Analysis of The Role of Women Within the Oil Palm Value Chain in the Akyemansa District and Birim Central Municipality of the Eastern Region of Ghana
Keywords:oil palm, women, value chain, ghana
This study presents the findings of the analyses of the role of women in the oil palm value chain. The Akyemansa District and Birim Central Municipality were selected purposively, and primary was data collected from 74 farmers, 109 processors and 47 distributors within the study area. The research set out to identify and map out the actors within the oil palm value chain, describe the key roles performed by women at each stage of the chain, estimate the differences in value added between men and women, as well as identify and rank constraints faced by actors. The results show that women add the most value in the production, processing and distribution nodes of the chain. Women recorded higher ROI values (GH₵0.3, GH₵0.3 and GH₵0.5 – the latter being significantly different from that of the men) and higher gross margins (GH₵0.5, GH₵1.21, GH₵4.65) per unit sale for the production, processing and distribution stages respectively. The most pressing constraints were identified as high transportation and labour costs as well as high interest rates. These results informed policy recommendations, among which include a call to empower women to take up more leadership roles in the oil palm sector, especially in management and resource-control. Government must ensure that access roads are developed and better maintained to ease the transportation of goods. The assembly must encourage the formation and/or activation of associations to give the actors leverage on the capital market and help them manage labour costs, for example through communal labour.