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Abstract

Using micro level data from Cameroon this paper applies the theories of intrahousehold bargaining to models in which female farmers decide whether to take up cocoa marketing on their own or to rely on others to sell the product. We analyze the effect of marketing on control over the proceeds. We find that controlling both production and marketing provides higher bargaining power over proceeds compared to a situation in which the farmer participates only in production and delegate the task of marketing to another family member. Our data also indicate that in the cocoa sector of Cameroon, female farmers’ market participation is hindered by existing price discrimination, which in turn reduces their intrahousehold bargaining power. In other words, participating female farmers receive much lower prices for their produce than participating males. To generate higher revenue, female farmers hand over the marketing responsibility to a male in the family. Such non-participation results in lower control over the proceeds by the female farmer, as the individual doing the marketing can now claim a higher share in the revenue. Additionally we find that collective marketing contributes to eliminating price discrimination and promoting female market participation and thus their control over proceeds.

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