My co-team lead, Yuka Makino, and I received funding from the South Asia Regional Trade Facilitation Program to undertake a geospatial and temporal analysis of agricultural supply chains in trade/transport. Our objective was simple: To help integrate rural women into cross-border trading and ease their access to better transportation networks and competitive markets. We also wanted to understand the very low participation of women in the workforce, which has remained low over the last 20 years.
We hoped this analysis would help us answer several questions: Where are skilled women located? What are the gaps in capacity? Who are the entrepreneurs and what sectors can they focus on? What sectors can be developed along transport corridors?
Here is what we found out from this spatially based, in-depth socio-economic and productivity assessment: There are three products that are most representative of women or highly suitable for integration of women: flowers, dairy and fish. The study identified geographic areas with the highest and lowest socio-demographic constraints for women. The value chains were analyzed to determine the participation of women. Finally, the study identified economic focal points where the pilots for capacity building and SME development could be located.