Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC)

Empowering women in food systems and strengthening the local capacities and resilience of SIDS in the agri-food sector


The subprogramme main goal is to contribute to poverty reduction, jobs creation, food security and nutrition by improving the economic, social and environmental sustainability of agrifood value chains in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Specifically, the project aims to enhance rural women’s ability to participate in and benefit from agrifood value chains, by fostering an enabling institutional environment and by increasing their access and control over productive resources, innovative and climate-resilient services, technologies and practices.

Status of the subprogramme
On going

Major results


The subprogramme became operationally active in February 2020, and a project task force was established, composed of the Gender team of the Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division (ESP) as Lead technical unit of the project, and of country offices where the project is being implemented.  


Key figures

  • 1.472 overall beneficiaries, including 536 trainees, 400 individuals, over 300 farmers at community level and over 620 attendees to four global events. They increased awareness on gender-sensitive and climate resilient value chains.
  • Eight value chains assessed and supported (poultry in Samoa, tourism in Palau, fruit à pain and poultry in Comoros, two honey value chains in Barbados and St. Lucia, and two value chains on fisheries in Cabo Verde).
  • 80 % of women’s involved in the targeted value chains have better access to resources, improved climate resilient services, and innovative practices.
  • 13 service providers implemented gender-sensitive approaches.
  • One side event organized within the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66).

Country experiences

  • Palau: Implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Value Chain Program. This has facilitated the creation of a database of heritage foods and processing practices and an inventory of local agroecological and cultural diversity linked to food and a carbon calculator, as well as the establishment of a slow food community and three women´s operating businesses.
  • Cabo Verde:  Approval of the “Empowering women in small scale and artisanal fishing value chains Gender Equality Strategy in Fishery Sector 2022-2025”.
  • Comoros: Strengthening rural women’s economic initiatives. This has resulted in the creation of the FaceKM virtual platform to facilitate access to credits and financial services, the establishment of 30 cooperatives and the development of their business plans.
  • Saint Lucia: Collaboration with the Export St Lucia and the Bureau of Standards to support smallholders, mainly women, participating in honey and sea moss value chains.


  • All six countries have identified follow up actions to strengthen the work initiated by the subprogramme. For instance, Cabo Verde will replicate the experience with fishmongers in other islands; new Slow food communities will be created in Palau; and women’s cooperatives will develop their business plans in Comoros.
  • Knowledge products and the package for virtual training of trainers on gender sensitive and climate resilient value chains offer a great opportunity to enhance capacities at country level.
  • Build synergies through South - South and Triangular cooperation.
  • New projects in the targeted and neighbour countries could benefit for continuous support.


Globally, the pandemic exacerbated gender inequalities. Therefore, the subprogramme made efforts to raise awareness and build policy responses to the impacts of COVID-19 on women´s participation in agricultural value chains and food systems through knowledge materials and events. At country level, activities were postponed or slowly implemented. Several measures were taken as adapting workplans to face COVID-19 related challenges and recovery measures.

  • Build synergies with and reinforce results of the ongoing or recently closed initiatives.
  • Enhance partnerships to complement expertise and enrich the quality of the results.
  • Keep strong coordination and support to partners at country level.
  • Use of proved tools to address gender equality and climate resilient dimensions into value chain development. 
  • Implement participatory methods and regular site visits to provide technical support to each farmer at the critical stages of setting up their projects, as well as facilitating problem solving and identification of improvement areas.
  • Design virtual training using accessible platforms to confront travel restrictions due to COVID-19.

Share this page