This issue of Feminist Africa revisits rural women and agricultural livelihoods, focusing on the persistence of contexts that compromise their ability to benefit from development interventions. An accumulation of studies over the years have set out to unravel the hindering factors. Some such studies, premised on the economic efficiency argument, push for greater attention to women’s productivity in rural agriculture. These studies note that women’s enhanced productivity could increase agricultural output and end poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in rural communities (Agarwal, 2011; Kelkar, 2013; Kumase et al., 2010). In response, interventions have been designed to benefit women, reaching them directly as individuals or in groups. Others have used women as agents to introduce high-yielding crops and animal breed varieties. Some interventions target resource access, while others deal with environmental challenges in weather, soil, and water content. Yet more of these interventions are devoted to providing agricultural communities with alternative livelihoods to end rural poverty. Such projects have increased over the years as different institutions attempt to resolve the perceived challenges in agricultural production, especially in the follow-up to the liberalisation of public service delivery as part of structural adjustment policies (Tsikata and Torvikey, 2021; Kelkar, 2013; Doss and Morris, 2001).
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