The Gendered Dynamics of Contract Farming: Exploring impacts of shifting intra-household labour allocation patterns on the role of women
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This research explores changes of intra-household labour patterns, as a result of the introduction of oil palm cultivation under contract framing, and the effect thereof on the role of rural women. The purpose of this research is to contribute towards a deeper understanding of the socio-economic impacts of contract farming to theorize if these farming schemes could potentially form a solution towards socially and environmentally sustainable oil palm. A case study has been conducted in a Brazilian agrarian settlement, Calmaria II, where inhabitants cultivate oil palm under contracts, (partially) as part of the sustainable oil palm production programme (Programa de Produção Sustentável de Palma de Óleo, PPSPO). The research concludes that the introduction of oil palm contract farming has changed labour patterns thus far that it decreased the allocation of time, task and work burden for women; and hereby consequently influenced existing social norms and gender roles regarding labour in such a way that it strengthened the role of women as active intra-household decision-makers.