Feminization, agricultural transition and rural employment (FATE)

Partnership Actions for Rural Employment (PARE)

Partnership Actions for Rural Employment (PARE) are the core element of FATE’s activities for change towards more sustainable rural employment. PARE are targeted interventions that draw on findings from research completed within the first 3 years of the project. These interventions implement the project’s transdisciplinary approach to development research by promoting mutual learning and knowledge-sharing between academic and non-academic partners.

PARE Initiative Rwanda

New saving possibilities to empower women and youth in rural Rwanda

Rwanda’s booming commercialized agricultural sector is highly gendered. In the context of agricultural transition, jobs are created both on small- and large-scale farms. However, the rural labour market is dominated by the informal sector with women being overrepresented in primary production at the farm level and in low-paid agricultural casual work.

Further findings of the FATE project indicated that women have a strong preference to accumulate saving from their daily wages to diversify beyond agriculture or to save money to invest in their meagre land during the next agricultural season. However, the current system does not afford them this option.

Based on these insights, the FATE team in Rwanda has developed a financial inclusion project in the Northern Province of Rwanda. The project aims at improving the economic situation of rural women and youth by increasing their access to formal financial institutions and providing them with the necessary technical skills.

It incorporates two components. First, the team provides a training program for women and youth groups to equip them with the necessary technical and financial skills. Second, the project works together with commercial farmers and agribusiness companies, which employ agricultural casual workers over a whole agricultural season and facilitate saving groups for their workers. In these self-organized groups, workers can do savings and have to possibility to take loans.

PARE Initiative Laos

Strengthening marketing information capacities of smallholder coffee farmers in Southern Laos through social media

The coffee market in Southern Laos is – through its interlinkages with the world market – subject to strong price fluctuations. Private companies, middlemen and individual contact persons are the main channels through which coffee is marketed. In this context, smallholder coffee farmers lack access to marketing information, particularly to information on production type and prices. As a consequence, they have little control over market prices and have a weak bargaining position.

Based on these insights, the FATE team in Laos has developed a social media initiative in Bolaven Plateau, Southern Laos. The initiative aims to increase local coffee farmers’ access to accurate and reliable coffee market price information through social media. This should enhance smallholders’s understanding of the coffee value chain and support them in their choices for coffee supply.

For this purpose, the project team has developed – in exchange with different stakeholders - a website with information on coffee prices and coffee production and has trained participants to maintain the site. Furthermore, it has conducted training workshops for farmers to support them in using the website. For the implementation of the initiative, the team works with Lao Coffee Association (LCA) as partner.