Title page for ETD etd-06122002-164349

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Shillington, Laura Joan
Author's Email Address lshillin@vt.edu
URN etd-06122002-164349
Title Non-timber Forest Products, Gender, and Households in Nicaragua: A Commodity Chain Analysis
Degree Master of Science
Department Wood Science and Forest Products
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hammett, Alfred L. Tom Committee Chair
Parisi, Laura J. Committee Co-Chair
Browder, John O. Committee Member
McCrary, Jeffrey K. Committee Member
Scarpaci, joseph L. Jr. Committee Member
  • peasant livelihoods
  • informal economy
  • gender and development
  • household
  • rural sector
Date of Defense 2002-05-10
Availability unrestricted
This thesis focuses on the intersection of gender, households, and the non-timber forest product market. Based around the concept of commodity chain analysis, this research examines each stage in two non-timber forest products’, straw brooms and coco baskets, life cycles from extraction to final sale. The first objective of this research is to contribute to the literature on NTFPs, and in general gender roles in Latin America, by examining the gendered division of labor within and among the stages of two specific NTFP commodity chains, and the ways in which this division influences how important these products are to household income and conservation. The second objective is look at how commodity chain analysis can be used to examine the above issues, thereby contributing to both NTFP and commodity chain analysis literature. The research shows that the construction of gender in Nicaragua underlies the different roles that men and women perform throughout the two non-timber forest product chains. The two chains represent varying degrees of participation by women and men, and this difference is explained by the prevalence of certain tasks. In the basket commodity chain there were more tasks that are labeled feminine, and in the broom commodity chain there are more tasks labeled male. In addition, the varying participation of men and women influence how income from these products are viewed within the households as well as where men and women stand as conservation stakeholders. Commodity chain analysis served as a useful tool to examine more closely the relationship of gender and households in non-timber forest products, and could be of great assistance to the various development projects using these products as a tool for sustainable development.
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