In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of “Women entrepreneurs – key players in ACP agribusiness development”, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.

Gender Inclusive Value Chains : Improving Women’s Participation in Solomon Islands
worldbank.org, 04/10/2018

The aim of this report was to identify the constraints to, and effective measures for, increasing women’s participation and productivity in agricultural value chains in Solomon Islands, including through the Second Rural Development Program (RDP II). The report highlights five key recommendations: (1) make ‘savings clubs’ more accessible, attractive and sustainable; (2) roll out a family-oriented and gender sensitive financial literacy training program; (3) support high-end or specialty cocoa markets and buyers; (4) explore modifications to the design of cocoa solar dryers; and (5) sensitize lead partners under RDP II to the benefits of engaging women. See Less –

The lives of rural women and girls
ODI and Bill & Melinda Gates, October 2018

Across the global South, most rural women and girls are disadvantaged. Compared to men and boys they receive less formal education, some may get less health care, they have fewer opportunities to work outside the household and when they do, they are often paid less and treated worse than men. Most rural women are constrained by social norms that define them primarily as wives, mothers and confined to the domestic sphere, where men do less than their fair share of household chores. Women are typically expected to be subservient to men. At worst, they are subject to emotional and physical abuse by men. Not only is this unjust, but also it means the full potential of rural women and girls – as people, workers, citizens, leaders – is not realised, to the detriment of their households and families, their rural communities and indeed their nations. When rural mothers lack the basics of life – food, income, health care – their children are at risk. Gender inequity thus threatens future generations.

Entrepreneurship Development Interventions for Women Entrepreneurs
ilo.org, 02/02/2018

This brief adds to the evidence brought forward in the 2014 ILO-commissioned publication on the “Effective¬ness of Entrepreneurship Development interventions on Women Entrepreneurs”. Recent research largely corroborates findings of the ILO-WED 2014 brief, with further insights now available particularly on access to micro-credit, peer support networks and ‘bundled’ services.

Rural women entrepreneurship in Uganda: A synthesis report on policies, evidence and stakeholders
includeplatform.net, May 2017

The African Policy Dialogue on women’s entrepreneurship and social protection in Uganda has published a report that synthesises key issues in rural women entrepreneurship in Uganda. The report describes the context of rural women entrepreneurs in Uganda and pays close attention to the women targeted by the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP). Through qualitative and quantitative data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, findings indicate that: Most rural women are illiterate (about 75 percent) and run informal non-farm enterprises that are micro and seasonal in nature. Accessing finance through local groups such as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations was most common for rural women in business. Thus, training materials, particularly the financial component, mentoring and an early warning system for these entrepreneurs should be established together with effective management and leadership of these groups. For growth to occur, it is important for groups to take bigger loans as an indication of business expansion and growth. The government needs to resume adult literacy programmes within the UWEP.

Women driving agricultural innovation
spore.cta.int, 26/10/2017

In Africa, 62% of economically active women work in agriculture as producers, traders and processors. Despite their high representation in the sector, rural women are still worse
off in terms of productivity and earnings than men. At a session on Investing in women entrepreneurs at the European Development Days (EDD) in June 2017, CTA director Michael Hailu highlighted, “When you look at the entire value chain, women have a much bigger role in production, which is not very lucrative, but as you go further along the
value chain they have much less of a role because they don’t have access to the resources that are needed, in terms of capital or land, for example.” This limited access to resources contributes to a consistent wage gap between rural men and women in Africa, which ranges from 15-60% depending on the country. If women were given the same access to productive resources, such as fertiliser, machinery and (market or weather) information as men, studies show that they could increase farm yields by 20-30%. The EDD session went on to discuss how to address this disparity between men and women in the agricultural sector  and debate the best practices to support women’s entrepreneurship in agribusiness, including the importance of giving them an equal voice and representation in decision-making at policy level.

