Grow Asia’s USD 1.6 Million Multi-Donor Impact Fund Boosting Women’s Economic Empowerment

Grow Asia aims to raise a total of USD 5.6m to drive more gender-inclusive practices across Asia’s food and agriculture sector.
Up to 1 in 3 women in Southeast Asia are engaged in agriculture, yet they face more barriers to access finance, extension services, land ownership, information, and inputs relative to men. According to research, empowering women in agriculture leads to equitable economic growth, injects more funds into rural economies, and increases investments in climate-smart solutions and services that are necessary for long-term resilience. 


GROW ASIA’s Multi-Donor Impact Fund For women’s economic empowerment 

Grow Asia, a multi-stakeholder platform that fosters collaboration to create more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems, has established a USD 1.6 million multi-donor impact fund to support women’s economic empowerment in Asia’s agri-food sector. The fund will support programs that strengthen the business case for women’s empowerment and encourage public and private investment in gender-inclusive actions, practices, and policies, particularly for small rural businesses.
Pictured (left to right): Ravinder Balain (Head of Business of ASEAN, Corteva Agriscience), Beverley Postma (Executive Director, Grow Asia), and H.E. Jean-Dominique Ieraci (High Commissioner of Canada to the Republic of Singapore)
The fund is anchored by a USD 800k investment from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and a matching investment from Corteva Agriscience. Building on these foundational investments, Grow Asia aims to raise and channel USD 5.6m through the fund into women’s economic empowerment programs over the next three years.
A comprehensive suite of programs has been designed that will leverage the expertise of all parties and build on Grow Asia’s previous work in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Viet Nam, which has been funded by the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In the coming months, Grow Asia will launch three complementary multi-donor impact funds to support parallel activities that promote agri-food innovation, responsible agricultural investing, and climate change

Grow Asia’s central mission is to build more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems. To do this, we need to engage women at every stage of agricultural value chains and empower them as decision- makers and leaders. The commitment of our long-standing partners like the government of Canada and Corteva Agriscience to championing inclusive and business-critical investments gives me a renewed confidence that, while we have a long way to go, a more equitable system is on the horizon.

The multi-donor impact fund currently supports the following programs:
  • AGREE (ASEAN Green Recovery through Equity and Empowerment): an initiative supported by the International Development Research Centre in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam to demonstrate how COVID-19 recovery can be gender- and climate-responsive. AGREE is mapping current gender-inclusive practices in agriculture value chains, testing pilot interventions with corporate partners, and informing policy that champions women as agents of climate action.
  • GrowHer : a community-based platform that connects women to learning events, essential resources and best-practice sharing from other women agripreneurs. The platform was launched by Grow Asia alongside AGREA, Corteva Agriscience and WOMAG.
  • THRIVE(Train Her to Promote Resilient, Inclusive Value Chains and Economic Empowerment): a joint initiative between Grow Asia and Corteva Agriscience launched in 2021 to (1) increase women farmers’ farm management, digital and business skills; and (2) support women farmers, influencers and agripreneurs with business development and networking opportunities.


Grow Asia is a multi-stakeholder platform established in 2015 by the World Economic Forum and the ASEAN Secretariat to cultivate more inclusive, resilient and sustainable food systems in Southeast Asia. Grow Asia does this by brokering commercial and non-profit partnerships between the global and regional public, private, civil society, academic and farmer organizations that make up the Grow Asia Network, creating an ecosystem that supports knowledge sharing, collaboration, innovation and policy change.
In 2020, Grow Asia was accredited as an Entity Associated with ASEAN due to the important role Grow Asia plays in the region, particularly in facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable agriculture development.
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