To make value chains work for both women and men, Agri-ProFocus organizes gender in value chains coaching tracks in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda. In Kenya, the coaching track recently started with a successful workshop to introduce participants to concepts, tools and strategies. Thirteen organizations from different parts of Kenya, representing various value chains such as honey, coffee and potatoes, participated.
The workshop was facilitated by Els Rijke, independent consultant, the coach for the Agri-ProFocus Kenya coaching track and Angelica Senders, from Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services in the Netherlands, who is in charge of back stopping coaching tracks in 8 countries worldwide.
One of the main activities in the workshop was to make a gender sensitive value chain map, a tool that makes women visible in the value chain. Doing this mapping, it was found that many chains (coffee, Irish potato) have much more women in production and the amount of men increases when moving towards selling. In a camel milk chain (SNV) however, men dominate production, whereas value addition through bulking and marketing has many more women. A next step was to look at benefits for women and men. Traditionally, in the coffee chain (considered a “male crop”), women do not benefit as much and one of the participants, SMS, has learned that meaningful integration of women can lead to more benefits for women and increased production. After this, gender specific challenges were identified. In many chains, such as sweet potato, men own the land on which women produce their crop. In the honey chain (Trueways), beekeeping is physically challenging for women for which an alternative technology has been developed. The chain maps were drawn on big sheets and the present organizations learned a lot from each others value chains and possible solutions to increase participation and benefits for women. This exchange of experiences was appreciated a lot by the participants, as well as sharing of tools and materials.
In the workshop, every organization also made a start with developing a Gender Action Plan and formulating coaching objectives.
The workshop is the start of a nine months coaching track (supported by APF, HIVOS and ICCO) that will provide on-the-job-assistance to organizations with the objective of building the capacity of staff through active experimentation with a real life case from their work. It is still possible to join; if your organization is interested, please contact Agrihub Kenya for more information.