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Women constitute the majority of the population of Rwanda, their role in decision making should therefore be important in the development of the country. However, in rural areas women empowerment is still low while their significant contribution is greater in politics. Women have very low purchasing power in male dominated cash crops and as a consequence it has potentially negative impact on the family income and poverty reduction. The need for analysis of their participation is vital in order to assess barriers as well as opportunities in the coffee value chain.
This study aimed at characterizing women in the coffee value chain by examining the extent of their participation and the key factors that influence intensity of participation in Huye District of Rwanda. Data was collected randomly from 246 households where 134 were participants and 112 non-participants. A double-hurdle model was used, whereby at step one, the Probit regression model was used to assess factors influencing participation decision and at step two, a truncated regression model was used to analyze the factors influencing the intensity of participation.

The findings indicated that, in Huye District, women were mostly in production of coffee while in processing, women generally participated in lower income generating activities. No women owned coffee stations but some were members of coffee washing station cooperatives. The findings revealed that socio-economic factors that influence women's participation in coffee production were land size, access to credit and training and key factors that influence the intensity were land size, extension, training and membership to farmer groups. Thus, there is need for policies aiming at enhancing women's participation in coffee production by promoting land use consolidation, improved access to coffee training and providing extension services as well as facilitating access to credit services.