Sector
Agriculture & Food

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"This report was commissioned as a product of the working partnership between Root Capital and Value for Women, with the support of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs and the International Development Research Center. The main objective of this partnership is to build evidence around innovations for gender inclusion within small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises globally."

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"This tool has been developed for businesses to allow them to directly enter data, in order to assess their business operations from a gender perspective at three levels: human capital, productivity management, and market. The tool will walk businesses through a three-step process to collect data about where women are within agribusiness operations, provide a report analyzing the data showing gender gaps in women and men participation as employees and suppliers, as well as highlighting the policies, practices and systems that should be in place for a business to support gender inclusion. Finally, the report will provide recommendations on action steps businesses can take towards increasing women's inclusion across core business areas."

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"Syngenta Foundation India (SFI), established in 2005, is an independent not-for-profit organisation. SFI’s mission is to have small and marginal farmers participate in agriculture development by improving their access to better seeds and other inputs, technology, information, credit and market access. In this context, SFI launched its Agri-Entrepreneur (AE) Program in 2014. Under the program a rural youth is trained as an entrepreneur who provides last mile services to a group of 150-200 farmers. Currently there are 1763 AEs under the program who are supporting over 2, 00,000 farmers across India.

Of the total AEs, 265 are women AEs who are currently active across 5 project locations, i.e; Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The objective of the study was to understand the performance of women AEs and create an enabling environment to improve income and increase participation. The study methodology is based on the integration of quantitative and qualitative research methods."

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"Entrepreneurs in developing economies are vital to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable and resilient development. Developing countries will experience some of the worst climate impacts. and they also hold enormous potential for encouraging mitigation and adaptation on local and regional levels. Yet, entrepreneurs in developing economies face distinct challenges and barriers when it comes to addressing climate change. This report is intended to serve as an overview of the current literature on the intersection of entrepreneurs and climate action, as well as a call to action."

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"This issue brief is a part of a series formulated by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) India chapter. It aims to contextualise the findings and strategy regarding our key urgent issues and the small and growing business (SGB) sector outlined in ANDE’s globally focussed issue brief, Climate and Environmental Action in the SGB Sector, at a regional level. This brief is a starting point for conversations on environmental action and is meant to help shape ANDE India’s strategy for the region. This is not meant to serve as an exhaustive collection of the research/literature on the topic, and proxy data points have been used to best represent the state of the SGB sector."

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"Villgro is a business incubator with a unique rural orientation. It concerns itself not only with the launch of new businesses but more generally with the transfer of new products, knowledge and services into rural space. Faced with the challenge of finding technologies that match rural requirements, Villgro has linked marketable product/service concepts from diverse sources with entrepreneurs who have start-up experience—so-called serial entrepreneurs. Other incubators may have difficulty imitating Villgro’s business model. The conditions for its development are unique, its management approaches are relatively untested and the values of its management team are deeply intertwined with perceptions of how the rural business system operates in India. However, other startup incubators can learn from Villgro the importance of getting management basics right before attempting to transform an entire agricultural sector. Good governance, transparency, accountability, building teams around highly capable employees and continuously enhancing their management skills are important no matter the strategic orientation of the emerging incubator."

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"This case explores the evolution of the cross-sector relationship between Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2000-2015. It focuses on partnerships that sought to build the capacity of smallholder farmers in the developing world. The case explores the ways in which this collaboration came about, how it was supported by the partners, and the level of success achieved as measured by the Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Walmart Foundation, and USAID.

After reading and discussing the material, students should: understand the opportunities and challenges inherent in bridging public and private goals in the context of a partnership between a multinational company and a large development agency; understand different types of partnerships and how they can deliver different types of value to the partners; and understand how internal structure, cross-organizational interaction and resource flow, and shifting strategic objectives can influence partnership development and success."

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"Producer organizations (POs) provide benefits to smallholders by alleviating market access challenges. However, whether all farmers benefit from a PO is still a question. Limited evidence is available on whether POs are inclusive of poor farmers. Even if the poor join, do they participate in decision‐making? We conducted interviews with 595 smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya. We distinguish three groups; members of a bargaining PO, members of a processing PO and non‐members. We show that membership is related to the structural characteristics of the organization: processing POs favor membership of farmers that are wealthier, more educated and more innovative. As to participation in the decision‐making process: older, male and specialized farmers have a higher chance of being involved than poor farmers. Factors distinguishing farmer participation in decision‐making between bargaining and processing POs are highlighted. We find that a bargaining PO is more inclusive of all groups of farmers, while women and poor farmers are excluded from decision‐making in a processing PO. Our findings contribute to policymaking on inclusive development."

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"Risk is an inherent feature of agriculture around the globe. The ever-present uncertainties in weather, yields, prices, government policies, global markets, and other factors can cause high volatility in farm income. In developing countries, smallholder farmers (and other small enterprises within the value chain) often do not have access to risk management products such as insurance to protect themselves from shock. Key barriers to the development of insurance markets in developing countries include: lack of awareness and understanding about insurance among households, high overhead costs associated with data collection and claims processing, and the limited availability of insurance products that meet the needs of poor and low-income farmers.

The use of digital tools in agricultural insurance has the potential to facilitate client uptake, reduce transaction costs, improve efficiency of the insurance process, and increase household resilience to respond to external shocks while ensuring stability, growth, and sustainability of agricultural value chains. Technology has its shortcomings, and the use of digital tools alone will not be sufficient to increase access to affordable, quality agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers. However, when strategically and thoughtfully inserted into existing Feed the Future programs, technology has the potential to accelerate and amplify USAID investments in sustainable agriculture and food security."

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"This report by the Tony Elumelu Foundation focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing young agricultural entrepreneurs. It contains a comprehensive analysis of Africa's entrepreneurial ecosystem and discusses challenges and opportunities that African start-ups face along the agricultural value chain."

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