Value chain development is at the core of USAID’s agricultural programming. It is a key feature of new initiatives, and is a primary pathway for achieving the goal of increasing agricultural growth and expanding the staple food supply. The improved market-based coordination that is the hallmark of value chains reduces transaction costs and leads to increased agricultural productivity and economic growth.
Creating and sustaining competitive and equitably-oriented value chains that help small-scale farmers, especially women, will require explicitly examining gender issues and proactively integrating gender components into value chain analysis and development strategies. Value chain programs, when designed with gender equitable principles, can foster both competitiveness and gender equity goals to enhance povertyreduction impacts. The promise of this “win-win” solution is behind USAID’s decision “[t]o increase the ability of women and those who are very poor to drive growth, [by] linking these groups to new opportunities throughout agriculture and market value chains.”
The “Promoting Gender Equitable Opportunities in Agricultural Value Chains” Handbook provides a phased process for integrating gender into agricultural value chains. Prepared under USAID’s Ofice of Women in Development Greater Access to Trade Expansion (GATE) project, the handbook offers a straightforward methodology that guides practitioners through the steps needed to address the different types of gender issues that are embedded in how value chains work.This reference guide highlights the Integrating Gender into Agricultural Value Chains (INGIA-VC) process and its analytical framework that is described in greater detail in the Handbook.