Title: Gendered Value Chain Analysis of Mangoes in Malawi

Final project
Year of publication:
Gender Policies
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Pétur Waldorff


Malawi has a favourable climate for fruit production and yet, the fruit sub-sector receives little support from both the government and the private sectors. The production of mangoes has been increasing through the years; however, of all harvested mangoes, 60% are lost due to poor harvest and post-harvest handling techniques. These high levels of post-harvest losses and spoilage represent wasted income generating opportunities for mango farmers that could be improved with the introduction of enhanced processing techniques for increased storage capacity, and control of the product within the value chain. It is important to take note that the mango value chain in Malawi is not gender neutral; i.e., women and men are affected by, and benefit differently from, the value chain. Regrettably, research on gender and mango value chains in Malawi have been insignificant, and remain unpublished. Thus, this paper sets a foundation for future investment and interventions in the mango sub-sector. The purpose of this paper is to provide a gendered analysis of the mango value chain in Malawi. The paper identifies a variety of gender related issues at each stage of the mango value chain, and strategies that need to be taken into consideration when improving and upgrading a mango value chain. The paper emphasizes the importance of understanding gender roles and relations for a dynamic mango value chain that benefits both men and women in Malawian society. It tackles issues of household division of labour, and the triple roles of women (reproductive, productive and community roles), and how these affect the mango value chain. The paper reveals that although women take part in all stages of the mango value chain, they are mainly concentrated in the production and processing stages, while men are concentrated in the stages where money is involved, such as the business and marketing stages. Furthermore, the paper reveals that women face many challenges that affect men less. These challenges include access to, and control over, resources, as well as access to financial and agricultural extension services. Lastly, the paper provides a number of recommendations that needs to be taken into consideration when developing a gender responsive mango value chain in Malawi. The most critical recommendations, among others, are: the formulation of a gender responsive horticultural policy; formation of women mango farmer groups (associations and cooperatives); implementation of household approach methodologies to tackle issues of gender inequality that affect the operations of the mango value chain at household level; and provision of gender and horticultural (e.g. mango value chain) training to agriculture staff and farmers.

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