Addressing gender & food security issues in local food markets

This refresher course, organised by Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) and Egerton University, aims to contribute to gender friendly, food secure local market-economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa, through policy and programme development that supports market participation, boosting effective demand and accommodating institutional change.

The two leading frameworks of analysis that are relevant in this context are the Value Chain Analysis (VCA) framework and the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA). The participants examine these two networks in detail during the course programme. The interface between and expressed through these two frameworks determines the potential gender balanced, food secure, pro-poor and inclusive product-market combinations. This is the integrating theme of the course. To aid the participatory value chain analysis and action planning process, the Chain-wide Learning (CWL) methodology is applied in the course.

The course zooms in on three interrelated questions:

  • How can smallholders and small/medium enterprises more efficiently engage in food market development?
  • How can effective demand for nutritious, acceptable and affordable food products be increased for all strata of consumers?
  • How can this be achieved with increased gender balance and household equity?

Course aims and objectives

The course follows a modular approach in which concepts and relevant frameworks of analysis are presented and practiced.

The first module, ‘market participation’, deals with all the governance structures for linking smallholders, subsistence farmers and rural dwellers to the market cum value chain while zooming in on the particular role and position of women.

The second module, ‘increasing effective demand for nutritious and healthy food’, deals with smoothing and reducing access barriers, and selecting optimal product-market combinations, depending the prevailing market-economic conditions. An important role to promote inclusive development of smallholder producers and entrepreneurs while ensuring access to affordable, acceptable, nutritious food to all strata of consumers, including rural and urban dwellers, is to be played by the business support services, institutions, and rules and regulations.

The third module of the course, therefore, zooms in on the topic of institutional change for integrated, demand-driven development.