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Gender and social inclusion in the cashew nut value chain: the role of women and youth in agro processing in Tanzania
The main thrust of the article is that women and youth play significant roles in the cashew nut value chain, that is, from production, processing, to marketing and trade but they face more constraints than other social groups, especially in production, processing and marketing because of lack of ownership and access to productive resources such as land, credit, and membership in marketing cooperatives. Their lack of recognition deprives them of opportunities to enter into gainful transactions that can improve their working capital, activities and productivity. Their production and processing activities still depend on crude, hazardous, ineffective and inefficient inputs, implements and technologies. Furthermore, they lack the necessary knowledge, confidence and networks that can help them to secure access to inputs and markets without having to go through intermediaries. In addition, they also lack the necessary information, knowledge and skills that can help them to comply with the national regulations for registering of food processing enterprises, national and international food quality standards to qualify them to take part in dynamic domestic and export markets. The article recommends a gender and youth inclusive approach that increases women and youth entitlement to the ownership of productive assets, access to credit, awareness of technical standards required for cashew nuts on local and international markets and modern equipment and technology.