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Unshackling women traders: cross-border trade of Eru from Cameroon to Nigeria

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Eru, a vegetable found in the forest, plays an important role in trade between countries in West and Central Africa, especially between Cameroon and Nigeria. This note analyses the environment for trade in Eru as an example of a high value non-wood forest product (NWFP) that has a great potential both in terms of exports but also for income generating activities. Women are heavily involved in Eru trade as both harvesters and small-scale traders. It is a key means for many women to diversify the income stream of their household and reduce their financial dependence on men. Hence, it is of particular importance to analyze the Eru value chain from a gender perspective. The note discusses how women face substantial constraints relative to men in developing their Eru business, which limits their value-added and the contribution of their work to their household's income. The note also discusses a key challenge facing countries in the region notably, how to support trade in Eru with its potential for poverty reduction, while also ensuring its sustainable cultivation.

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