Can Building Non-Cognitive Skills and Providing Childcare Services Empower Women Farmers? Baseline Evidence from Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo
December 14, 2016Washington, D.C.

Join a lunchtime discussion with the Gender & Development and Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) and the Africa Gender Innovation Laboratory teams of the World Bank Group.


Developing and strengthening agricultural value chains is critical to reducing poverty in much of southern Africa. However, evidence shows that female farmers frequently achieve lower productivity from their land than male farmers, so understanding which interventions work to improve and increase productivity on both male and female managed farms is important.  Evaluations of the impact of Growth Pole Projects on male and female farmers and entrepreneurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique aim to provide some insights and answers.

Julia Vaillant presents preliminary results from the baseline survey for the DRC Western Growth Proles project. Comparisons of female and male plot managers living in the same households show that higher rates of productivity are achieved by male plot managers. Her presentation explores whether women's responsibility for childcare and other domestic tasks provides an explanation for the gender productivity gap.

Joao Montalvao presents preliminary findings from the baseline survey for the Mozambique Integrated Growth Poles project. Evidence shows that the majority of women farmers practice subsistence farming, producing maize for family consumption. Yet some are able to break into cash crop markets, cultivating and marketing tobacco, soybeans, and sugar cane. What sets these high achieving women apart? Complementary evidence from the sub-region shows that the non-cognitive skills of women farmers, such as perseverance, passion for work, and optimism could play a decisive role.

The impact evaluations are supported by the Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) Trust Fund and the Africa Gender Innovation Laboratory. The WLSME Trust Fund is a partnership with USAID that aims to promote and increase the entry and growth of women-owned and managed small and medium enterprises.

  • Lucia Hanmer

    Lucia Hanmer is a Lead Economist in Gender and Development at the World Bank Group. She served previously as senior economic adviser for the Economic Empowerment Section at UN Women and senior economic adviser at the UK's Department for International Development, after serving as Country Representative for the World Bank in Guyana. She was a researcher at the UK's Overseas Development Institute and taught economics at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. Much of her work has been in sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge.
  • Joao Montalvao

    Joao Montalvao is an economist at the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab. His research interests focus on microeconomic issues in development, including gender, agriculture, microenterprises, and education. Ongoing work includes impact evaluations to shine new light on gender gaps in economic opportunities, and help inform the design of effective policy interventions in Africa. Joao has a PhD in economics from the University College London.
  • Julia Vaillant

    Julia Vaillant is an economist at the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab. Her research focuses on finding what works to close the gender gap in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently she leads impact evaluations in several areas, including youth employment and social protection, gender-based violence, and agriculture. Julia has a PhD in economics from Université Paris-Dauphine.
  • Loraine Ronchi

    Loraine Ronchi leads the Global Agribusiness work in the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank Group, and is Global Lead for Value Chains and Agribusiness in the Agriculture Global Practice. In her twelve years at the WBG, she has led agriculture programs and policy dialogue on agriculture. She also served as technical lead for agribusiness private sector development in the IFC’s Investment Climate advisory services. She holds an MPhil in Economics from Oxford University, and her Ph.D. in Economics is from Sussex University, U.K.
  • When: 12:30-2 p.m. ET
  • Where: J B1-075, World Bank Headquarters
  • CONTACT: Shirley Bekoe