Financial Services for Woman: Women’s Participation in the Maize and Bean Value Chains in Rwanda

The Dutch Platform for Inclusive Finance (NpM), Capacity Building in Rural Finance (CABFIN), and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) issued a study to bring greater understanding of the root causes of women dropping out from financial support. The purpose of this study was to analyse the position of women in agricultural value chains in Rwanda, as well as the current and potential role of financial service providers (FSPs) in strengthening the positioning of women in these chains.

Rwanda was a particularly interesting country to have as a case study, due to its very conducive environment in enabling the promotion of women in agriculture. Despite government policies that promote the inclusion of women in the agricultural sector, challenges and constraints still exist in the country. It is particularly difficult for women to access land and farm inputs, equipment, trainings, financial services and market channels. Strong time constraints exist due to an extra burden for women, as well as limited power in negotiations on decisions between members of the households (known as ‘intra-household bargaining power’). Furthermore, women still have less access to larger loans for inputs, trading and aggregation. However, this study showed that, in the recent past, access to finance and participation of women in cooperatives has helped overcome such challenges. This study analysed the position of women in the maize and beans value-chains in Rwanda. Respectively, these generally provide food and income security at the household level.

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