Membership to innovation platforms and gender in ownership of productive assets in the savannas of west Africa
Access to productive assets is a major issue in the gender empowerment discourse. Asset accumulation is a precondition for economic empowerment, and sustainable accumulation of assets is key to upward mobility beyond survival, and towards economic empowerment. The objective of this study was to examine the role that participation in the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D)’s Innovation Platform “IP” – (social capital) play in empowering rural women to acquire productive assets using the case of the sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme (SSA-CP). We utilised panel data from baseline and midline data obtained from the Kano-Katsina-Maradi Pilot Learning Site (KKM PLS) of the SSA CP in West Africa. The data were obtained from twelve IPs of the three Task Forces (TFs) that made up the KKM PLS of the SSA CP. Altogether, the analysis involved 600 households in the PLS. Both descriptive analysis and the probit regression models showed that women who were inferior to men in productive asset ownership at the inception of the project improved with participation in the innovations of the project, in terms of human asset, input resource, durable business asset and household good.The value of women’s asset index was 21.78 compared to that of men at 18.33 at the end of the project. Probit regression results suggest that membership to IP, female education level, age of female spouse and household size are determinants of asset ownership by women in the study area. The results confirm that social capital in the form of membership of IP enhances accumulation of productive assets for women.
Keywords: Asset ownership, gender empowerment, innovation platform