Feed the Future
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Integrating Gender into Agricultural Value Chains: Experiences from Kenya and Tanzania

Jul 23, 2009
institutional sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development


Cristina Manfre of Development and Training Services and Deborah Rubin of Cultural Practice presented "Integrating Gender into Agriculutural Value Chains: Experiences from Kenya and Tanzania." The seminar was the 41st installment of the Linking Small Firms to Competitiveness Strategies Breakfast Seminar Series sponsored by the USAID Microenterprise Development office.

The presentation began with Manfre and Rubin explaining that the acronym of their title, INGIA, is Swahili for "enter". Considering that the focus of the Gender Access to Trade Expansion (GATE) project is on getting women to enter the value chain, the acronym (INGIA-VC) is quite fitting. Instead of looking at the common approach to addressing gender in value chains (production, market, consumption) and retrofitting women into it, GATE activities enhance existing USAID trade and economic growth activities by helping Missions to address gender considerations in their programming and implementation efforts.

Manfre and Rubin outlined the GATE capacity building program, as well as the various workshops conducted with program staff. Lessons learned from field case studies were provided, including the Kenya Horticulture Development Program, Kenya Maize Development Program, and Sustainable Environmental Management through Mariculture Activities (SEMMA). The presentation closed with Manfre and Rubin discussing the findings of the various programs.


Cristina Manfre headshot
Cristina Manfre
Development and Training Services
Cristina Manfre headshot
Cristina Manfre headshot

Cristina Manfre is a gender and development specialist with extensive experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean. In her current position as International Program Manager with the USAID Women in Development Greater Access to Trade Expansion (GATE) project at Development and Training Services Inc. (dTS), she leads and manages programs in the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Kenya. She provides expertise in training, research and program management. She has conducted gender-related training and research in the areas of agriculture and natural resource management, value chain development, and micro and small enterprise development. She completed research on labor issues in the maquila sector, focusing on the role of women’s organizations in defending rights to labor. Before joining dTS, she worked as a Program Associate for the International Youth Foundation where she managed country-level projects for a USAID/IDB program for a Latin America region-wide youth employment and information and communication technology (ICT) program.  Manfre holds a Master of Science in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Deborah Rubin headshot
Deborah Rubin
Cultural Practice
Deborah Rubin headshot

Deborah is a senior soci

Deborah Rubin headshot

al science development analyst. As a co-owner of Cultural Practice LLC, Deborah conducts numerous gender trainings and assessments for USAID’s Office of Agriculture and missions in Mali, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania under the WID IQC. For the past two years, she has led the GATE project team in developing trainings and a handbook on integrating gender into agricultural value chains. She has also worked with USAID’s Office of Agriculture and the Board on International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) on multiple assignments related to USAID-funded agricultural research and its university partnerships. She was an advisor to the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program from 2005-2009. Deborah has received multiple grants and fellowships, including a MacArthur Foundation award to investigate different understandings of the concept of culture in international development; a AAAS Diplomacy Fellowship to work at USAID; a Rockefeller Foundation Post-Doc in Kenya with the International Food Policy Research Institute researching the impact of cash cropping on household nutrition and intrahousehold patterns of resource allocation; and a Fulbright grant to conduct long-term field research in Tanzania on the gendered division of labor on cooperative and private farms. From 1989-98, Deborah was an assistant, then associate professor at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA on a joint appointment with the School of International Studies and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University.