Developing gender-smart solutions in agribusiness represents a crucial strategy to address an increasingly volatile global context and to open new opportunities for smallholder value chains. 

Women play fundamental roles in agriculture, comprising over 40 percent of its labor force worldwide.

Women’s labor force participation differs across and within countries and regions, from 20 percent in Latin America to 50 percent in parts of Africa and Asia.

Their involvement and success is critical to the sector’s competitiveness.Yet small-scale women farmers continue to face specific constraints that limit their contributions, including: 

• Limited access to hired labor, equipment, technology, training, finance, and markets; 

• Restrictions on land ownership and tenure that limit expansion opportunities and lead investors to deal primarily with men;

• Sexual harassment and violence; 

• Household, community, and care responsibilities, which are essential to rural well being but have an important effect on women’s time use.

Moreover, women traditionally participate in value chain nodes with lower economic return than men. 

Women’s participation in the production of a specific crop is often times related to the crop’s assumed value, and is thereby usually limited to local consumption and the local market. 

Men are more likely to participate in export commodities, or in markets where there is a greater economic return.

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