The ITC SheTrades West Africa project is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and aims to empower smallholder women farmers in the cashew, shea, and cassava value chains. By providing training, resources and market access, the project aims to improve the livelihoods of 10,000 women.
Implemented between September 2019 and December 2023 in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
About the project
SheTrades West Africa commenced in 2019 and operates in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The project’s primary focus is to improve the livelihoods of women in farming households.
The project directly supports 400 women in farming households and an additional 10,000 through partnerships with service providers. Key stakeholders include government ministries, businesses, service providers, and value chain operators.
Policy engagement: Collaborating with government ministries to promote gender-responsive trade policies.
Capacity building for service providers: Trained companies and organizations that work with farming households to adopt gender-inclusive practices and improve their services.
Strengthening value chain operators: Assisting SMEs in, fostering inclusive practices, and increasing their competitiveness in international markets.
Linking with International Buyers: Establishing connections between value chain operators and international buyers, expanding business opportunities, and benefiting the wider value chain.
Empowering women farmers: Building the capacity of women farmers through tailored training in production, processing, quality, and business management, based on their specific needs.
Increased sales: Increased sales: SMEs generated more than $3 million in sales through the project.
Improved gender dynamics: Over 90% of women farmers supported by the project reported improved gender dynamics within their households (e.g. decision-making, tasks). This positive change extends to shifts in household responsibilities and decision-making.
Increased farming value: Approximately 70% of women farmers noted increased value in their agricultural business operations after receiving training, including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
Enhanced competitiveness: Over 95% of SMEs applied their newly-acquired skills to enhance their competitiveness in production, processing, marketing, and market access.