The paper provides pertinent results on the importance of gender sensitivity in the bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis) value chain in three provinces of Gabon.
Bush mango represents an important income source for women and men with women earning 1.7 times more than their male counterparts.
Bush mango has been solicited as an alternative livelihood portfolio for local people living around protected areas.
The value chain is perceived as vulnerable because of several threats such as logging-related deforestation, absence of harvesting norms, and lack of regeneration protocols.
Making gender-sensitive decisions for targeted interventions to strengthen the bush mango value chain requires the provision of sound sex-segregated data to policymakers and development planners.
This study conducted around three provinces of Gabon (Estuaire, Ngounié, and Nyanga) aims at exploring gender dynamics, economics, and vulnerability perceptions in the bush mango value chain by analyzing male-female roles and relationships. Interviews were randomly conducted with 174 actors as follows: 132 (Estuaire), 12 (Ngounié), and 30 (Nyanga) provinces using a semi-structured questionnaire and field observations. Women headed households dominate harvesting (21.8%), processing/trading (10.3%) and trading stages (55.2%) compared to men harvesting (7.5%), processing/trading (0.6%) and trading (4.6%). Women tend to generate relatively higher annual gross average income (1.4 million FCFA per annum), which is 1.7 times higher than that of men. Poor management of resources, the lack of harvesting norms, logging-driven deforestation, and slash-and-burn agriculture are among the perceived factors threatening the value chain. Targeted policy and actions on a gender perspective are suggested to reduce income inequality between men and women along the value chain. A long-term ecological study to monitor changes over forest resources use is crucial before carrying out any mitigating measures based on cultivation and domestication in the study areas.