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Empowered women increase crop yields & improve lifestyle

Family_UnitSTAFF WRITER | World Bank

PORT MORESBY – A World Bank study has found that when women in Papua New Guinea are empowered to make decisions in the sale of cocoa and coffee, their households ultimately benefit.

The ‘Household Allocation and Efficiency of Time in PNG’ report, part of a K360 million World Bank project, analysed how domestic responsibilities impact the ability of women to allocate their labour to cultivate, harvest and process cocoa and coffee in PNG.

The report, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, said men and women do not share the same tasks within the household: men’s work being geared towards cocoa or coffee production and women more focused on other agricultural and off-farm activities as well as on domestic work.

This leaves women little time to engage in more value-added agricultural activities.

However, the results showed that household welfare outcomes are higher when women have more control over the sale of cocoa and coffee and the resulting income.

More empowered women are also more likely to have an equal relationship with their male partner, with whom they are not afraid to disagree over household decision making.

Patricia Veevers-Carter, the World Bank’s PNG country manager said:

“This report demonstrates that when women are given more equal control over domestic and financial decisions, as well as better access to technology such as mobile phones and the internet, there is a direct correlation with increased cocoa and coffee sales, as well as improvements in children’s health, nutrition, education and poverty reduction.”

“These issues are key to understanding and ultimately improving the performance of agribusiness supply chains in PNG,” said Allan Oliver, the World Bank’s senior agricultural specialist for East Asia and Pacific.

Read the full ‘Household Allocation and Efficiency of Time in Papua New Guinea’ report here.

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