Highlights and preliminary results
The shift to commercialisation and the creation of employment in the agricultural sector bears a great potential for the empowerment of the rural population. However, the opportunities are distributed in a very uneven way. People with sizeable land and men tend to be much better equipped to convert these economic opportunities into assets and personal well-being achievements. Our work thus echoes the predication by Edwards: “…growth is good for the poor, but it is much better for the rich (2006, 1682, orig. emphasis)”. Another insight reflects the fact that, as globalization and economic growth translate into rural areas of developing countries, their transformative power is indeed remarkable. However, so is the perseverance of existing structures. One of the strategies to overcome the unequal distribution of the gains of commercial agriculture is to strengthen the bargaining power of rural men and women, especially those who find themselves at the lower end of the scale.