Contract Farming in Mozambique
Implications for Gender Inequalities Within and Across Rural Households
This paper analyses the implications of contract farming for gender inequalities in rural Mozambique. Contract farming is often considered one of the major tools of agribusiness development. It broadly includes those arrangements under which producers commit to providing cash crop to a buyer firm.
This paper exploits a panel dataset (2002–2005) collected by the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture among a nationally representative sample of rural households to explore contracts’ implications for gender equality both across and within households. We look at both the participation of female‐headed households in contracts and the impact of establishing a contract on a set of intra‐household women empowerment indicators.
Concerning the first, our results confirm a (small though significant) effect of selection out of contracts of households where a woman is the household’s head. With regard to the second, we expect contrasting effects to be at work: on the one hand, increased income may relax budget constraints improving women’s living conditions, and on the other, we may expect a shift in favour of men of the control over the household’s assets.
We find different results according to the indicator used; after controlling for selection bias, we find no effect on control over land but a negative effect on women’s access to extension services.