A multidonor initiative, the Second Rural Development Program (RDP II) was designed to improve basic infrastructure and services in rural areas and to strengthen the linkages between smallholder farming households and markets. Amongst other objectives, the program supports farming households to engage in productive partnerships with commercial enterprises.
A household questionnaire was used to collect data, supplemented by informal discussions with farmers and community members. Cocoa and coconut value chains were ideal focus areas. Women here are typically involved in the more time-consuming and labour-intensive activities of planting, production and harvesting, while men dominate post-harvest processing, sales, and resulting income. To facilitate an accurate comparison between agribusiness partnerships and a sufficiently comparable control group, however, the assessment focused on cocoa partnerships only. Data collection occurred in July 2017-March 2018.