Women farmers in Georgia lack advanced agribusiness skills, limiting their ability to take advantage of viable opportunities in agricultural value chains. Agribusiness development support for women farmers is weak and further reduces their competitiveness in the sector.
Making Cents International increased the access of women farmers in Georgia to quality agribusiness training to increase their engagement and competitiveness in hazelnut, mandarin, and open-field vegetable value chains.
We began with an assessment of the capacity of local NGOs to provide ongoing, customized agribusiness training for women in these value chains, then conducted a series of targeted trainings and field practicums to improve the technical and organizational capacity of four selected NGOs across four regions. We helped them incorporate information from focus groups, expert interviews and their own learning into revised and improved business-skills curricula. We facilitated joint and individual learning, supporting the NGOs as they addressed specific content, design, and facilitation gaps and designed and piloted agribusiness training for women across the four regions.
Making Cents overcame the low levels of interest exhibited by women farmers by identifying gender specialists in Western Georgia who effectively facilitated their participation and more inclusive and broad developmental impact. While the first round of training had 45 participants, 435 women participated by the third round: an almost ten-fold increase.
To increase productivity, yields, access to finance, and adoption of newly acquired agricultural skills, Making Cents also facilitated the development of 20 farmers groups in the region that made joint decisions about production, management, and marketing practices for their key crops.