Gender in Value Chains

moderated by Caroline van der Molen

Since 2008, a vibrant innovation community has been active within AgriProFocus. Its mission is to improve gender equity in agricultural value chain development.

This knowledge platform aims to be a resource and a virtual place for exchange of experiences and knowledge development on the subject of Gender in Value Chains. It is open to professionals worldwide interested to increase the gender sensitivity of working on economic development within the perspective of sustainable rural development, particularly in a value chain approach. Today our community comprises of over 1000 professionals worldwide from donor agencies and knowledge institutes to NGOs and companies.

By regular exchange and working together, our community has developed exciting knowledge products for value chain practitioners, like the Toolkit on Gender in Value Chains, the Toolkit on Coffee as a Family Business and the book Challenging Chains to Change. Do you want to learn about gender sensitive value chain development online? You can also check out the e-modules of our online training.

Read more about us in our factsheet, check out the infographic about Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) Framework (here in french) or watch video's about Gender in Value Chains in our video library.

We invite professionals, experts and practitioners to become part of our community and share information and experiences with others, in the form of a 'post', 'event' or 'product service'. Make sure you log in first!

Post your news, questions, experiences and other messages regarding below!


Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted yesterday at 04:20

EOWE publication series: Empowering women in agribusiness through social and behaviour change


The success of women in agribusiness is not only determined by the level of access to resources and business assets, but also by gendered-specific behaviour and roles, which influences women’s decision-making power and control around these resources and business assets. Tackling the inequalities that exist between men and women in many rural agricultural societies therefore also requires a change in the deeply entrenched gender norms that are at the root of these inequalities.

As an entry point to reflect on and transform restrictive gender norms and power relations, the EOWE programme of SNV Netherlands development Organisation organises facilitated Household Dialogues among targeted family and/or community members in Kenya and Vietnam to critically reflect and discuss around the key norms that prevent women from fully participating in and benefiting from economic activities.

The EOWE prog

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Shadrack Agaki This is an exemplary work by SNV, the communication model is simple but extremely effective. The communication model used here can be depended on to getting critical information on new technologies and innovations in agriculture to rural areas.  

1 day 1 hour ago

Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 14 June 2018 at 10:20

KIT Royal Tropical Institute: Income for female chicken farmers in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria

(Article from the Gender Magazine 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity') 


Many female farmers in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nigeria have a few chickens for home consumption and for sale. To empower these women, several research institutes have partnered with governments and private sector actors within the African Chicken Genetics Gain programme (ACGG). The programme supports the female farmers with new productive breeds, and services to sustain these.

Research shows, however, that whenever chicken rearing becomes more profitable, men often take over the business. ‘For example, they may ask their wife for the income from selling eggs or chicks’, says Julie Newton, gender specialist at KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. To guarantee that women really benefit, KIT has formulated a gender strategy.

The strategy helps to make the needs and position o

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Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 12 June 2018 at 01:53

CBI in Ethiopia: A women-led company in the coffee business

(Article from the Gender Magazine 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity')  

Like many industries, coffee tends to be a male-dominated business, while 70 per cent of the work is done by women. This is one reason why the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI), as part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) supports female entrepreneurs in its Ethiopia Coffee Program.

'We work with local organizations, to identify women’s needs from the start of a project’, explains Lisanne van Beek, gender coordinator of RVO.nl. For example, CBI supported Sara Yirga, owner of YA Coffee Roasters. Yirga’s ambition is to roast and export traceable, high quality Ethiopian coffee. CBI helped her to develop an export marketing plan, offered her advice on the market potential, and supported her with branding and packaging. Furthermore, CBI connected her to the international organization Women in Coff

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Rwanda
Posted 11 June 2018 at 03:36

Hello Dear friends,

I am Joy Tushabe, the founder of Women in Coffee Initiative ltd. Our Mission is to empower Rural Women through Coffee.

The way we do it:

1. The Company has a Coffee Washing Station which employs 40-65 women each year for 4 months.We process good quality coffee which is sold as "Ishema Women's Coffee". Ishema means Pride"in other words women are proud of who we are and what we can achieve". We are currently selling to our Coffee through the Coffee Service Provider but we will very soon export directly to buyers when we get a buyer.

2. Women who have coffee farms deliver coffee cherries to the Coffee Washing Station and they get a second payment after the season.

3. We mobilize women to be actively involved in Coffee chain. Here we work with the district and give those women land who want to grow coffee.

The coffee season is now in progress, the production was enough and quality of cherries was great!

