Ag2Americas Gender Initiative

Find out more about gender-focused research, teaching and outreach conducted in Latin America by Penn State's College of Agriculture.

Thematic Projects

Women in Agriculture Network

A team of College of Agricultural Sciences researchers received a nearly $1.4 million grant through the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture to perform a gender-based analysis of the Honduras horticultural value chain, with a focused on reducing barriers to women and other marginalized groups and enhancing family income and nutrition.  Find out more about the Women in Agriculture Network: Honduras.


InnovATE works to achieve sustainable food security, reduce poverty, promote rural innovation and stimulate employment by building human and institutional capacity.  The program focuses on all aspects of agricultural training and education.  Researchers at Penn State have taken the lead on the gender-focused aspect of the larger project.  Find out more about the InnovATE project.

Projects by Country


Janelle Larson is Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education Department. She is working in a five-year project along with other researchers from PennState, University of Tennessee, Zamorano University, and Tuskegee University. In their research, they analyze the role of women in agricultural network (WAgN) in Honduras. Specifically, they seek to understand how the horticultural value chain (HVC) can be a mechanism to support equity and empowerment for women, to improve their household nutrition and provide income-generating opportunities.

Through a gender economy perspective, they try to identify technologies, institutions and policies that facilitate small-scale farmers producing horticultural products to improve their household nutrition and to seize other opportunities in the horticultural value chain for entrepreneurs and wage laborers. The goal of the research is to propose policies, regulations, and cultural norms that limit the participation of women and other marginalized groups in the horticultural value chain and attenuate the returns of that participation.

The project is funded by the USAID-support Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC-Davis.  Find out more about the Women in Agriculture Network: Honduras


Rosario Castro Bernardini is a student at Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education department. She is pursuing her PhD in Rural Sociology with dual title in Women’s studies. She has been interested in women studies for the last years and her actual research was motivated by her previous collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. Currently, she is interested in studying the impact of Non Traditional Exports (NTAEs) on agricultural workers in Peru, specifically; she analyzes the work family strategies of Peru’s asparagus workers.  In her dissertation, she observes the household tasks and gender dynamics to identify the strategies developed to respond to work-family dilemmas by asparagus wageworkers and interested parties. By comparing small and big producer towns, she points out that in the former (later) towns workers are informal (seasonal) wage, the labor organization is informal (industrial), and there is sexual (even) labor division. Regarding the strategies followed by families, she finds that in big (small) towns the informal childcare services (kin support) alleviates (deteriorates) women labor conditions and families keep seasonal migration (overnight and multiple jobs).  Rosario’s research is funded by Laura Richardson Whitaker Memorial Graduate Award, Francena L. Miller and Michael F. Nolan Graduate Scholarship and Jose de la Torre Award. During her field work she was supported by ICA in Peru.


Would you like your project featured here?  Contact Melanie Miller Foster for more information.