Poverty and Gender Effects of Smallholder Organic Contract Farming in Uganda

"The objectives of this study were, first, to examine the impacts of certified organic contract farming on the food security of the smallholder farm households participating in such arrangements, and second, to assess the role of gender relations in these dynamics. In particular, the study considered how the costs and benefits of participation are distributed among men and women. In order to meet these objectives, two predominantly qualitative Ugandan case studies were used: the organic pineapple and the organic coffee smallholder contract farming schemes previously mentioned. The study found that establishment of these two export-oriented certified organic contract farming schemes did not reduce household food security for scheme participants. Rather, it improved food security as higher revenues from certified organic crops enhanced households’ capacity to access food through the market. Gender relations were a critical factor for these welfare outcomes, and women generally had much less control over the benefits from scheme participation than did men, while often carrying an equal or larger share of the labor and management burden. The distribution of the benefits and costs of participation was much more skewed against women in the coffee scheme than in the pineapple one."