2.5.1 Add financial literacy components to enhance the value chain approach for rural girls

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) around the world assume a significant portion of the agricultural labor burden. Despite that, they may have little voice or participation in economic decision-making. Value chain approaches for adolescent girls and young women seek to accomplish objectives similar to those of any value chain approach. They identify gaps in the chain, strengthen mutually-beneficial linkages (e.g., producers, distributors), improve interactions between these actors through capacity-building and support, and provide links to market opportunities. To enhance success, many value chain approaches for AGYW will include skill-building components to improve girls’ capabilities, increase their confidence, and equip them with the tools to assume greater responsibility and weigh in on economic decision-making.

Practical Tips: Winrock International on Value Chain Development for Youth and AGYW

In order to improve income, household resiliency, and gender equity, while reducing outmigration, Winrock International targeted marginalized youth and women in conflict-affected Nepal, focusing on young people, ages 16 to 30, in remote, rural, and conflict-affected areas. Many participants came from linguistic and religious minority groups, including those from low castes.

The approach involved a ten-month class covering literacy, numeracy, awareness-raising about government services, and entrepreneurial education (e.g., starting a business, creating a budget,  accessing credit) and agriculture training linked to market opportunities. Many of those market opportunities led to off-farm employment opportunities.  More than 30,000 youth completed training, 70 percent went on to technical skills development, and the program improved food security for 54,000 people.

Based on this experience, Winrock shared the following tips:

  • Link financial literacy to agricultural production training to make it relevant
  • Aggregate farmers to create efficiencies
  • Use field school method
  • Partner with other organizations and build relationships with government
  • Work with existing local service providers
  • Involve all stakeholders, including from government, to ensure sustainability

For more information, see http://www.winrock.org/