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close this bookFood from Dryland Gardens - An Ecological, Nutritional, and Social Approach to Small Scale Household Food Production (CPFE, 1991)
close this folderPart I - Gardens as a development strategy
close this folder3. Gardens, economics, and marketing
close this folder3.4 Marketing garden produce
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.4.1 Women and Marketing
View the document3.4.2 Risk, Investment, and Return
View the document3.4.3 Cooperation
View the document3.4.4 Garden Income and the Household

3.4.4 Garden Income and the Household

Who in the household controls the income received from marketing garden produce depends upon who grew it, who sold it, and their sex, age, and relationship to other household members.

In the Yatenga area of Burkina Faso, Mossi men and women garden separately on land belonging to their clans. A portion of their produce must be contributed to the family, but the rest can be sold by the gardener. Both men and women prefer not to ask their spouses for help in the garden, since they would then have to share the income. Instead they pay younger siblings (brothers or sisters) or other children.55

Among the Dogon of Mali, market gardening of onions is done mainly by men.56 Even 14-year-old boys are given garden space to grow a crop of onions for market. Women, however, are not included in the distribution of resources like land for onion gardening, and often they do not enjoy any benefits as a result of income earned by male members of their household from selling onions.

Peulh and Toucouler women in Mauritania must provide the sauces that are an essential part of the meal, as well as tea, sugar, housewares, soap, clothing, jewelry, and their daughter’s dowries.57 Clothing, jewelry, and dowries are indicators of these women’s social status and thus affect their position and voice in the community. Since the drought in the early 1970s, irrigated gardens have become more and more important for these women as a source of income for purchasing such goods.58

In contrast, married women in lower Egypt live with their husband’s family, and the mother-in-law has complete authority over her daughter-in-law.59 Especially in the early years of marriage, the mother-in-law controls all income earned by her daughter-in-law, including that earned from selling garden produce, eggs, and dairy products. Whatever money the daughter-in-law receives, if any, comes from her husband who is allowed to keep only a portion of his own income. All other earnings are given to the husband’s parents who run the household.

As the household changes through time, its need for income may also change. When the children grow up and are married, money will no longer be needed for school fees or dowries. Different needs will arise and the responsibility for providing the household with income may also shift, for example, from the older generation to the younger one.