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Gender assessment study for improved fruit tree and Macadamia nuts value chains in Mzimba and Kasungu districts of Malawi

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The growing national and export markets for improved fruit (including mango) and macadamia nuts in Malawi could offer promising opportunities for smallholder farmers if they are better integrated (with appropriate resources and training) within their respective value chains. While the macadamia value chain is highly structured, export oriented and dominated by large estates, the mango and improved fruits value chains are underdeveloped, with poor organization and very limited processing done in the country. This impacts the extent smallholder farmers can be engaged in these value chains. Women, in particular, have fewer opportunities to benefit than men due to local gender norms and barriers. These range from labour roles, control of land, assets, and income, as well as lower agency at household and collective organization levels. It is critical to better understand the gender dynamics at different nodes along the value chain and within the different local contexts, in order to design gender sensitive interventions that will positively engage and empower women smallholders.

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