See how investing in rural women brings exponential returns 

Women + investment = exponential returns

Investing in women is the surest way to prosperity – and a world without hunger.

Closing the gender gap in farming would lift 45 million people out of food insecurity.

And when rural women are empowered, so too are their families and communities. 

That’s why IFAD invests in women – and why more than half of our project participants are women.

They’re the smartest investment in a sustainable future. 

Insaf, the Syrian seamstress

Insaf Refai fled war-torn Syria in 2012. She arrived in Jordan with her four children and no way to earn a living.  

The investment

With US$1,400 from SIGHT, Insaf bet on her greatest skill: sewing.

The return

She now owns a workshop with a full-time employee and several freelancers. Her profits have grown five-fold since she received the grant.  

Edinah, the Zambian livestock farmer

Twenty-four family members depend on Edinah Musowe, a single mother in Zambia.

When COVID-19 struck, things became even harder as no one could afford to buy the goats she reared.  

The investment

With two chickens from E-SLIP, Edinah diversified and started a small chicken farm.

The return

Her farm has grown to 26 chickens, two turkeys and a couple of goats.

Best of all, her 10 grandchildren can now afford to go to school and her whole family has enough to eat and thrive. 

Sajeda, the Bangladeshi flower grower

With few economic opportunities, Sajeda Begum once depended on her husband to survive.

That was until she and seven friends in northern Bangladesh took a gamble by growing a crop that was new to their region: tulips. 

The investment

Sajeda and her friends received 40,000 tulip bulbs from RMTP.

The return

Their tulip farm has quintupled in size, with 18 women farmers now involved.

They’ve made US$9,000 in flower sales, while 100 local families provide hospitality services to tourists who come and marvel at the fields of colourful tulips in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Beatrice, the Ghanaian soap-maker

After Beatrice Arthur’s parents died, she was forced to drop out of school in Ghana.

Because of her disability, she found it hard to move around. She did odd jobs but barely earned enough to survive

The investment

Beatrice took part in a soapmaking course and received a US$300 investment from REP.  

The return

She has since set up a soap factory which employs 15 people and makes a profit of US$120 each month.

Moreover, 40 people have started their own soap businesses after Beatrice trained them. 

Celmira, the Peruvian Indigenous leader

As leader of an indigenous women’s coffee farming association in Peru, Celmira Huamán Rodríguez struggled to find a solution to rising fertilizer prices.  

The investment

The association received knowledge and tools from Avanzar Rural to make quality compost from coffee husks. 

The return

They are now producing enough organic fertilizer for 45 hectares of coffee plantations.

This reduces methane emissions from rotting waste, improves the soil and reduces the need for harmful chemical fertilizers.

They may live in opposite corners of the world, but these five women all have one thing in common.

They’re living proof that women are the best investment in our future.