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The Gendered Impact of Coffee Market Liberalisation in Uganda


Research Institutions:

Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Kampala, Uganda and Kiel Institute, Kiel, Germany



This projects intends to extend the “trade and gender” debate to agricultural economies of Sub-Saharan Africa by looking at the gendered consequences of cash crop market liberalisation. More specifically, it investigates the effects of coffee market liberalisation in Uganda with a focus on intra-household allocation.

By affecting the households’ production and consumption structure, trade reforms can have an important impact upon households’ resource allocation patterns and herewith on the existing gender relations. However, the evidence on the gendered effects of cash crop market liberalisation is scarce although there is some anecdotal evidence in various policy documents for negative effects and the exclusion of women. Furthermore, most gender analyses tend to focus on barriers to women from a static perspective and have very little to say on whether these barriers have possibly changed although some anthropological evidence points to changes in gender roles in East Africa.

We aim at filling these empirical gaps by investigating the case of coffee in Uganda, a country where thorough sector reforms have triggered a substantial supply response. We use data from three household surveys conducted between 1992 and 2006 to quantitatively examine the gendered impact from coffee production expansion. In order to assess changes in the intra-household resource allocation related to changes in coffee income, we examine whether the share of coffee income positively (negatively) affects the expenditure shares on male (female) goods by estimating Engel curves for a number of more or less gender-specific goods and analysing coffee yield and labour input estimations.


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