Those who are in Rwanda, visit us any time and enjoy the cup of coffee. The Washing Station

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Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 8 June 2018 at 03:24

Empowering women to start their own enterprises

Watch this new video telling the story of  Jennifer Nzioka Mutunga, a chicken farmer from Kenya, who turned chicken rearing from a household task into an enterprise with support from SNV's Enhancing Opportunities for Women's Enterprises (EOWE) programme

The video was developed by the EU delegation to Kenya as part of this year's European Development Days under the theme ‘Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest.’


Vincent M. Akamandisa Yes excluding women is leaving half the population of your targeted beneficiary

1 week 3 days ago

Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 7 June 2018 at 01:31

Results Gender in Value Chains programme AgriProFocus

The programme Gender in Value Chains (2015-2018) is funded by the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The objective is to build practical gender in value chain expertise by training national coaches. Through coaching tracks, these coaches support organizations and companies in making value chains gender sensitive. 

Do you want to know more about the results of this programme so far? Check out this page from the magazine 'Making Gender Work - Cultivating Diversity'

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 7 June 2018 at 09:11

Blamed for being born a girl

(Article from the Gender Magazine 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity')  

Intan Darmawati is a gender trainer in Indonesia. Her commitment to gender issues comes from her own experiences as a girl in a patriarchal family.

‘My engagement began with my personal experience of being born a girl in a minority patriarchal family. People blamed me for being born a girl (rather than a boy) to justify the reason why our father left us. At the same time, family members criticized my mother because she had now become a single parent. I was also a victim of sexual abuse. These experiences have made me realize that there is something ’wrong’ with our social structure. I am now more sensitive to discrimination, and highly motivated to do something against it.

Tradition

I have seen many women and men who are not aware of discrimination, because they considerexisting relationships to be normal, as taught by tradition and religion, and controlled by laws an

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 5 June 2018 at 11:22

Training female farmers, milk collectors and extension entrepreneurs

Since FrieslandCampina established its Dairy Development Programme in the 1980s, the company has trained over 170,000 local dairy farmers in nine countries. The programme increasingly noticed that women often do not show up at training sessions, despite being responsible for rearing young stock, milking and bookkeeping. FrieslandCampina and partners therefore started to develop training courses especially for women in Nigeria and Pakistan.

‘In Pakistan, over 26,000 women are now trained in husbandry practices’, says project manager Tanja Goedhart. As well as this, 300 women have been trained as female extension entrepreneurs and 300 as village milk collectors. This has resulted in over 600 female-led micro enterprises, an increase in yield of 1-2 litres more milk per cow per day on average, and better milk prices. A film was made in which four women tell how the training courses have improved their lives (see film bel

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Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 5 June 2018 at 07:18

New markets for shea nut harvesters in Mali

In Mali, collecting nuts of the native shea tree is popular among female farmers. After having eaten the sweet flesh, they sell the nuts directly, or they process them and sell shea butter and oil for food production and cosmetics. To strengthen this women-led sector, ICCO, USAID-Mali and two shea-oil companies supported more than 12,000 women harvesters by facilitating the certification of their shea products and by linking them to new markets.

Altogether, 25 women-led cooperatives received training to improve harvesting, boiling, drying, storing and packaging. They also enhanced their entrepreneurial and marketing skills. ‘They now produce better quality butter and oil, and know how to negotiate, giving them a better price’, says Jaap ’t Gilde from ICCO. The trained women cooperatives obtained long term contracts from the shea oil companies (SOATAF and Olvea), together with a 200 per cent increase in the shea price per kilo.

Read more abou

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Akibodé Djodji Nouveaux marchés pour les cueilleurs de noix de karité au MaliAu Mali, la collecte des noix de l'arbre de karité indigène est populaire parmi les agricultrices. Après avoir mangé la chair sucrée, ils vendent les noix directement, ou ils les traitent et vendent du beurre de karité et de l'huile pour la production alimentaire et les cosmétiques. Pour renforcer ce secteur dirigé par des femmes, ICCO, USAID-Mali et deux compagnies de karité ont soutenu plus de 12 000 femmes récolteuses en facilitant la certification de leurs produits de karité et en les reliant à de nouveaux marchés.Au total, 25 coopératives dirigées par des femmes ont reçu une formation pour améliorer la récolte, l'ébullition, le séchage, le stockage et l'emballage. Ils ont également amélioré leurs compétences entrepreneuriales et marketing. «Ils produisent maintenant du beurre  de meilleure qualité et savent négocier, en leur donnant un meilleur prix», explique Jaap 't Gilde d'ICCO. Les coopératives de femmes formées ont obtenu des contrats à long terme auprès des compagnies  de karité (SOATAF et Olvea), ainsi qu'une augmentation de 200% du prix du karité par kilo.Des projets qui font la différenceLes membres d'AgriProFocus soutiennent les femmes entrepreneures dans une entreprise à prédominance masculine, renforcent les secteurs dominés par les femmes ou appuient les agricultrices tout en faisant participer leurs maris. Six projets ont été publiés qui illustrent ce que ces différentes approches peuvent signifier pour les femmes et la chaîne de valeur. Les projets et autres articles intéressants sont publiés dans le magazine Gender 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity'

