Investing in women along agribusiness value chains
This report (PDF) by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank calls upon the private sector to invest in closing gaps between men and women in agribusiness, in each stage of the value chain. The IFC sees potential benefits from closing gender gaps for companies. Due to the challenges the agribusiness sector will face in the coming years, there is a need to seize new ways of increasing the productivity and efficiency of agribusiness value chains. One solution to the challenges is to improve women’s access to assets, enabling them to fully participate in all aspects of agribusiness. The report focuses on four different stages of the value chain: 1) Input provision (provision of seeds and fertilizers, for example); 2 Production; 3) Post-harvest processing and storage; 4) Transportation, sales, and marketing. For each stage in the value chain, the report identifies potential benefits from closing gender gaps through reviewing women’s contributions and constraints and providing recommendations for the private sector. For example, gender-smart solutions in transportation, marketing, and sales include buying from and paying women directly; building on women’s strengths in indigenous, local, and organic crops; marketing investments in gender-smart solutions; and supporting investment climate reforms. The business rational is that this will lead to: concentrated supplier networks; transparent and reliable supply chains; and new markets for agricultural goods. The report outlines solutions for the private sector in every stage of the value chain, demonstrates the business rationale for making gender-smart investments, and presents best-practices.