ITC SheTrades West Africa

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.
SheTrades Outlook Policy Briefs
  • Cote d’Ivoire – Available in French
  • Guinea – Available in French
  • Liberia – Available in English
  • Sierra Leone – Available in English
Other Publications
  • Exportations agricoles de la Guinée : Opportunités d’expansion et de diversification des exportations- Available in French
  • Plan de Suivi et Evaluation de la Politique Commerciale de la Guinée sensible au Genre – Available in French
  • Gender Equality, Cooperative Law and Cooperative Policy: A Proposal for an Analytical Framework – Available in English
  • Gender-responsive Recommendations: Draft Cooperatives Policy in Sierra Leone – Available in English
  • SheTrades Gender Toolkit for Agriculture Value Chains – Available in English
  • SheTrades West Africa Success Stories 2022 – Available in English
Publications on Government Procurement
  • Making Public Procurement Work for Women Guide – Available in French
  • Brief on application of the making Public Procurement for Women – Cote d’Ivoire – Available in French
  • Promoting Women’s Participation in Public Procurement in Liberia – Available in English
  • Short Assessment and Recommendation to increase the Participation of Women-Owned Businesses in Public Procurement Processes – Available in English

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ITC SheTrades’ contribution to ‘Growth for rural advancement and sustainable progress (GRASP)’ project in Pakistan

GRASP focuses on reducing poverty by strengthening small-scale agricultural businesses in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, and policy interventions at the federal level, funded by the European Union. SheTrades plays a vital role in mainstreaming gender considerations; working with partner organizations, policymakers, and women entrepreneurs. The project will advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the provinces.
Implement from June 2019 to December 2024
About the project
The project will be implemented from 2019-2024. It creates gender inclusive employment and income opportunities in the rural areas through targeted support to both the public and private sectors and focusses on the agricultural and livestock sectors in Balochistan and Sindh.
Clients include:
  • Partner organizations
  • Government officials
  • Women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses
  • Business support organizations
Core implementing partners include:
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF)
  • Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA)

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ITC SheTrades’ contribution to JCTD Project in South Sudan

Funded by the European Union, ITC SheTrades’ interventions in the Jobs Creation and Trade Development (JCTD) Project in South Sudan focuses on capacity building for women business associations and women entrepreneurs in the fruit and vegetable sector. Its goal is to enhance entrepreneurship and business management skills among South Sudanese women.
Implemented between August 2020 and August 2024 in South Sudan.
About the project
The JCTD project aims to improve the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and increase employment opportunities for the South Sudanese labour force, with a focus on youth and women. More specifically, it aims to provide integrated and holistic assistance to the development of MSMEs in the fruits and vegetables value chains to create economic and employment opportunities for the South Sudanese population targeted under the project.

Focused on tackling the main challenges of the fruits and vegetables value chains, the EU-funded project delivers interventions to:
  • Improve production, processing and handling practices;
  • Unlock market access for MSMEs by building their capacities to comply with mandatory market requirements and standards;
  • Strengthen human skills and producer cooperatives;
  • Enhance entrepreneurship and business management capacities of South Sudanese
Target clients: Women entrepreneurs and women’s business associations in the fruit and vegetable sector.
The project will enhance the capabilities and service delivery of three women’s business associations. It will also collaborate with women entrepreneurs to improve their business, processing, and preservation skills.

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ITC SheTrades: Promoting Gender-Responsive Public Procurement for Agricultural Products

The SheTrades: Promoting Gender-Responsive Public Procurement for Agricultural Products project aims to deliver innovative solutions to help women in agricultural value chains benefit from government procurement opportunities. The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Implemented from December 2022 to December 2025
Project Implementation
From December 2022 until December 2025, the project will focus its efforts on Ecuador. The overall project plans to:
  • Identify public procurement opportunities in the agricultural sector and capacity-building needs in the selected country to address current gaps of women’s participation in government procurement;
  • Build capacities of public, private and civil society sectors in an attempt to enhance successful participation of women-led SMEs in public tenders;
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder discussions on potential areas for policy reform and build a network;
  • Contribute to the improvement of the regulatory framework for gender-sensitive public procurement systems.
The project targets beneficiaries and partners including women producers and entrepreneurs, governments, women’s business associations and chambers of commerce, and research institutions, and encourages them to take part in project implementation activities such as consultations, capacity-building sessions, and conceptualization of knowledge products.
The working group composed of technical experts and representatives from countries selected have convened the first time in July 2023 to tackle the needs to be addressed in the project implementation and to layout the succeeding steps.

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