The Gendered Production---Marketing Continuum of NERICA Upland Rice in Hoima District, Uganda
Drawing on a survey covering 302 smallholder households growing NERICA upland rice in Hoima District, Uganda, complimented by qualitative data, this paper will first show that NERICA has become an important food and income earner for these farmers. More than one third of their total cultivated acreage is dedicated to this new crop, and with over three quarters of the harvest being sold off at competitive rates, it makes a significant contribution to the households’ income portfolios. Next, the paper will argue that NERICA can provide an important entry point for Ugandan women farmers into more commercially oriented modes of production. The traditional cash crops grown in the district such as tobacco are generally controlled by men, and the food crop surpluses that women usually market fetch low prices. Rice not solely being perceived as a commercial crop but also a food crop seems to have made it more accessible to women as it thereby escapes gendered cultural taboos. Hence NERICA has provided socio-economic leverage for women farmers vis-à-vis men farmers when it has expanded the space for women to earn money. It has even made it possible for female-headed households to reach the same level of rice market integration as male-headed households. However, the impact it has had on women in male-headed households depends on the degree of control these women have been able to attain over the proceeds from the crop in relation to their husbands, which nevertheless invariably seems greater than for the traditional cash crops.
- Human Geography
International Rice Research Conference 28, 2010