[IDEC seminar No.23, IEDP SIS Seminar Series]Gender matters in farm investment: Implications for land tenure security and household welfare

Speaker: MATSUURA Masanori, Area Studies Center, South Asian Studies Group, IDE JETRO, Chiba, Japan

Title: Gender matters in farm investment: Implications for land tenure security and household welfare

Date: 27 June, 18:00-19:30 JST

Place: IDEC Large conference room

Abstract The gender gap in rural development has received attention from researchers and practitioners, and it is necessary for women empowerment to better understand how gender intersects with land tenure and farm investment. However, there is a lack of discourse on the relationship among women’s managerial rights, farm investment, and household welfare. This paper studies the nexus among land tenure security, farm investment, household welfare and their interactions with gender in Zambia, one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Sub Saharan Africa. To this end, we use datasets from a new and nationally representative panel survey in Zambia and taking advantage of two distinct societies in Zambia i.e., matrilineal vs. patrilineal. We find that land tenure is positively associated with farm investment, and women with land tenure are more likely to invest in tree planting to protect harvest from weather shocks.
Furthermore, tree planting is found to enhance farm income and alleviate food insecurity. Dividing households into matrilineal and patrilineal societies, the result shows that households led by women benefit from land tenure security and farm investment only in patrilineal societies. This heterogeneity suggests that the gender gap in rural areas would stem from a male’s dominance in land stewardship. Therefore, the findings provide insights into the underpinnings of policies empowering women and increasing their bargaining power within households through land reforms.

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