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Gender Transformative and Responsible Agribusiness Investments in South East Asia (GRAISEA)

In 2007 farmers in Yasothorn Province, north-east Thailand, experienced the longest dry spell during a rainy season in decades. Credit: Mongkhonsawat Luengvorapant/ Oxfam

At a glance

Improving livelihoods for small scale producers in South-East Asia through responsible, gender transformative value chains and private sector investments.


Gender Transformative and Responsible Agribusiness Investments in South East Asia (GRAISEA) is a regional programme which is funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok. Based on the recognition that financial viability and gender equitable and sustainable supply chains are not mutually exclusive, GRAISEA promotes win-win-win propositions: wins for communities, small-scale producers and larger businesses.

It focuses on three intertwined approaches:

  • Promote corporate social responsibility and other private sector regulatory frameworks in South-East Asia with ASEAN and its member states and with leading agribusiness companies
  • Demonstrate gender transformative and responsible agribusiness investments for smallholders, in particular women in the selected value chains of palm oil and aquaculture
  • Promote responsible and innovative investments in small and medium enterprises

The programme will be implemented for a period of three years, starting April 1, 2015. It is a joint Oxfam Great Britain and Oxfam Novib programme led by the OGB regional centre in Bangkok, which will involve five regional partners (ChangeFusion, CSR Asia, Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia [ISEA], Shujog/Impact Investment Exchange IIX and Oxfam's East Asia GROW campaign) and six countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand). The Oxfam offices will work with local country partners.

For more information on the programme see the GRAISEA brochure.


Building on Oxfam's pilots in selected commodities, this programme utilises a multi-stakeholder approach with Oxfam acting as a convenor to bring together the diverse stakeholders involved in selected commodity value chains. Together, we aim to to achieve the following:

  1. Improve the role ASEAN and its member states' policies have in promoting responsible practices, including attention to gender equality and women's economic empowerment in: agribusiness, agribusiness investment, small-scale agriculture, and social enterprises.
  2. Ensure small-scale producers are engaged with agro-commercial value chains in equitable partnerships and women are recognized as central economic actors.
  3. The adoption of policies by corporate agribusinesses in South-East Asia that promote corporate social responsibility and plans that support responsible practices in the value chains for small-scale producers, as well as including gender equality and women's economic empowerment in their core business values.
  4. Introduction and development of innovative financing solutions by financial institutions and investors in agriculture to assist overcoming specific investment requirements (investment risks) for women, smallholders and buyers of these smallholders.

This programme has been designed to take full advantage of stakeholder experiences in the region. This includes working with ASEAN (primarily the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry and various ASEAN working groups) to influence the regional operating environment and using Oxfam's expertise in gender equality and women's economic empowerment to strengthen the individual and collective capacities of smallholders.

Connect with GRAISEA


SMEs and social enterprises working in the agricultural sector (especially in aquaculture, palm oil, cacao, coconut and rice in ASEAN countries) should connect with GRAISEA.

The GRAISEA programme offers SMEs in the region:

  • Technical assistance for small-scale producer associations that may be their suppliers.
  • Assistance in receiving in-kind or financial co-financing.
  • Access to alternative financing sources such as impact investors who may be interested in debt/equity/grants/loans financing.
  • Incubation/acceleration support that leads to scaling of the SME.
  • Social impact (ESG) assessment.
  • Access to bigger markets (ASEAN integration).

Contact Oskar Haq, Regional Financial Sector Advisor in Asia:

Private sector

Companies and corporate stakeholders working in the agricultural sector in South East Asia (especially in aquaculture, palm oil, cacao, coconut and rice) should contact the Programme Management Unit (PMU) of the GRAISEA programme. There are immense opportunities to contribute and extend our collaboration in this programme to create a lasting positive impact. The GRAISEA programme will enable interested parties to:

  • Receive advice, technical assistance and capacity building for smallholders to be empowered with the promotion of gender transformative change.
  • Receive a wide array of knowledge, lessons and tools to help strengthen women's empowerment through the gender power analysis, programme intervention and influencing transformational impact for women at different levels.
  • Build coalition in different MSI platforms (e.g. RSPO, ASC) to support the further development of these guidelines.
  • Strengthen CSR through the application of regulatory mechanisms in different regional/international platforms and institutional bodies (particularly AMAF, and multi-stakeholder initiatives like RSPO, ASC).
  • Establish a business case through promoting CSR that enhances responsible and inclusive business.
  • Be guided by international frameworks aiming to address the social, environmental and economic responsibilities of the private sector, particularly the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights and the UN Global Compact.

Contact Pongsagorn (Art) Sajitpanon, Regional Private Sector Specialist:

ASEAN governments

Oxfam's GROW campaign and the GRAISEA programme are working to promote responsible investments in agriculture and greater corporate social responsibility within ASEAN. Investors, policy experts and civil society groups interested in helping advance responsible investment policies and practices in Asia can connect with the GRAISEA programme for the following resources:

  • Policy papers and materials on ASEAN and private sector investments in agriculture.
  • Linkages with the ASEAN CSR Network, SEAFISH for Justice and other organizations working on the promotion of good investment policies and practices in the region, especially on aquaculture.
  • Information on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and links to the process of developing national and regional action plans to implement these principles.
  • Participation in the High Level Policy Forum on Responsible Business, which will be held on October 28, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Contact Benoit Trudel, GRAISEA Programme Manager:

GRAISEA partners

Related staff