The Impact of Groundnut Production and Marketing Decisions upon Household Food Security Among Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does Gender Matter?
This thesis investigates the relationship between groundnut cash cropping decisions and household food security in two regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Particular attention is paid to how the gender of groundnut growers influences this relationship. Additionally, the thesis examines how gender influences household marketing decisions. Household groundnut production and marketing data was obtained using surveys administered in eastern Uganda and central Ghana. A food consumption score developed by the World Food Program is used as a quantitative measure of food security. Measures of household groundnut cultivation intensity are specified using data on household groundnut production and marketing levels. An OLS regression estimates the relationship between the food consumption score and measures of cash cropping intensity and other cash crop production decisions. Apart from the OLS regression, a tobit model is employed to estimate the gender effects on household marketing decisions, examining both the decision to participate in a market and the decision concerning the amount to market. Cash cropping decisions are found to play no role in the determination of food security. While the presence of female groundnut growers in a household has a small positive effect on the food consumption score, there is no identifiable gender influence upon the cash cropping and food security relationship. The tobit model results indicate no gender effect upon household marketing decisions.