Gender and agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: review of constraints and effective interventions

Raising agricultural is essential to boosting gross domestic product (GDP), reducing poverty, improving food security, and achieving structural transformation across Africa. Yet, Africa’s agricultural intensification has not kept pace with that of other developing regions. One significant and costly inefficiency undermining the region’s progress is the pervasive gender gap in agricultural productivity. This gender gap represents not only a substantial impediment to growth in the agricultural sector but, moreover, a forgone opportunity to increase national income and reduce poverty at the regional level. To address the productivity gender gap and realize the potential of African agriculture, establishing a clear understanding of the gender specific constraints hindering the productivity of women farmers is crucial. This paper develops a conceptual framework for thinking about the gender gap in agricultural productivity, reviews evidence on the effectiveness of policies and interventions designed to address the constraints faced by women farmers and proposes a research agenda to move the policy debate forward.