Case Study

Case Study: Marcatus QED

A Community-Based Approach to Building Equitable Value Chains

Marcatus QED (MQED) partners with global food companies to develop sustainable sourcing and value chain strategies. Their focus includes product development, sourcing, supply chain, food safety, quality, and responsible farming. MQED's Responsible Farming Program aligns with several UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

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Approach and Solutions

Women in Agriculture: MQED acknowledges the rising role of women in farming. While women bring ecological values and are disproportionately affected by climate change, they face challenges like limited land rights, gender roles, and access to credit. The Marcatus Mobile Education Platform (MMEP) addresses these gaps by educating and empowering women in rural India.

MMEP: Launched in 2015, MMEP focuses on sustainable farming techniques. Recognizing women's vital role on farms, the program includes them as decision-makers and leaders, aiming to empower them within their communities.

Challenges Faced: MQED noticed gender gaps in training participation and representation. To address this, they incorporated nutrition and sanitation education and brought in a gender expert to enhance gender awareness within their teams.

Women in Agriculture Scholarship: MQED supports women scholars in agriculture, aiming to equip them for leadership roles. Successful candidates, like Jacqueline Echevarria Arciniega, benefit from financial support and educational opportunities.

Partnership Initiatives: Collaborating with Unilever and GAIN, MQED implemented "Seeds of Prosperity," focusing on dietary diversity, hygiene practices, and supporting kitchen gardens for rural farming families.

Impact

MQED's initiatives have led to positive outcomes. Over 60 educational videos created by field officers, with over 10,500 farm families, have significantly increased women's participation. The programs have also influenced sustainable farming practices, showing a positive impact on yields and incomes.

Key Success Factors and Takeaways

Understanding local contexts, collaborative efforts, adaptability, and internal champions were critical success factors for MQED. They emphasize the need for time and incremental changes in shifting gender norms. Continuous improvement, expansion of programs, and community-centric approaches remain MQED's ongoing focus.

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