Brussels Briefing 42: Women entrepreneurs – key players in ACP agribusiness development

August 26, 2015

The Brussels Briefing on the subject of “Women entrepreneurs – key players in ACP agribusiness development” took place on Thursday 17 September 2015 from 9:00h to 13:00h at the ACP Secretariat (451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels, Room C ).

*** Follow  @ctabrussels and watch the video ***

Research has found strong reasons to emphasize women’s economic empowerment in developing programs: firstly, economic empowerment is one of the most powerful routes for women to achieve their potential and advance their rights; secondly, since women make up the majority of the world’s poor, meeting poverty-reduction goals requires addressing women and their economic empowerment; thirdly, discrimination against women is economically inefficient and national economies lose out when a substantial part of the population cannot complete equitably or realize its full potential; moreover, working with women makes good business sense: when women have the rights skills and opportunities, they can help business and markets grow; finally, women who are economically empowered contribute more to their families, societies and national economies. It has been shown that women invest extra income in their children, providing a route to sustainable development.

Women make significant contributions to the rural economy in all regions of the world. In developing countries, women make up on average about 40 percent of the labour force, ranging from 20 percent in Latin America to 50 percent or more in certain parts of Africa and Asia. Women’s role range from being cultivators on their own or others plots-as unpaid or paid workers, employers or employees-to being wage-labourers in on- and off-farm enterprises, alongside their key role as providers of unpaid care work in their households and communities.

However, in many settings women face more constraints than men in accessing key productive resources such as land and to services such as credit, extension and social protection; they face wage discrimination in rural labour markets and often work without remuneration on family farms. This limits their capacity to contribute to agricultural production and take advantage of new opportunities.

To improve information sharing and promote networking, CTA, the DG DEVCO from the European Commission, the ACP Secretariat, Concord and various media organise bimonthly briefings on key issues and challenges for rural development in the context of EU/ACP cooperation. The Briefing on 17th September 2015, will discuss the key challenges and new opportunities to enhance women’s led agribusiness. The Briefing will: i) review women’s entrepreneurs successes and the lessons learned from research and practice; ii) promote the exchange of information on best practices and drivers of success; iii) feed into the debate various perspectives on policy options.


Background note and Programme



Highlights (Coming Soon)

Biodata of the speakers

Resources & Glossary


Introduction of the Briefing: Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office [Video]

Introductory remarks: Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary General of the ACP Group of States in charge of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade [Video] ; Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, European Commission/EuropeAid European Commission/Europaid [Video] ; Michael Hailu, Director of CTA [Video]

Panel 1: Enhancing women’s-led agribusiness development

Chair, Panel 1: H.E. Mpeo Mahase-Moiloa, Ambassador of Lesotho [Video]

  • Gender dimensions of agribusiness development

Stephanie Barrientos, Professor, Institute of Development Policy and Management and Associate Director, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester [Video] [Working Paper][Presentation]

  • Factors of competitiveness of women entrepreneurs and their participation in trade

Christian Planchette, Senior Training Officer, Enterprise Competitiveness, International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations [Video] [Presentation]

  • Agribusiness development in the Pacific: challenges and opportunities for women

Mereia Volavola, CEO, Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) [Video] [Presentation]

  • Support from EIB to women entrepreneurs and to the agribusiness sector

Jacqueline Church, Policy Officer, European Investment Bank (EIB) [Video]

Debate [Video]

Panel 2: Women’s entrepreneurs successes in ACP regions

Introduction to Panel 2: Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office [Video]

Chair, Panel 2: H.E. Paolelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa [Video]

  • Adding value locally through differentiated fish product

Lovin Kobusingye, Managing Director, Kati Farms Uganda  [Video] [Presentation]

  • Pioneering a local food processing industry for improved nutrition

Simone Zoundi, CEO, Sodepal, Burkina Faso  [Video] [Presentation]

  • Organic Farm to Table: creating a sustainable supply chain supporting women

Alberta Vitale, Associate Director, Women in Business Dev. (WIBDI), Samoa [Video] [Presentation]

  • Production and Trade of Coconut Oil in Guyana

Rosemund Benn, President, Pomeroon Women Agro-Processor Association, Guyana [Video] [Presentation]

  • Cattle and maize production supplied to local market

Tepsy Ntseoane, Eve’s Eden Farming Enterprise, South Africa [Video] [Presentation]

Debate [Video]

Conclusion, H.E. Paolelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa [Video]

