Women Farmers and Commercial Ventures: Increasing Food Security in Developing Countries

By Anita Spring | Go to book overview

18
Epilogue: Next Steps
Anita Spring

This volume has provided basic case studies by various researchers who have considered women's participation in commercial agricultural ventures and the consequences that result. As noted earlier, we sought to produce successful or positive cases, the “best practices” that some agencies use when referring to their successful projects. The objective has been to provide some new models and refine conceptual thinking about the subject, which has been dominated by many negative cases that document how men have benefited from commercialization while women have not and, in some cases, how women have been harmed. The literature on women in development (WID) and feminism has advanced our thinking significantly, but it is time to consider the reality of market penetration and consider women as winners, as well as losers.

The chapters here regarding Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean furnish only a sampling of the commercial ventures in which women are involved and that have had beneficial results, particularly in terms of enhancing food security, income, and decisionmaking. Several other authors considered contributing other cases from India, Nepal, and Zimbabwe but could not because of time constraints. Cases from the United States, Canada, and Europe could not be included because the focus was on developing countries, and the volume was already becoming large. Both the regional and world coverage is incomplete, as are the varieties of experience in types of agricultural enterprises and level and scale of production. Hence, the cases here just scratch the surface of what is available. Below is a list of suggested research topics.

Development, agricultural intensification, and market participation for women are not necessarily harmful, as many researchers and practitioners,

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