Gender and Sunflower

Women in the sunflower sector

As the sunflower sector in Malawi is dominated by smallholders and is easily produced without requiring significant inputs, the crop lends itself very well to be grown by female farmers. However, current estimates suggest that currently 25% of household producing sunflower are female-headed. In sunflower-producing male-headed households sunflower production is usually controlled by men, as sunflower is largely seen as a commercial crop.
Despite this, there are significant efforts underway in Malawi to support women’s involvement in sunflower production and processing. A case in point is the work done by the National Association of Business Women in Malawi (NABW), which is supporting 50 women entrepreneurs to grow and process sunflower. The intervention includes training on business development, as well as facilitated access to finance and certified seeds, among others. MOST is at present in conversation with NABW on possible partnership.