Cargill extends partnership with CARE to support women entrepreneurs in agriculture

Cargill has extended its partnership with social justice organisation, CARE, assisting smallholder farmers including projects linked to cocoa communities and initiatives focused on supporting women entrepreneurs, reports Neill Barston.

As the global agri-group explained, it has pledged a total of $14 million over the next three years into the venture, with its core goal of delivering greater impact and resilience within agricultural operations, amid what is acknowledged as a growing global huger crisis.

Among the key schemes being taken forward by the two organisations are 34 programmes reaching a total of more than 4.6 million people across 13 countries, including Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, and Indonesia.

Notably, as Confectionery Production has previously reported ongoing initiatives from a number of stakeholders within the cocoa trade have revealed that direct support for women entrepreneurs within cocoa communities has had a tangible effect in terms of wider social benefits and community development, allied to other schemes including delivering greater access to finance for smallholder farmers to establish additional opportunities.

Consequently, CARE has been working within the key cocoa growing territory of Ivory Coast for the past twenty years, including assisting farmers in the sector, with the organisation’s work set to continue in the region, targeting major systemic change to improve agricultural productivity and profitability.

“Cargill has been CARE’s longest standing corporate partnership- a collaboration spanning more than six decades,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO, CARE US. “With Cargill’s support, CARE has helped millions of people around the world grow more food, expand their incomes and build their communities. The next phase of our partnership will apply the lessons of experience and new innovations to increase our impact and create a more sustainable and food secure world.”

The renewed third phase of Promoting a Sustainable and Food Secure World program, Prosper, will support 11 projects spanning ten countries including Benin, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Peru, Philippines, and Vietnam. With more than 50% of the world’s food been produced by women, this latest initiative will focus on three main areas: Enabling women’s access to inclusive markets to unlock greater production, expand profits on small-scale agriculture, and ensure food security.

“Building resilient agricultural supply chains is at the core of our work at Cargill, and we know women play a critical part in driving the long-term change needed to strengthen the food system, said Pilar Cruz, Chief Sustainability Officer at Cargill. We are excited to expand our work with CARE and continue improving livelihoods of people in agricultural communities around the world”.

As Cargill added, the Prosper initiative is built on decades of evidence and learning, while rooted in community engagement and systems strengthening approaches that foster long-term sustainability. Consequently, the business h successfully delivered programmes since 2008 in countries including Ivory, Honduras, Guatemala, and Ghana. With Prosper, both organisations aim to incorporate innovative approaches such as Farmer Field and Business Schools, Community Based Adaption, Village and Savings Loans Associations (VSLAs), and Engaging Men and Boys to create deeper impact and empower communities at large.

The goal is to reach nearly 1.6 million people directly and indirectly. However, the reach will go far beyond the program’s efforts. With increased investment in global, national, and local advocacy as well as scaling up approaches through partners, innovation, and use of digital technologies; both organisations believe they will be able to multiply this impact further.

Through collaboration and ensuring women have a leadership role in determining economic opportunities that best fit their communities, this partnership can deliver transformative impact. With Cargill’s position as a connector of the food system and their unique expertise and technical support paired with CARE’s on the ground experience and network, Prosper aims to build sustainable and resilient supply chains and communities.

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