SNV in partnership with Women and Poverty Alleviation in Tanzania (WOPATA), MS TCDC, MIICO
and Vijana Vision Tanzania (VVT) with funding from Comic Relief, coordinated and implemented
the project titled “Empowering women small holder farmers in the rice value chain in Tanzania”
(WEP)-a multi-partner three-year-EUR 1,922,964.00project ,from September 2014 to August 2017.
The purpose was “to improve the ability of women to challenge inequalities in rice farming
communities, through influencing change in attitudes and patriarchal patterns of behavior to
improve women’s decision-making power and control of productive resources and income; and
moving the market closer to women through Village-Based Contract Farming (VBCF)”.
The project, at design, intended to reach 25,000 smallholder farmers (as direct beneficiaries),
although this was later reviewed down to 15,000 (SNV, 2015) in 100 villages, spanning six districts
across four regions of Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Rukwa in Tanzania. The project purpose was
founded on initial literature review and subsequent pilot on structuring the market for rice (2011-
2013), which clarified the challenge and opportunity thus:
“Women have limited control over productive assets and income (MMA, 2010; Masalawala,
2013), and the partriarchical culture dictates inequitable gender roles in ownership and
household decision making (Mmasa, 2013). Women only own 19% of titled land, limiting their
access to collateral and hence access to finance (World Bank, 2007). Women access to
extension services is deterred as extension services are male dominated and pervaded by
corrupt practices (Rutatora and Matee, 2001)”.
The pilot study done in 2013(SNV, 2014), indicated that when women are engaged in village based
contract farming and linked to processors, they not only increased productivity per hectare, but
increased their incomes and profit margins and attracts processors (the market) to the villages to
do business and thereby participating in the rice market.