Risky Business: How an Innovative Partnership is Addressing Growing Threats to the Coffee Supply Chain
For smallholder farmers, growing coffee has become a risky business. Plagued by low profitability and the effects of climate change, many struggle to earn a livable income. And with smallholders accounting for 80% of global coffee production, their struggles put the entire coffee industry at risk. Carolin Ehrensperger at Neumann Gruppe GmBH and Laura Harwig at Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation discuss a partnership that aims to build a sustainable coffee supply chain by providing farmers with critical opportunities and resources to grow and adapt.
The Path Toward Commercialization: How Research Can Generate Business Opportunities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Research universities and labs are important engines of innovation that play a vital role in global business development – and commercializing these innovations can deliver real-world impact. But according to Dana Gorodetsky and Sachin Nijhawan at the William Davidson Institute, there's a lack of expertise and resources related to the commercialization of research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). They explore the benefits of commercialization for researchers, institutions and entrepreneurs, and offer four key lessons for commercializing research in LMICs.
As an open forum for emerging markets business, NextBillion publishes around 150 original, guest-written articles per year, covering enterprises, innovations, challenges and opportunities across multiple sectors and geographies. Each December we select the 12 most-read articles of the past year to include in our "Most Influential Article of the Year" contest. We invite you to vote for the article that impacted you the most in 2021. You can vote up to one time per hour during the two-week voting period, which runs from Dec. 20 to Jan. 2.
- Agriculture, Coronavirus, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Impact Assessment, Investing, NextBillion Originals, Technology
Supporting Women Farmers in the Age of Climate Change: Why It’s Time To Look at Agriculture Solutions Through Both a Gender and Climate Lens
In sub-Saharan Africa, women smallholder farmers face a number of significant barriers, from lower access to resources, to entrenched sociocultural norms that limit their mobility, time and decision-making power. And these obstacles are exacerbated by climate change, which also places unique burdens on women. In response to these overlapping challenges, Bianca Samson, Flavia Howard and Charlie Habershon at Dalberg argue that agricultural support efforts must combine a gender and climate lens. They discuss ways to align these three priorities to drive catalytic impact.
A Business Opportunity With Exponential Benefits: Linking Agriculture and Energy to Improve Livelihoods in Africa
Agriculture contributes around 23% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP, and energy access can help drive agricultural development. However, Scarlett Santana at RMI points out that the region has few businesses enabling productive energy uses in agriculture, and the lack of electricity for mechanization is limiting growth in rural communities. She explores the opportunities that exist for agribusinesses that link their investment and other business decisions to energy considerations – and for energy businesses that link their efforts to agriculture.
The Pandemic is Not Over for Social Enterprises: Here’s How Impact Investors and Other Funders Can Help Them Survive COVID-19
Social enterprises are developing innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions to the world's deepest economic and social issues, but many of these businesses are at risk of disappearing due to COVID-19. According to Alethia Kang at Acceso and Luke Seidle at Kiva, impact investors and other funders must step up to keep the social enterprise field afloat. They share five steps funders can take to bolster these businesses, and discuss how the partnership between their two organizations illustrates the value of flexible funding support during a crisis.
Supporting Farmers and Food Systems: How Crowdfunding Can Address Funding Challenges for Agricultural SMEs in Africa
Agriculture employs over 70% of the working population in Africa, making it a cornerstone of the continent's economic progress and livelihood development. But as Esther Mweru and Jerry Sellanga at 2SCALE explain, the financial strain of COVID-19 — combined with previously existing market inefficiencies — is putting many vulnerable farmers and agricultural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at risk. They explore how crowdfunding can provide a financial lifeline to these smallholders and businesses, and discuss how 2SCALE is using it to support agribusinesses in Mali, Nigeria and Kenya.
Healthy Animals Make a Healthier World: How Expanding Animal Care Can Advance the SDGs and Support Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa
Smallholder farming is the main source of livelihood for many families facing extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and livestock provides up to 45% of their income. Jeannette Ferran Astorga at the Zoetis Foundation explains why access to quality animal healthcare is critical to protecting those farmers' livelihoods. She discusses how the organization is championing healthier, more sustainable animal care practices, and how improving livestock care can make a major impact on the region's progress toward the SDGs.