Els Rijke


Phnom penh, Cambodia

About Me

I am a gender and development expert with a passion for women’s rights. More than 15 years experience in development co-operation with an MA in Cultural Anthropology and in Advanced Development Studies. I am very experienced in doing gender analysis of agricultural value chains and developing strategies that empower women and strengthen value chains. For AgriProFocus, I have developed an online gender training module, coached agri-businesses and NGO’s in Kenya and set up two “Gender in Value Chains” coaching tracks in Zambia.

Skills and Expertise




Event posted by in AgriProFocus Kenya
  18 July 2018, 14:00-15:00

RAF Learning Lab Partners, AgDevCo and Opportunity International, are committed to investing in women’s empowerment across smallholder and rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Join this webinar to learn how organizations such as AgDevCo and Opportunity International, are integrating both business and social goals to empower women in smallholder finance.



Gender in Coffee Documentary Screening

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Netherlands
  23 June 2018, 09:30-11:30

From Rainforest Alliance and others:

Xavier Hamon and Hannah Stapleton’s Gender in Coffee – A Documentary offers an intimate look at coffee farming through the lens of gender equity. Backed by Rainforest Alliance, Lutheran World Relief, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, The CQI’s Partnership for Gender Equity, and the SAFE Platform (powered by the IDB and managed by Hivos), the film follows the path of coffee from a smallholder farmer’s household in Chiapas, Mexico into the roasters and cafés where it’s enjoyed.

The Queen Maxima Hall at the Royal Tropical Institute will host the next screening of the documentary as part of the "We Make the City" Festival and the World of Coffee Conference and Exhibition on Saturday, June 23, from 9:30 to 11:30 am.

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.

6 months 2 weeks ago

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

6 months 2 weeks ago

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

6 months 2 weeks 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

6 months 2 weeks ago

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

6 months 3 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 31 January 2018 at 01:42

AgDevCo, UK based impact investor that finances African agribusinesses, recently published a case study on empowering women in outgrower schemes. 

The study showcases best practices to promote women’s economic empowerment in outgrower schemes. It derives practical lessons from SDU-supported outgrower schemes and other successful outgrower schemes of AgDevCo’s investees, and links these to ten underlying principles of success (for example, ensure women benefit from training).

I visited the majority of companies last year to test out a gender toolkit we (Fair & Sustainable and AgriProFocus) made for AgDevCo. This toolkit will be available for sharing later this year. 

Download the document here

Janine Schoeman Thanks for sharing Els!

10 months 3 weeks ago

Dorina Prech Many thanks for sharing this Els Rijke! I am sharing this to our social media followers. Looking forward to the toolkit later in the year! Best, Dorina

10 months 2 weeks ago

Abraham Kamalamba iam interested to get more details on the tookit

9 months 4 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 21 March 2017 at 04:41

A gender and value chains training, observations from a facilitator

I am currently in between facilitating two trainings on gender and value chains, one was in Ghana and one has just started in Ethiopia. These trainings are developed by AgriProFocus and F&S, for FAO.

While wrapping up the training in Ghana, two participants asked me if the consultants will also evaluate the training, from their perspective. I told them we normally write a report that includes such information, but later I realized that such reports will probably not be read by the participants, let alone by outsiders who would be interested in a similar training.

So, this is my attempt to write down some of my observations as a facilitator, to inform a wider audience and hopefully to attract more organizations to develop capacities on gender. Not a training report, but a few observations and maybe lessons.

Lessons and observations:

In Ghana, the cassava value chain was used as a case study throughout the worksho

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Anne Marie Kortleve Thank you for sharing your experiences with the community Els! Looking forward to hear more!

1 year 9 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 9 July 2013 at 07:09

imageTo make value chains work for both women and men, Agri-ProFocus organizes gender in value chains coaching tracks in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda. In Kenya, the coaching track recently started with a successful workshop to introduce participants to concepts, tools and strategies. Thirteen organizations from different parts of Kenya, representing various value chains such as honey, coffee and potatoes, participated. The workshop was facilitated by Els Rijke, independent consultant the coach for the Agri-ProFocus Kenya coaching track and Angelica Senders, from Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services in the Netherlands, who is in charge of back stopping coaching tracks in 8 countries worldwide.

One of the main activities in the workshop was to make a gender sensitive value chain map, a tool that makes women visible in the value chain. Doing this mapping, it was found that many chains (coffee, Irish potato) have much more women in production and the amount of men increases when moving toward

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