1 week 4 days ago

Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 4 June 2018 at 10:37

Six ways to include gender in your work

(Article from the Gender Magazine 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity')

These tips will enable you to seriously address gender in your programme. Women will benefit, and even better, you will discover that paying attention to gender will increase the success of your programme. 

1. Be explicit about gender 

To get companies, NGOs and other partners on board, it is important to be explicit about the benefits of including women throughout the project. In many developing countries, women play an important role in agriculture, but lack access to resources. Addressing the constraints faced by women leads to better performing value chains, better agricultural production in general, and economic empowerment of women. The benefits of including women throughout the project should be specified, not only in the introduction of your proposal, but also in the strategy and monitoring. When dealing with companies, it can be useful to stress the economi

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Alemnew Kassegne Great!

2 weeks 1 day ago

CUMA BALOLAGE JEAN MARIE VIANNE It's great, for me i wanted To talk about stevia et mouringa , i'll post it next week.

2 weeks 1 day ago

Knox Kalubi Very educative and encouraging. We are gender  ambassadors 24/7 

1 week 6 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 30 May 2018 at 11:37

Supporting Bengali women to become successful food entrepreneurs

SaFal is Solidaridad’s food security programme in the southwest of Bangladesh, implemented together with local partners and the Dutch Embassy. So far, the partners have supported 57,000 families (women and men) to become successful entrepreneurs in dairy, vegetables or aqua fisheries. Altogether, 1,500 producer groups now deliver their products to 20 local companies.

‘We pay special attention to creating togetherness’, says Emma Feenstra from Solidaridad. ‘We empower women and bring men on board.’ Women have benefitted from equity interventions such as financial literacy training, and training to improve family health. Men and women have benefitted from mixed leadership training courses that increased their skills as entrepreneurs. In one of the ‘life stories’ collected by field staff, Jolly Mondol from a village called Jessore explains what such training courses mean for her community: ‘My mother and grandmot

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 30 May 2018 at 10:14

AgDevCo recently published an interesting report on gender and how investors in agribusinesses can create impact in terms of women's empowerment:

GENDER LENS INVESTING: THE CASE FOR EMPOWERING WOMEN: Practical findings for the investment community

The report summarises the business case for gender, gender considerations for investors and findings from AgDevCo's own experiences promoting gender equality amongst its investees. AgDevCo believes that promoting gender equality is not only fair but also presents a significant opportunity to enhance the commercial and social impact potential of its investments. 

The company started to engage with the topic only a few years ago, by doing gender impact studies, developing a gender policy and (with support of Fair&Sustainable and AgriProFocus) a toolkit to help its staff integrate gender aspects in investment decisions, as well as training of most staff in gender. AgDevCo has come a long way and is now taking a leadership role as a gender inc

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Fily Keita Hello, thanks for sharing. I'm working on project which aims at empowering women and girls trough sesame processing in rural areas in Mali. Women play a crucial role in agricultural value chain and their empowerment is a must.

2 weeks 2 days ago

Els Rijke Good to hear that Fily, I've never been to Mali but hope some day to be able to visit you!

2 weeks 1 day ago

Fily Keita Ok , I will be glad to collaborate with you in Mali. You are welcome Els.

2 weeks 1 day ago

Prosper Valentine Leiya Hello, I am Prosper working  with an institution known as Farmers Pride Tanzania. working with empowering women especially single mothers in rural Tanzania for commercial farming. Would be much glad to welcome you in Tanzania

2 weeks 1 day ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 28 May 2018 at 09:25

Scouting talents in rural India

Indian rural development organization Srijan started Self Help Groups for female farmers in 2009. ‘In the beginning it was difficult for these women to see the benefits’, says Arno de Snoo, lecturer at Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences. Eight years later, however, the benefits are clearly visible.

De Snoo, who started collaborating with Srijan last year, gives the example of Savitri Gaud, a champion in developing her talents. Because Savitri persevered where other female farmers hesitated, or left altogether, her group became one of the strongest in the area. Recognized for her success, Savitri started assisting the formation of women’s groups in other areas and joining Srijan as service providers. Now, she is the respected chairperson of the cooperation Smridhi Mhila Crop Producer, with an annual turnover of 140.000 euro. 

