The heat never bothered me anyway: Gender-specific response of agricultural labor to climatic shocks in Tanzania
- Impact Area
United States of America
As the magnitude, intensity, and frequency of weather extremes increases uncertainty and risks to livelihoods in developing countries, substantial research has been developed on the detrimental effects of weather shocks on the poor and vulnerable facing acute food insecurity.
At the same time, empirical evidence on gender-specific impacts of such shocks on labor use in agriculture remains limited, although more studies focus on gender-differentiated experiences and responses. This is surprising, as more than half of the adult population in Africa south of the Sahara is engaged in agriculture, and farms are largely operated under rainfed conditions and with limited mechanization, making adequate labor input essential to producing food and generating incomes.
To shed more light on this issue, we assessed the impact of heat stress on agricultural labor supply in Tanzania, and also examined sex-differentiated responses. In a study published in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, we examine gender-specific responses to heat stress on agricultural labor, disaggregated by key agricultural activities—including land preparation and planting, weeding and harvesting—for different household types, including dual-adult versus female-only households in Tanzania.
Photo credit: Bonita G. Osborn/IESC