Women’s Role in Cocoa and Coffee Growing

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The FINANCIAL — A World Bank study has found that when women in Papua New Guinea are empowered to make decisions in the sale of cocoa and coffee, their households ultimately benefit.

The Household Allocation and Efficiency of Time in PNG report, undertaken as part of the US$110.7 million World Bank co-financed Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project, analyses how domestic responsibilities impact the ability of women to allocate their labor to cultivate, harvest and process cocoa and coffee in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The key message from the report is that men and women do not share the same activities or tasks within the household: men’s work is geared more towards cocoa or coffee production whereas women are more focused on other agricultural and off-farm activities and on domestic work such as cooking, washing, cleaning, and caring for other household members. This leaves women little time to engage in more value-added agricultural activities.

However, the results also show that household welfare outcomes are higher when women have more control over the sale of cocoa and coffee and the resulting income. More empowered women are also more likely to have an equal relationship with their male partner, with whom they are not afraid to disagree over household decision making.


The Household Allocation and Efficiency of Time in PNG report was supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a result of a study in 2014, The Fruit of Her Labor undertaken jointly by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) to promote gender equitable agribusiness in PNG. Previous studies have evaluated the ability of women to participate in agricultural sector value chains in PNG; however, this new report provides new insights on the gender division of labor in the cocoa and coffee sectors.

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