Projects that make a difference

AgriProFocus members support entrepreneurial women in a male-dominated business, st

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 22 May 2018 at 11:59

Training to improve gender equality for Malawi smallholder tea farmers

During the second week of May, AgriProFocus organized a gender and value chains training for partner organizations of UTZ (now merging with Rainforest Alliance) in Malawi. The training was aimed at understanding gender and practical tools to integrate gender aspect into work with smallholder tea farmers.

AgriProFocus adapted its Gender in Value Chains coaching track and tools for these trainings. The trainings are currently taking place in four countries involving partners in Eastern, Southern and West Africa and Indonesia.

In Malawi, the training included a field visit to smallholder tea farmers around Mulanje. These farmers are organized in trusts. The trusts sell green leafs to bigger tea estates, which are being processed and then consumed internationally. The fieldtrip was used to get more information from the smallholders regarding how gender differences affect benefits farmers receive, amongst others. In this part of

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julius aine wawo so amazing and educative develpomental

3 weeks 5 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 22 May 2018 at 07:27

Bringing the market closer to women

This blog is one of the articles in the Gender Magazine 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity'    

‘Nancy participated in a trajectory that the Agriprofocus network organized for the private sector in Uganda. Her Agri&Food company, Amatheon-Agri Uganda (AAU), wanted to receive more and better maize from its out-growers. Initial assessments by Nancy at field level showed that average yields were, indeed, low compared to the national average. Closing the yield gap would translate into a potential gain of 682-2,556 megaton maize a year.

Diagnostic tools

To assess the gap between male and female out-growers in participation, leadership and access to extension, Nancy used the diagnostic tools from the AgriProFocus Gender in Value Chains Toolkit. Her findings showed that weeding, which takes a lot of time, is largely delegated to women, but that they have no access to labour-saving tools. Overall the use of improved tools, practices and inp

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 17 May 2018 at 07:46

‘Gender is still too often a separate paragraph’

This round-table interview is one of the articles in the Gender Magazine 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity'  

How can this be changed?

It is not easy to integrate a gender perspective into a programme. Partners can accuse you of imposing Western values, women are not allowed to participate, colleagues don’t take the issue seriously, and so on. There are, however, many ways to persevere and to enjoy success, according to three experienced gender specialists ‘One way is building a relationship of trust.’

When Julie Newton, senior gender advisor at KIT Royal Tropical Institute explained for the first time to the scientists of the African Chicken Genetics Programme the value of integrating a gender perspective, she experienced some resistance. ‘National scientists initially felt we were imposing Western values of equality, or even feminism. In these cases I remain respectful and I first listen. Then I explain how relatio

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 16 May 2018 at 12:59

A new FAO publication "Developing gender sensitive value chains. Guidelines for practitioners". 

What efforts need to be made to effectively mainstream gender in agrifood value chain projects and programmes? When can a value chain intervention be considered ‘gender-sensitive’? What actions can be implemented to address gender inequalities along the chain?

These guidelines aim to respond to these questions and support practitioners in translating the Gender-Sensitive Value Chain Framework, developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) into action (FAO, 2016a). Building on FAO’s comparative advantage on gender in agriculture and food security, these guidelines are primarily intended to assist practitioners in designing and implementing interventions that provide women and men with equal opportunities to benefit from agrifood value chain development. They offer practical tools and examples of successful approaches to foster a more systematic integration of gender equality

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 15 May 2018 at 01:37

Measuring the nutrition effects of food security and agriculture programs

Sharing approaches, metrics and practices.

This new brochure presents experiences and practical lessons of members of the Netherlands Working Group for International Nutrition (NWGN) (e.g. ICCO, SNV and KIT), and opportunities for action by NGOs, companies and public institutions. It summarises the findings from an internal workshop by NWGN in December 2017 held at KIT/Royal Tropical Institute. 

Support of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform helped realising this brochure.

The brochure will serve as input for an expert meeting with a key note by IFPRI this Thursday 17 May 2018 in The Hague. (fully booked) 

This is the link to the brochure: http://knowledge4food.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/nwgn_nutrition-metrics-publication180515.pdf


!Find the outcomes of the expert meeting on 17 May on www.knowledge4food.net soon.

Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 15 May 2018 at 07:18

Check these facts & figures! Did you know? More interesting reads on gender in agricultural value chains can be found in our networks latest magazine: 'Making Gender Work: Cultivating Diversity'