Conclusion, Michael Hailu, Director, CTA [Video]

Financing for Development 2015

July 13, 2015

Third International Conference on Financing for Development
“Financing Investments and Agribusiness for Food and Nutrition Security: Public and Private Sector Coordination”

14th July 2015, 13:15 – 14:45

Room Jupiter Hotel, Conference Hall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) Group – UNFAO – CTA

*** Follow the debate live #Fin4Ag***

On the sidelines of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development – on 14th July, from 13:15 – 14:45, in the Jupiter Hotel Conference Hall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – CTA co-organised the “Financing Investments and Agribusiness for Food and Nutrition Security: Public and Private Sector Coordination” high-level panel with the ACP and UNFAO. The panel discussed the importance of private and public sector investments in the agrifood sector, which benefit small-scale farmers, SMEs and value chain actors. The high-level speakers addreseds various approaches on the topic of financing investments and agribusiness, ranging from policy support at country level; the operationalization of the policy framework for enhanced and structured engagement of aid programs with the private sector; the need to leverage private finance in development, the mechanisms in place to support SMEs in the agrifood sector, and the urgency to support inclusive and profitable value chains.

While there is no debate on the necessity for both public and private sector investment in food system development, the specific nature of these investments and how to better coordinate them to achieve sustainable food and nutrition security, still represent many unanswered questions, which are key to this debate. Resolving the challenges of achieving universal food and nutrition security in a sustainable manner requires significant and well-coordinated investments by the public sector, the private sector and civil society. This is well-recognized in both the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2009 Doha Declaration, and it is reflected in the more recent Framework for ACP Private Sector Development signed in 2014, as well as the FAO Private Sector Strategy. Together, these hallmark initiatives highlight the critical importance of mobilizing domestic and international financial resources, leveraging international trade, and increasing international development cooperation to achieve sustainable development goals.

Investments that are targeted at developing sustainable value chains and food systems, inter alia, offer key pathways to achieve food security and improve nutrition through: (1) linking commercial-oriented smallholder farmer to rewarding markets; (2) creating and facilitating entry to decent jobs for women and men, including for vulnerable groups; and (3) improving value creation for consumers in the form of nutritious and readily available food at affordable prices. It also facilitates broader interventions along the value chain, including on food safety and quality standards, as well as food losses and waste. To further guide investment by small and medium-sized agro-enterprises (SMAEs) and multinational agribusinesses toward sustainable development goals, the Principles of Responsible Agricultural Investment (2014) and the UN Food and Agriculture Business Principles (2014) provide frameworks that can be used on a voluntary basis in development and procurement programs as a means to simultaneously promote competitiveness, inclusiveness, and greenness and, ultimately, eradicate hunger and poverty.


Background note & Programme

Invitation & Flyer

Value Chain Finance BB.35 webpage: see also the Reader & Highlights & Resources

Agribusiness PPP’s BB.39 webpage: see also the Highlights & Resources on PPP


Biodata of panelists


– Revisiting agriculture finance: A special report from Fin4ag

– EU private sector strategy

– UNFAO press release



Moderator: Michael Hailu, CTA Director

Opening remarks:

– Patrick Ignatius Gomes, Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)

– Graziano da Silva, Director General, FAO


– Tefera Derbew, the Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture

– Roberto Ridolfi, Director, Sustainable Growth and Development, DG Europeaid, European Commission

– Mr Pim van Ballekom, Vice President, European Investment Bank (EIB)

– Andreas Proksch, Director General, Africa Department, GIZ

– Pierre van Hedel, President, Rabobank Foundation

Linking agriculture to tourism markets in Pacific

June 30, 2015



Denarau Island, Fiji, 1-3 July 2015

*** Don’t miss the news: check out the blog and social reporting and press releases. Also look on twitter #PACAGRITO and check out the newsletter ***

This Forum is linked to the Brussels Briefings organized by CTA, the European Commission, the ACP Group and Concord on key issues related to ARD in ACP countries. It will also bring some experiences from the Caribbean through the Intra ACP Agricultural Policy Programme. The Forum is organised by CTA, PIPSO and SPC and will be held at the Hotel Sofitel Denarau Island, Fiji, 1-3 July 2015.

