An online platform for women agriprenuers named VALUE4HERConnect has been launched in Nairobi. This is a part of a program led by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation and is in a bid to empower women in agriculture.
The VALUE4HERConnect network will help bring women entrepreneurs in agriculture together in a virtual community and serve as an important business resource for members. The platform was launched at AWAN-Afrika’s first continental conference and signed up over 400 women.
The platform includes a Women2Women Community forum, allowing women to interact, trade and share information, and market information such as country profiles, trade policies and market entry requirements. The network also provides information on financing and opportunities for training.
According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), women on average comprise 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. Despite this, they receive only a fraction of the land, credit, inputs (such as improved seeds and fertilizers), agricultural training and information compared to men. However, research indicates that empowering and investing in women has been shown to significantly increase productivity, reduce hunger and malnutrition and improve rural livelihoods.
The VALUE4HER Women in Agribusiness event was jointly organised with the African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) and the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) under the theme of “Enhancing women inclusion in agribusiness”. During the two-day event, women agripreneurs from 21 African countries gathered for masterclasses, hackathons and pitching opportunities to showcase their businesses and try to secure regional and global business deals.
Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, Senior Programme Coordinator, Value Chains and Agribusiness at CTA, had this to say, “While women are key players in agriculture, they often face challenges at the business end, With VALUE4HERConnect, they now have access to buyers, to market information and intelligence, investment and capacity building opportunities, which will ultimately help them to form strategic partnerships towards accessing global markets for increased incomes.”