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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Empowering women through horticulture in Honduras

Project Title: Women in Ag Network (WAgN): Honduras

Target Country: Honduras

Principal Investigator: Janelle Larson, Penn State

Collaborators

Project Description

The families of western Honduras eke out a living in an economy marked by high poverty rates, poor diets, and subsistence agriculture, with prevailing disadvantages tolling hard on women and their children. Given severe limitations in both the prospects for increased production of traditional crops and lucrative off-farm employment opportunities, the development of the horticultural sector and its higher value crops holds significant promise.

We adopt a gendered economy perspective — one that is attuned to normative, cultural, economic and political forces that shape gender inequalities in access to and control over resources — in our application of a value chain analysis of the horticultural sector in western Honduras. Our project is anchored around a rigorous qualitative and quantitative data gathering initiative that seeks to understand how the horticultural value chain can be a mechanism to support equity and empowerment for women and other marginalized populations.

We shall identify technologies, institutions and policies that facilitate small-scale farmers producing horticultural products to improve their household nutrition and to seize other opportunities in the horticultural value chain for entrepreneurs and wage laborers. Our research also will spotlight policies, regulations, and cultural norms that limit the participation of women and other marginalized groups in the horticultural value chain and attenuate the returns of that participation. Using these findings, we shall partner with local NGOs, microfinance institutions and women’s organizations to develop and deliver appropriate training, technologies and financial tools to producers, NGOs, private enterprises, and research institutes.

More information: "Project looks to horticulture value chain to improve outlook for Honduran women" Penn State press release, Feb. 23, 2015