Linking agriculture to tourism markets in Pacific

While highly diversified, Pacific Island Countries (PICs) share common challenges that impede their efforts to achieve balanced economic growth and sustainable food security. Major constraints comprise small size, geographic dispersion, vulnerability to natural hazards and vulnerability to external economic conditions. The Pacific Region is facing many region-wide challenges, including the impact of climate change, a pressing need to generate livelihoods and populations that are more and more consuming imported, highly refined foods, accompanied by decreased local food production and consumption. The consequences are an imminent public health crisis and risks for environmental collapse. (FAO, 2009).

The two productive sectors agriculture and tourism seem to offer the best opportunities for inclusive economic growth in several Pacific Island Countries and therefore the promotion of linkages between tourism and agriculture should help create economic opportunities; build resilience in rural communities; and improve sustainable development in both sectors. In spite of the fact that agriculture remains for most countries in the region the main source of livelihood for the majority of the population, its contribution to economic value added has generally declined over the last decade, whereas the tourism sector has seen significant growth. It has become the “life blood” for several of the small island fragile economies.

The agribusiness forum in Fiji will highlight successes in strengthening links between agriculture and tourism industries in the Pacific region.

About the Pacific Agribusiness Forum

The Agribusiness Forum is an annual initiative launched at the UN SIDS Conference held in Samoa in September 2014 by CTA and the Pacific Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). The first 2015 edition is organized with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) within the inaugural  Pacific Community Agritourism Week. The Intra-ACP Policy Agricultural programme is funding 13 experts from the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

Logos for Fiji Forum 2015

Background Note & Programme

Photos 1  | Photos 2

Highlights  (coming soon)

Biodata of Speakers


Pacific Agribusiness Forum News & Newsletter

Agribusiness Conference FINAL DRAFT Outcomes

Additional materials:

BB. 37 Reader – Building resilience of SIDS through agricultural trade and agribusiness development

Capacity4Dev: Blog – Building Resilience of Small Island Economies

The missing data for agriculture & tourism: the case of the Pacific

Additional media coverage: see ; ; ; agriculture.caitservicespng ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Wednesday 1st July 2015 

Chair: Mereia Volavola, Chief Executive Officer , PIPSO

Opening remarks: Chris Addison, Senior Expert on Knowledge Management, CTA [Opening remarks]; Inoke Ratukalou, Director of the Land Resources Division, SPC; Renato Mele, Head of Operations, Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific; Klaus Stunzner, Chairman of PIPSO

Formal opening: Honourable Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development & National Disaster Management, Ministry of Agriculture

Special guest:

What role for the agrifood private sector in the ACP-EU relations and 11th EDF?

H.E. Roy Mickey Joy, Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors and Ambassador of Vanuatu to the EU

Session 1 : Opportunities for the Pacific agrifood sector in tourism-related markets

This session will give an overview of the major trends in regional trade and the main tourism-related markets through the various perspectives of research, industry, government, finance


– Developing tourism-market opportunities for Pacific products and promoting trade

Michael Wong, CEO, Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FIHTA)

– MSG trade policy: opportunities for private sector and agribusiness development

Henry Sanday, Private sector development adviser, MSG Secretariat

– Linking policies on agriculture and tourism: the case of Vanuatu

Adela Aru, Principal Product Development Officer, Manager of Vanuatu Tourism, Ambassador Programme, Ministry of Tourism & Commerce, Vanuatu

– Product development to better reach new markets

Cate Pleass, Maketing Director, Pleass Global Limited

– Branding and labeling: key strategies for SIDS. The experience of the Caribbean.

Escipión Oliveira, Deputy Executive Director, CEDA  [Presentation]

– Going organic: a comparative advantage for the Pacific agritourism sector

Karen Mapusua, POETCom Coordinator

– Main drivers of agritourism in the Caribbean

Ena Harvey, Agritourism Specialist, IICA; Isolina Boto, CTA; Kevon Rhiney, Expert agritourism

Session 2: Linking agriculture and tourism: Learning from successes

This session will look at various models of linkages between the agrifood and tourism sectors which serve tourism-related markets.

Facilitator: Vili Caniogo, SPC

– Organic Farm to Table: creating a sustainable supply chain

Alberta Vitale, Associate Director and Kalais Stanley, Programme Manager, Women in Business Development Inc (WIBDI), Samoa

– Joe’s Farm: Providing vegetables & salads to the tourism- markets in Fiji

Michael Joe, Managing Director, Joe’s Farm [Presentation]

– Vanuatu Direct Ltd Essential and central supplier of fresh and value added food through a certified system to Vanuatu hospitality sector

Cornelia Wyllie, Vanuatu Direct

– Heilala Vanilla: branding and expanding markets

Jennifer Boggiss, CEO, Director, and Co Founder [Presentation]

– Tanna Coffee serves local and regional markets

Terry Adlington, Managing Director, Tanna Coffee, Vanuatu [Presentation]

Thursday 2nd July 2015

Session 2: Linking agriculture and tourism (cont.)

