The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) confirms closure by end of 2020.
Leading image

Marthe Montcho: Blogging for social change

Impact story


Marthe Montcho started her blog, L’Agriculture au féminin or Women in Farming, in October 2013. Despite initially knowing very little about blogging, she quickly became a success as the blog grew in popularity. Montcho’s desire to fill what she saw as an information gap and empower female farmers, particularly in her home country of Benin, led to her winning the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo), organised by CTA in 2014.

Her blog provides valuable information about agribusiness opportunities for women involved in farming and winning the award affirmed her decision to highlight the untold opportunities available to female farmers, as well as young people. She used part of the cash prize won to implement activities in that framework.

Montcho is passionate about using ICTs to bring about social change and, to date, her blog has received over 100,000 page views from around the world. It has not all been easy though. Montcho says that at the beginning, "I had [a] fairly limited knowledge about how to use social networks. But today I run a versatile online community." Her desire to help women and young people in Benin encouraged her to learn quickly and, through the use of online discussion groups, she soon had her finger on the pulse of local and global agricultural developments.

"Women in Benin are thirsty for social change, which could be enabled by social media, if [it] could give more visibility to their agricultural activities," argues Montcho. The Women in Farming blog aims to do just that by promoting these women's businesses and highlighting their agricultural skills. Previous posts on the Women in Farming blog have focussed on women who process néré seeds into mustard, and processing technology that helps women to turn palm nuts into a puree, which can be easily packaged and sold. Women remain excluded from value chains, however, and they often have limited access to agricultural information. Montcho hopes that her blog posts will become part of a broader online discussion about female farmers and their integration into the agricultural sector.

Montcho's other projects focus on youth participation in agribusiness. She believes that youth unemployment could be dramatically reduced if young people are shown how to become agricultural entrepreneurs. Alongside finding young people internships and providing start-up training for graduates, she runs a junior farmer training scheme for secondary school children. So far, the scheme has helped 40 students to learn about animal husbandry and how to grow vegetables. It not only supports the students to set up their own business ventures to earn some money, but also helps to foster a love for agriculture among young people in Benin. Her latest youth project, The Rural Way, is a magazine aimed at young people interested in agricultural entrepreneurship.

Empowering women remains Montcho's biggest passion. She now has a team to help train other women to look after small animals and grow vegetables and in the future, she hopes to work with CTA again and build on the success of her blog. She believes that women and ICTs are perfectly matched to support agricultural development, but she is well aware that the fight for social change continues. "My blog has raised awareness among rural women in Benin that they are doing excellent work, and as a result, they have more self-confidence... I plan to continue...helping women farmers through my blog."


VALUE4HER: boosting women-led agribusiness

Women are key players in agriculture, but few are engaged in agribusiness. This is largely because women face challenges that bar their entry to this lucrative sector, including poor access to markets, market intelligence, finance and other business services, and because they commonly lack the technical, management and leadership skills needed to drive an enterprise forward.

Vouch Digital: Tracking development impacts in real time


In the face of recurring famine and drought in Karamoja, Uganda, the area is receiving enormous developmental interventions by developmental agencies, NGOs, governments, private companies. Most if not all of these initiatives share one aspect in common lack of transparency and accountability, a scenario where organisations are not sure if the interventions reach the target beneficiaries.

#VALUE4HERConnect: Africa’s first digital platform for women-led agribusiness


A new digital platform has created an avenue for women agripreneurs to easily reach out to one another, access market information and training, and improve their engagement with the national, continental and global agribusiness ecosystem.

VALUE4HER: connecting women to new markets


To enhance interaction and networking among African women in agribusiness and potential investors and trade partners, a B2B trade fair was recently held by the VALUE4HER initiative in Nairobi, Kenya. Sabdiyo Dido describes the aims and outcomes of the event.

Be sure you don't miss our latest updates.