The evaluation, carried out by the Gender, Agriculture & Assets Project, headed by IFPRI and ILRI, the International Livestock Research Institute, found that while value chains in agriculture did have the potential to increase women’s income and knowledge, aspects like ownership or the control of assets had an impact on men’s and women’s ability to participate in value chains and benefit from projects. On the other hand, projects could affect men’s and women’s ownership and control of assets, Quisumbing stressed. Gains had been made in jointly-owned assets.

The Competitive African Cotton Initiative

The Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI) seeks to increase productivity among 650,000 small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa by 35 per cent by 2015, by which time 20 per cent of trained farmers in the region are to be women. So far, 84,260 women have been trained by COMPACI in nine countries. Loyce Tembo, COMPACI Gender Desk Officer in Malawi, reported on collaboration with the Great Lakes Cotton Company, one of the country’s twelve cotton firms, and an enterprise with many women in senior positions.

COMPACI compiles sensitisation manuals, supports the setting up of female clubs, focusing e.g.