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Does an agroforestry scheme with payment for ecosystem services (PES) economically empower women in sub-Saharan Africa?

Emmanuel O. Benjamin, Oreoluwa Ola and Gertrud Buchenrieder, neé Schrieder

Ecosystem Services, 2018, vol. 31, issue PA, 1-11

Abstract: In rural sub-Saharan Africa, poor women often face socioeconomic constraints that limit their participation in agroforestry. Agroforestry schemes with payment for ecosystem services (PES) endeavor to strike a gender balance making female smallholder farmers’ operations as profitable and sustainable as those of their male counterparts. Yet, few studies to date have investigated the theoretical and empirical links between the economic as well as gender balance objectives of agroforestry with PES and women empowerment. Our study proposes an equity and economic efficiency evaluation of agroforestry schemes with PES to test whether this approach can truly promote economic empowerment among women. The results suggest that women participation in agroforestry schemes with PES reduces their profit inefficiency and thus contributes to their economic empowerment. In addition, women with larger farms derive even more benefits from participating in agroforestry with PES as compared to smaller farms. For non-participants, an additional year of formal education and experience could reduce profit inefficiency. Thus, these schemes should target poor female smallholders if they want to get the most economic empowerment out of their program. If the poorest women are targeted, the marginal effect might be smaller as compared to poor women, but still positive.

Keywords: Agroforestry; Ecosystem services; Gender equity; Empowerment; Kenya; Sub-Saharan Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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