Agrifood systems are a major source of employment worldwide. Yet women working within agrifood systems in low-income countries are more likely to have irregular, informal, and less well-paid jobs compared to men, and experience less favourable working conditions. Closing gender gaps is critically needed to create more sustainable and inclusive agrifood systems.
Building inclusive and sustainable agrifood systems can play a key role in achieving sustainable development goals. Agrifood systems account for more than 70% of employment in low-income countries and employs more than 1 billion people worldwide. Yet achieving equitable and inclusive livelihoods and employment is at risk.
Addressing the knowledge gap on the financial needs of firms in the midstream of agricultural value chains
Agricultural value chains (AVCs) are an essential component of food systems—aggregating, processing, and delivering food to retailers. Without them, consumers throughout the world would have little to eat. Yet a set of key value chain actors—firms in their midstreams—are understudied, even as they have been undergoing substantial transformation over recent years to serve rapidly urbanizing societies.
The mobile money revolution has begun to substantially increase financial access around the world. Mobile money accounts allow people previously excluded from the formal financial sector to access savings accounts, make payments to merchants, and make person-to-person transfers, among other services. Research has shown that mobile money access can have important effects on key outcomes such as improved resilience and food security.
The Russia-Ukraine war has focused global attention on the key economic roles that those countries play as major exporters of agricultural commodities. Over 2019-2021, they accounted for 12% of global agricultural trade on a kilocalorie basis, with a combined market share of 34% for wheat, 26% for barley, 17% for maize, and 75% for sunflower oil. The war has scrambled this picture, with Ukraine’s exports falling dramatically, and Russia’s falling, then recovering.