and the institutiona l embeddedness, as well as the consequences of intra-household division of resources and labor in all stages of the chain. These two conceptual complements will be needed to explain the opportunities and constraints to improve gender equity in traditional and modern agro-commodity chains.




How to Cite

Nakazibwe, P., & Pelupessy, W. (2014). Towards a Gendered Agro-Commodity Approach. Journal of World-Systems Research, 20(2), 229–256.



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