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Sunday, January 04, 2015

Differential returns from globalization to women smallholder coffee and food producers in rural Uganda - African Health Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 3

The African Growth and Opportunity Act was signed into law under the former American President, Bill Clinton in 2000 and while the promises of economic stability and better working conditions sounded great, unfortunately this was not the case. The Guardian's recent publication: "Uganda has little to show for African trade agreement with the US", emphasizes this very issue, that although the African growth and Opportunity Act was a great step to diminishing the poverty-stricken communities within African countries, not much has changed since. Further, special interest is taken by the author in regards to gender inequality. This inequality of women is important when discussing working conditions in developing countries.

While the signing was an important step in gaining traction of this issue, it is by no means the first step that has been taken against inequality and poverty of workers in the developing countries of Africa. In the late 1980's, it is suggested by Kanyamurwa et al. in their journal: "Differential returns from globalization to women smallholder coffee and food producers in rural Uganda", that globalization-related measures were applied in Uganda to create a more liberal trade, as well as hopes to stimulate export in coffee and other agriculture sectors. The intention being, that doing this would not only revitalize agricultural production, but also increase the incomes of farmers and improve rural food security throughout the country. To this end, the authors' objective of the study was to explore the different effects the measures had on the health and dietary outcomes of female owners and operators of small coffee and food farms in Uganda.

The methods used in this study were of a cross- sectional comparative interview survey of 190 female coffee producers, as well as a 191 female food producers in Ntungamo district, Uganda, employing mainly quantitative methods of data collection, specifically targeting the sampled households. Three months after the original quantitative data was collected, the authors also utilized qualitative data from the same households. Extra qualitative information was collected from key informants at national, district, and community levels using qualitative interviews based on an unstructured interview guide in order to concretize the study. Using indicators of production, income, access to food and dietary patterns, women's health and health care and from the two study-groups selected from the same area, female coffee producers represented a higher level of integration into liberalized export markets.

While Uganda's economy grew exponentially throughout this period, the household economic and social gains after the liberalization of the markets  may have been less than expected. In the survey carried out, both food and coffee producers were similarly poor, involved in similar scales of production, and of the same age and education level. Yet, coffee producers had greater land and livestock ownership, greater access to inputs, higher levels of income and used a greater variety of markets than food producers. Consequently, however, they spent longer hours to obtain these economic gains, and spent more money on healthcare and food from commercial sources. Their health were similar to the food producers, but with poorer dietary outcomes and far greater food stress.

In summary, it is suggested by Kanyamurwa et al., that the small-scale women farmers who are producing food cannot rely on the economic infrastructure to give them support for sustaining meaningful levels of agricultural production. Yet, despite having higher incomes than their food producing neighbours, female farmers who are dependent on producing coffee as an export commodity cannot rely on the income made by their crops to sustain their health and nutritional wellbeing. Consequently, both groups have limited levels of autonomy to address these very crucial issues.

For this journal and others from this issue, click here.

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Blogger aliyaa said...

The quantitative research analysis do it's great job with best time frame to realize the data opportunities.

1:09 PM  

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