This study investigates how two of the funded organisations, FINCOOP Savings and Credit Cooperative in Malawi and MoneyMart Finance in Zimbabwe, are implementing innovative financing solutions for women. This study aims to generate knowledge and insights on the impact of different business models on access to affordable solar home systems and women’s financial inclusion in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
AECF is pleased to publish its 2019 Annual Report, which sets out the achievements across its two flagship programmes – agribusiness and renewable energy and adaptation to climate technologies (REACT) – and the further work that lies ahead in supporting pro-poor businesses to reach under-served communities in Africa with essential services, products, and jobs.
B’Ayoba (pvt) Ltd is an AECF grantee in Zimbabwe dedicated to producing, processing, and marketing fruit from the baobab tree. The business model involves the collection and primary
processing of baobab fruits in remote rural areas in Zimbabwe. Villagers collect the whole baobab fruit from the trees for transport to B’Ayoba collection centers, where they are checked for quality before being transported to a central processing plant for export to North America and Europe. This case study examines the level of women’s participation and finds that they have been the primary beneficiaries of the project, receiving 63% of the total paid out to baobab collectors. The data used is drawn from B’Ayoba collectors in the Mount Darwin region, in the arid north of Zimbabwe.
The AECF at ten enters a new phase in its growth. Its focus is still very much on transforming the lives of the rural poor through agriculture and renewable energy, but with a renewed emphasis on those most difficult to reach groups. These have all too often, whether by reason of gender, age or geographical location, failed to benefit sufficiently from the impact of development.
Tanzania’s agricultural sector is central to the economy, but productivity is strikingly low, largely due to the limited adoption of recommended agricultural inputs such as improved seed, fertilizer, and agrochemicals (pesticides) by farmers. Agro-input prices are generally high, quality is often low, and availability is limited.
This study argues that a leading cause of dysfunction in the agro-input market is the protracted and costly process of registering and certifying new inputs and technologies. Shortening and simplifying the registration process would immediately and positively impact the input market, boosting supply, increasing competition, and enhancing product quality and availability for farmers. This, in turn, would boost agricultural productivity and incomes.