African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6800

Full Length Research Paper

Gender´s efficiency in Mediterranean greenhouse agricultural labor

Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro* and Amos Garcia-Cruz
  Department of Rural Engineering, Higher Polytechnic School, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 December 2011
  •  Published: 31 January 2012



In every economy, there are wage differentials depending on gender and profession. On average, women earn less than men, and this is attributed to two factors: differences in productivity and discrimination. So far, productivity by gender has been indirectly measured through production functions. For this project, we used time-study techniques to directly measure gender productivity in greenhouse agricultural tasks. Labor is a key factor in the development and maintenance of the greenhouse cultivation industry, as it represents approximately 40% of the running costs of a typical operation. The data correspond to fifty workers over three growing seasons from 2006 to 2007 and 2008 to 2009 for greenhouse sweet pepper cultivation in Spain. The results have shown that women have a 12% better average efficiency over men, and that this efficiency is also evident in all of the repetitive tasks of the cultivation. For the tasks we analyzed, a women-only workforce could mean a 16% reduction in labor hours. Given that women have both better average efficiency overall and better efficiency in work that must be repeated several times during a growing season; this being the type of work that accounts for the most labor hours and that labor is the greatest expense in greenhouse cultivation, it seems that female labor will become increasingly necessary to maintain this agricultural sector.


Key words: Gender, productivity, labor, time study techniques, standard times.