– Sustainable Denis Island : A Vertical Integration Success Story of Agriculture and a Five Star Holiday Resort, Seychelles

Guy Morel, Management and Marketing Expert; Gilbert Port-Louis, Seychelles Agricultural Agency

-Linking Agrifood sector to Tourism related markets – experiences from the Caribbean Network of Rural Women Producers

Carmen Nurse, Novella Payne, Caribbean Network of Rural Women Producers (CANROP)

Session 3: Linking fisheries to the tourism-related markets

Organiser and facilitator: Erik Rotsaert, Fisheries Expert [Presentation]

This session will show various models of linkages between the fisheries and tourism sectors in niche products (certified, ecolabelling…), aquaculture, and ranching sectors.

– What partnership between the tourist industry and the fisheries sector?

Georges Ringeisen, Executive Chef, The Grand Pacific Hotel *****, Fiji

– The Crab Company, Fiji

Dr Colin Shelley, Co-founder and Executive Director, The Crab Company of (Fiji) Ltd

-Supplies locally caught seafood to Fiji Island customers

Ronnie Hyer, FIJIFRESH Seafood

-Agribusiness Forum: Linking the Agrifood Sector to the Tourism-Related Markets

Reshika Kumar, Business Adviser, Market Development Facility

Session 4: The Chefs: the link between sustainable tourism, agriculture and cuisine

Organiser and facilitator: Chef Robert Oliver.

This session focuses on the need to upgrade farmers supply chains to larger hotels and resorts, stimulate demand of local products and its use by chefs who can promote ways to more creatively utilize local produce by the hospitality sector. It will illustrate how local food and local cuisine can be promoted in the tourism industry.

Robert Oliver, Chef, author and television presenter of Real Pasifik, Pacific

Shailesh Naidu, President, Fiji Chefs Association, Executive Chef, Outrigger

Chef Dane Saddler, Executive Chef, Caribbean Villa Chefs, Barbados

Ena Harvey, IICA agritourism expert

Session 5: Agrifinance: new opportunities for the agribusiness sector/ Partnerships and PPPs for entrepreneurship in Agritourism

Organiser and facilitator: Lamon Rutten, Manager, Policies, value chains and ICTs, CTA

– Tevita Madigibuli, General Manager Relationship & Sales, Fiji Development Bank

Ashleigh Matheson, Chief Risk Officer, Bank of the South Pacific

– Aseri Manulevu; Manager Business Finance, HFC Bank, Fiji

-Sashi Kiran, Founder and Director of FRIEND, Fiji

-Eugene Williams, Local Business Banking Manager, Westpac Bank

Session 6: Addressing the data gaps for Agribusiness/Agritourism

Organiser and facilitator: Chris Addison, Sr Coordinator Knowledge Management, CTA 

This session will share the work on agribusiness platforms being developed with CABA and PIPSO and the need to strengthen key business information and data for the SMEs and partners involved in the agribusiness sector. Some insights on the use of new technologies (i.e. drones) to build data will be shared as well as mapping farms with GPS and l inking to mobile app to build data.

– What data for agribusiness/agritourism?

Chris Addison, CTA and Stephane Boyera, ICT expert, Mereia Volavola, PIPSO and Vassel Stewart, CABA [Presentation]

Anna Fink, SPC Expert, Agricultural Statistics

– What tools and applications to collect, manage and use data locally?

Amiaifolau Afamasaga Luatua, Samoa Tourism Authority [Presentation]

– Use of Drones in the Agritourism sector 

Kevin Rotsaert, Skyward Industries Ltd, Fiji [Presentation]

– GIS & integrated data for sound business decisions

Faumuina F. Tafunai, WIBDI

Tracking Demand Dynamics of Agricultural Produce in the Seychelles: A Prerequisite for Strategy Formulation, Guy Morel, Management and Marketing Expert; Gilbert Port-Louis, Seychelles Agricultural Agency

– Wrap up and closure

Mereira Volavola, PIPSO; Chris Addison, CTA

-Closing remarks

H.E. Roy Mickey Joy, Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors and Ambassador of Vanuatu to the EU [Closing remarks]

Visit to Joe’s Farm in Nadi.


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