Gender analysis of households’ decision-making to reduce post-harvest losses of cassava in Ghana, Nigeria, and Vietnam
This study analysed gender dimensions of decision-making at the household level in cassava enterprise in Ghana, Nigeria, and Vietnam in the context of risks and benefits to food security to ensure value addition to reduce post-harvest losses from cassava. Rapid participatory rural appraisal was used to select a total of 501 households in the countries chosen for this study. Focus and group discussions (F and GD) and semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect primary data. Data were analysed descriptively. Twenty cassava-based activities linked to gender activities in cassava processing households in the selected countries were identified. In all three countries, final decisions to allocate and use resources were taken by men – although women are commonly responsible for post-harvest management. Ownership of production and processing assets is positively skewed to men across the sample with women having rights of use only. Household decision-making objectives for generating peels and attitudes towards cassava peels vary by country and by lineage/descent, largely influenced by culture, level of education, religion, formal employment opportunities, and income levels. Household cassava peels utilization has low value and is therefore not a focus of male interest in Ghana and Nigeria but if value is added, this dynamic may change. This was different in Vietnam where peels are processed generationally for additional household income. This study proposes the design of empowerment/development strategies such as group dynamics and skill acquisition to increase women’s bargaining and decision-making capacities and reduce male/elite capture of interventions.