Empowering Africa’s rural women for Zero Hunger and shared prosperity
fao.org, 02/10/2018

This brochure presents the key findings and recommendations of the study entitled “the Regional Outlook on Gender and Agri-food Systems,” which was jointly conducted by the FAO and the African Union Commission. The brochure describes gender gaps in (i) access to and control over productive resources and opportunities, (ii) influence and collective capacity, and (iii) agricultural policies, investment and rural context. Additional analysis on progress and good practices across countries in Africa informed the brochure further to provide recommendations and next steps to move from commitments to collective actions.

Watermelon Farming is a money maker in Agriculture. Ask 28-year-old Kenyan Farmer, Annie Nyaga
venturesafrica.com, 02/05/2016

A number of factors contribute towards turning an individual into an entrepreneur; passion, unemployment, underemployment, or the urge to make additional cash. But only the right kind of business, along with a number of other elements will make you a successful entrepreneur. Watermelon farming is one of such businesses, the kind that will rake in the cash. 28-year-old Annie Nyaga quit her job of six months as a purchasing assistant in Nairobi, Kenya, to become a watermelon farmer, which according to her, has brought her great joy. “I do not know how I would be fairing now if I had stuck to my purchasing job. Going into farming was a good decision,” she told the Saturday Nation, a Kenyan newspaper.

African Women in Agribusiness Resolve to Take Action

ens-newswire.com, 13/11/2015

Women as key producers of food for African households will no longer cry, Estherine Fotabong assured a conference for women in agribusiness in Durban last week. “Now is the time to take action!”As the Director of Programs with the New Partnership for African Development, NEPAD, Fotabong opened the Durban International Conference on a high note. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world governments September 25 at the landmark Sustainable Development Summit at UN Headquarters in New York. The historic new agenda, “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” was agreed by the UN’s 193 Member States.She focused on the theme of the conference, “Women in entrepreneurial development: A Must for Success of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.”

European Parliament Analysis & Study for the International Day of Rural Women 2015

europarl.europa.eu, 10-2015

The International Day of Rural Women was celebrated for the first time in 2008. Based on UN resolution 62/136 it recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.” In this sense, the Workshop provides an overview of the situation of rural women in Europe and their crucial role in sustainable rural development. It informs about women’s engagement in employment, decision – making and rural lives more  generally as well as on how to close the gap between men and women  regarding equal access to resources and business opportunities. In this respect,  the role of funding from the CAP for rural women is also analysed.

EU: Empowering women farmers in developing countries

euractiv.com, 14/09/2015

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan shared his vision of how the EU and developing countries could greatly improve global food security together, through innovation and sustainable farming practices. In Europe “family farms” refers to agricultural holdings where most or all family members, including women, will contribute in a variety of vital ways. The Commission is putting its money into supporting sustainable farming practices in developing countries, focusing on smallholder agriculture and women farmers, the formation of farmers’ organisations, the supply and marketing chain, and responsible private agribusiness investment. In this regard, targeting women has been a particular priority, given their traditionally central role in smallholdings. Empowering women to play central roles in all areas of agricultural production is absolutely crucial if developing countries are to achieve their full potential in the agri-food sector.

Empowerment of African women through participation in agricultural value chains

afdb.org, 27/09/2015

The African Developemnt Bank launched a new report, which unveils a new plan to empower African Women in Agriculture. The report highlights five major constraints that limit women’s productivity and inclusion into the agricultural economy: (i) lack of access to assets; (ii) lack of access to financing; (iii)  limited training; (iv) gender-neutral government policy; (v) time constraints due to domestic responsibilities. It also highlights three broad areas for action that could begin to address the specific constraints women face in each focus country: (i) Grow the number of large-scale agribusiness entrepreneurs by providing access to financing and training, and improving regional and global market links; (ii) Make sure women are remunerated by setting them up as co-owners, improving productivity, and providing training in core business skills; (iii) Increase women’s access to niche markets by producing and marketing women-only products.