Sightsavers Reports

An Evaluation of a Programme to Optimize Confidence and Participation in Labour Markets among Farmers in Agricultural Value Chains in Western Kenya: The UNGANA Project

Status: In progress

Main Objectives

This study aims to determine whether the intervention (i.e., farmers’ hubs) can improve confidence and participation in labour market outcomes for sorghum farmers. We will specifically assess the effect of the intervention on:

  1. The proportion of sorghum farmers with an EABL contract of intent
  2. Confidence of sorghum farmers, with regards to their rights
  3. Employment status of participants

We will also explore:

  1. The levels of disability-related stigma among study participants
  2. The proximity and geographic distribution of agricultural extension services around individual sorghum farmers

Summary

In many low-income countries, smallholder farmers are responsible for the production of the bulk of food consumed. Despite the significant role smallholder farmers play in improving access to food security and labour markets, they face various challenges such as poor access to farm inputs and extension services, lack of credit facilities, adverse weather conditions, and exploitative financing and crop management advice from traders in local markets.

These challenges are likely to be worse for women smallholder farmers who constitute a significant proportion of agricultural workforce in many settings. In addition, farmers with disabilities may face a combination of systematic, attitudinal, or environmental barriers that limit their participation in agricultural value chains.

The proposed research is anchored on the Global Labour Program – Inclusive Futures (GLP), also referred to as the UNGANA programme, which seeks to demonstrate that a set of relational capacity building interventions along value chains leads to improved levels of employment among people, particularly women and men with disabilities, as well as improvements in the protection of their labour rights. The Global Labour Program is being funded by USAID, and will be led by the Inclusive Futures consortium.

Implications for policy and practice

Agricultural value chains have the potential to address some of the barriers faced by persons with disabilities (PWDs) in participating in labour markets. PWDs can participate in agriculture by contributing their labour (i.e. carrying out their household farming activities but exerting no control over production and marketing decisions) or through decision making (i.e. making decisions about what to cultivate, how to cultivate it, when to sell, and how to use income generated).

However, PWDs face a combination of systematic, attitudinal, or environmental barriers that limit their participation in agricultural value chains. Attitudinal factors (e.g., misconceptions that PWDs cannot engage in farming activities, distrust by financial institutions that excludes them from accessing credit facilities, and self-exclusion from agriculture due to self-stigma) may limit their participation in agriculture. In addition, environmental factors (e.g., lack of adapted farming tools and techniques, inaccessible training, and inaccessible infrastructure for PWDs) and institutional barriers (such as discriminatory policies against PWDs) may limit their participation in agricultural value chains.

The proposed research will provide evidence on how the intervention improves confidence to exercise labour rights and participation in labour markets for farmers with and without disabilities.

Main Contact

George Okello
Regional Research Advisor, ECSA
Sightsavers
[email protected]

Partners

Innovations for Poverty in Action

Funder

Duration

January 2022 – December 2027

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