Across Africa, and in Kenya specifically, women comprise the majority of the labor force contributing to agroforestry (Kiptot 2012). Despite their greater involvement, women often do not realize the same benefits as men. Their wages are lower, their working conditions worse, and their involvement in decision making extremely limited.
Komaza is a social enterprise that partners with over 14,000 rural farmers along Kenya’s Coast in an innovative ‘outgrower’ model to plant micro-woodlots that are managed collectively in order to produce sustainable timber products. Farmers contribute land and labor and are paid for harvested trees. When providing training, planting inputs, maintenance support, harvesting services, and a guaranteed market into wood processing and sales operations close attention is paid to the underlying gender dynamics of land ownership and labor. Komaza seeks to recognize the labor undertaken by women through an innovative farmer compensation model and payment system, which are the focus of this brief.