Inequalities between family members often affect the well-being of the household and the family's ability to generate sufficient income to feed the family, send children to school, or invest in the coffee business. We support farming families in their efforts to distribute household responsibilities equitably, share the income from coffee production, and make decisions as a family, so that all family members can benefit from coffee farming.
In Uganda, women provide up to 70% of the workload in coffee production. Also, they are responsible for growing food crops, child care and household chores. Yet, income from coffee is usually spent by men.
Our Gender Household Approach targets both women and men. It promotes agricultural production as a family business where all members benefit equally from the proceeds, because decisions are made jointly about how to increase and invest farm income. In this way, coffee production becomes more attractive and families can better cope with everyday challenges such as volatile markets and a changing climate.
Self-reliant and transparent farmer organizations —crucial for modern smallholder agriculture—depend on women's active participation to ensure its positive impact on the livelihoods of families. We provide women with leadership and business skills so that they can take on positions in farmer organizations and start their own businesses.
Increasing gender equality does not only empower women—it empowers everyone!
In this guest Blog, Els Lecoutere from the University of Antwerp in Belgium, describes how she assessed the impact of improving intrahousehold decision-making on the efficiency and equity of smallholder farming among HRNS’ member coffee farming households in Uganda and Tanzania.
“I did not realize how much it affected our household development, that everything in and around used to rotate about me. I was the household's head, the financial decision maker and had full control over all of our resources and assets. Since we started participating the gender mainstreaming initiative, our living condition have improved. As a result, we can now proudly see our incomes raising and are finally able to send our kids to school.“ - Alex Asaba