Female-led enterprise & agribusiness development
This blog from SNV elaborates on the positive impacts of female-led enterprises and agribusiness development for delivering sustainable development. The author, Raymond Brandes, believes that climate change adaptation and mitigation, nutrition, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality are important cross-cutting issues to be addressed in agribusiness agendas. Achieving sustainable development is impossible without addressing inequalities which hinder people from accessing opportunities and utilizing their potential to change their own situation. Gender based inequalities deepen the disadvantages of people, reinforcing their poverty. SNV’s programme works with its partners to enable female farmers/entrepreneurs to enhance their productivity and income to improve their living condition. If business is to make a difference in their lives, it must actively engage with smallholder farmers by providing them opportunities to move from simple subsistence to producing a marketable surplus while still investing in their own land, or by supporting the creation of higher value products from their produce. As women represent a significant portion of smallholder farmers and constitute the more disadvantaged group of the community they are a key target of any engagement. Private sector actors can achieve this through out-grower schemes that provide nearby smallholders with the inputs, finance and technologies/techniques required for successful production. To the same ends, contracts with farmer cooperatives can also enable private sector actors further up the value chain to support smallholders.
The blog is based on a study carried out under the ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises’ (EOWE) programme, which is being implemented between 2016 and 2020 in Kenya and Vietnam with funding from the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the ‘Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women’ (FLOW) framework.