Plowing Ahead: Women in Agriculture

Friday, 2 nOVEMBER


Location: Cambria



Moderator: Linda Jones, MEDA

Conversation Starters:

Pauline Mbayah, AECF

Katie Naeve, Root Capital

Ada Osakwe, Nuli Juices and Agrolay Ventures

Session Description:

How do we move more capital to women in agricultural value chains? Women owners of agribusinesses are often disadvantaged in obtaining investment, while women smallholder farmers consistently have the least access to finance of all groups worldwide. A range of innovations are taking place to improve capital investments that serve the needs of women along agricultural value chains—input suppliers, farmers, traders, processors, and wholesalers—but much more needs to be done to close this critical financing gap. Join us to re-imagine bold solutions to this seemingly intractable challenge. 


FAO: Women in Agriculture Closing the gender gap for development

Agricultural Value Chain Finance - Cal Miller and Linda Jones


Linda Jones

Linda Jones

Pauline Mbayah

Pauline Mbayah

Katie Naeve

Katie Naeve

Adaobi (Ada) Osakwe

Adaobi (Ada) Osakwe

Dr. Linda Jones is a globally recognized expert in the field of inclusive private sector growth, with a focus on the integration of low-income and disadvantaged populations into market systems and financial sectors. Linda is the...

...Vice President of Partnerships and Innovation at MEDA and has held senior positions at the Aga Khan Foundation in Geneva and the Coady International Institute. Linda consulted for many years, supporting a wide range of bilateral, multilateral and NGO programs in impact investing, inclusive finance, women’s economic empowerment and smallholder farmer market integration. Linda has contributed to the larger industry in roles such as: co-founder and chair of the Canadian Forum for Impact Investment and Development; chair of the board and advisor to the SEEP Network (DC); faculty at the ILO, Boulder Institute and Southern New Hampshire University; author of extensive publications from articles in peer-reviewed journals to books, toolkits and reports (for example, the FAO’s Agricultural Value Chain Finance; MEDA’s Gender Equality Mainstreaming Framework for impact investments; Springfield’s M4P WEE Framework); and editor of the Enterprise Development and Microfinance Journal. Linda holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Anthropology and Linguistics from McMaster University in Canada where she received national awards for academic excellence.

Pauline Mbayah is Director, Strategy and Partnerships, at AECF and oversees efforts to establish, deepen and strengthen relationships with donors and partners to broaden AECF’s impact and reach. She has a solid understanding of private sector and international development gained through over twenty years of experience. She has worked with government, international and local development...

...actors such as United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and has implemented programmes funded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) among others. While at UNIDO, Pauline received an Industrial Sustainability Award as the Manager of a Manufacturing Centre of Excellence. Prior to joining AECF, Pauline was Director, Business Development at African Management Services Company (AMSCO) where she managed the African Training and Management Services (ATMS) Foundation. Pauline is a seasoned resource mobilizer, business development professional as well as a fund management and grants administration expert. She holds a Double MBA in Strategy and International Business from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Pauline has attended a number of leadership training from various institutions including the Harvard and Stanford Business Schools.

Katie Naeve leads Root Capital’s Women in Agriculture Initiative, that transforms women’s lives by actively investing in agricultural businesses that create jobs and opportunities for women, providing resources to these businesses to improve their gender policies and programs, and training women to amplify their role and voice in agriculture. Katie also...

...leads Root Capital’s impact evaluation program, designing and overseeing the implementation of mixed-method studies to identify and communicate Root Capital’s impact on our clients and the impact of our clients on farmer households and communities, and develops and grows strategic partnerships that present opportunities for Root Capital to scale our growth and impact. Prior to joining Root Capital, Katie worked in policy research and evaluation, focused on programs to improve women and girl’s social and economic outcomes with Harvard’s Center for International Development, Harvard’s Women and Public Policy Program, and Mathematica Policy Research. Before that, she led policy and advocacy and developed partnerships for an agricultural finance and development initiative to build smallholder climate resilience in Senegal and Ethiopia with Oxfam America, and helped launch a social enterprise (Instiglio) that aims to improve public services in emerging economies through social impact bonds and other innovative results-based financing tools. Katie holds an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has authored a number of publications on the effectiveness of public policies in emerging economies.

Adaobi (Ada) Osakwe is an entrepreneur, investor and passionate African development advocate. She founded Agrolay to invest in early-stage food companies. The firm’s investments include Nuli, Nigeria’s fastest-growing farm-to-table beverage brand and restaurant chain that utilizes only locally grown agriculture produce. Ada was Senior Adviser to Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture. She was also a lead in the campaign team that...

...successfully ushered in Dr. Adesina as the current president of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Prior to her public service she was VP at Kuramo Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, and was a Senior Investment Officer at the AfDB. She began her career as an Analyst at BNP Paribas investment bank, London. Ada is a Board member of the One Acre Fund, a member of the AfDB’s Presidential Youth Advisory Group, and a mentor on the Future Global Leaders Fellowship Program. She is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Desmond Tutu Fellow. She was Entrepreneur of the Year and featured on Choiseul 100 Africa list in 2016 & 2017. In 2015, she received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture’ Award and was on the Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list. Ada has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, MSc in Economics and Finance from University of Warwick, U.K. and BSc in Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Hull, U.K.