PHAMA Program Gender Analysis -Tonga

Author/s: Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program

Agriculture constitutes over 65 per cent of the country’s TOP $26 million exports (approximately AU$16 million) and accounts for 14 per cent of Tonga’s GDP. Two-thirds of Tonga’s households are involved in agricultural production, with approximately 2.4 per cent of households operating as commercial producers in the formal economy. Another 39 per cent of households produce some crops to sell through markets and roadside stalls in the informal economy.

Agricultural exports rely heavily on horticultural crops, and the PHAMA program is focussed on supporting these, but there has been minimal investigation of the gender aspects of the value chains. It was recognised that a basic gender analysis was required to better inform future support by the PHAMA program and other relevant donor or Government of Tonga led programs. In developing the scope of the analysis, it was also identified that handicraft (e.g. woven mats) production and sales was anecdotally a significant source of income for women throughout Tonga but due to being largely informal the trade was not reflected in official statistics such as export volumes or earnings. Hence it was agreed as useful to also consider the production and sale of handicrafts within this analysis. With a focus on these value chains, the analysis was to identify the respective roles, responsibilities, expectations and challenges of women (and men) and recommend specific aspects or approaches for the PHAMA or other programs to better address gender issues and in particular women’s economic empowerment. It was also to include a summary of the gender context in Tonga and relevant community, donor or Government of Tonga led programs or activities aimed at addressing gender issues.

  • Publisher: Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program
  • Organisation commissioning the research: DFAT
  • Date Published: March 1, 2016
  • Search keywords: Tonga, Agriculture, Horticulture, Formal Economy, Informal Economy, Formal Economy, WEE, Women's Economic Empowerment