Slide Deck

Making Digital Platforms Work for Women in Rural Agricultural Livelihoods

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This Slide Deck is a supplement to the CGAP Reading Deck "Financial Solutions for Women in Rural and Agricultural Livelihoods" (November 2021).

The emergence of digital platforms for agriculture (AgTechs) offers an important opportunity to help rural women seize opportunities to improve their livelihoods. But despite their potential, most AgTechs struggle to engage rural women: while women represent 40-50 percent of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, they make up only 25 percent of AgTech users. And when AgTechs do reach rural women, low usage rates suggest that they are not sufficiently serving them, thus limiting the potential for meaningful impact on women’s lives. Synthesizing insights from research conducted with four digital platforms operating in Nigeria, Kenya, and India, this document highlights key areas where platforms have started incorporating gender-forward business practices with the potential to directly impact rural women.

Building on recent research conducted by ISF Advisors and the Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, Caribou Digital, and IFC, the primary objectives of this work were to:

  • Formalize the gender impact thesis to understand how platform-specific responses can unlock social and economic value.
  • Identify best practices that platforms have implemented to better reach and impact rural women users.
  • Provide guidance to key stakeholders on how to prioritize interventions to improve platform services for rural women.

The deck also outlines the four most important building blocks for platforms to improve engagement of and impact on rural women and defines a set of indicators for gender-forward business practices that platforms can adopt to create shared value for platforms and the women that engage with them. Finally, this report outlines four key entry points for investors and donors that want to support digital platforms to become gender-forward.


This work was funded in whole or in part by CGAP. Unlike CGAP's official publications, it has not been peer reviewed or edited by CGAP, and any conclusions or viewpoints expressed are those of the authors, and they may or may not reflect the views of CGAP staff.

About this Publication

By Anne Maftei, Sarah Devermann, Matt Shakhovskoy, & Katie Naeve