Working Paper
Contract farming in Mozambique

Implications on gender inequalities within and across rural households

This paper analyses the implication of contract farming on gender inequalities in rural Mozambique. Contract farming is often considered one of the major tools of agribusiness development: it broadly includes those arrangements under which producers commit to provide a pre-defined quantity of crop to a buyer firm.

This paper exploits a panel dataset (2002–05) collected by the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture among a nationally representative sample of rural households to explore contracts’ implications for gender equality, both across and within households. We look both at the participation of female-headed households in contracts, and at the impact of establishing a contract on a set of intra-household women empowerment indicators.

Concerning the first, our results confirm a selection out of contracts in rural households where a woman is the household’s head. With regard to the second, we may expect contrasting effects to be at work: on the one hand, the consequences of increased income relaxing the budget constraint, while, on the other, the effects of an intra-household shift towards men’s control over assets.

We find different results according to the indicator used: after controlling for selection bias, we find no effect on control over land, but a negative effect on women’s access to extension services.