Archived Webinar

Digital Ag Series: Women Leadership in AgTech - Transforming the Agriculture and Food Sector

"Just 7% of AgTech deals and 3% of the record-breaking volume of dollars invested in the sector in 2018 went to female-founded teams"

AgTech is the convergence of agriculture and technology, with investments totaling over US$10.1 billion in 2017. However, women-led startups consistently receive a smaller share of these investments. Industry-wide, women-led companies received just two percent of the total venture capital investment in 2017—only US$1.9 billion out of the total US$85 billion invested by venture capitalists that year. In agriculture more broadly, women make up about half of the world’s farmers, but consistently receive a smaller share of land ownership and farming inputs.

Just 7% of AgTech deals and 3% of the record-breaking volume of dollars invested in the sector in 2018 went to female-founded teams, according to the report released by AgFunder, Karen Karp & Partners, and The New Food Economy in collaboration with S2G Ventures. “A structural bias exists which prevents female founders and CEOs from accessing capital to start and grow their Agri-FoodTech enterprises,” states the report, Money Where Our Mouths Are that investigates funding disparities between male and female AgTech founders.

Understanding the specific impediments women farmers face is necessary, but a more holistic approach that focuses on the Food System as a whole would enhance women farmer’s abilities to benefit from government support and could lead to greater food and nutritional security, reducing poverty, and substantial gains in GDP.

World Bank Group is launching the inaugural webinar series to increase the investment in AgTech, focusing on women-led AgTech. During this webinar, hear from the women leadership in AgTech and learn about the key innovations in technology that are used to empower smallholder farmers. Data and advanced analytics improve the productivity of agriculture which in the long run will lift them out of poverty. Learn about their product offering for advisory services, to provide farmers with comprehensive information on prices, crop planning, and weather, pests, and disease control. In some cases, a digital marketplace that connects farmers to buyers and suppliers more seamlessly.

About the Presenters

Ponsi Trivisvavet

CEO & Director, Inari

Ponsi Trivisvavet is the CEO and Director of Inari, a seed company using breakthroughs in genomics and computational science to transform plant breeding and radically reduce the amount of natural resources needed to grow our food. Ms. Trivisvavet has broad expertise in global agriculture as well as extensive management skill in the seeds business. Prior to joining Inari, she held a number of leadership roles at Syngenta, most recently as president of Syngenta Seeds North America. Before Syngenta, she held positions with McKinsey & Company. Ms. Trivisvavet holds an MBA from Cornell University.

William Sonneborn

Senior Director, International Finance Corporation

William Sonneborn is the Senior Director, International Finance Corporation, overseeing all investments in Disruptive Technologies and Funds. Prior to joining IFC, Bill was the President of EIG and a member of the Investment and Executive Committees. Prior to joining EIG, he was a partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and a member of KKR’s Management Committee. Bill served as CEO of KKR Asset Management (the public markets side of KKR) as well as CEO and Director of KKR Financial Corporation (NYSE: KFN), a publicly-traded specialty finance firm. He also sat on the board of Nephila Capital, a $10 billion Bermuda-based hedge fund in which KKR purchased a stake in 2013. Prior to joining KKR, he was with The TCW Group, Inc., most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York and Hong Kong, where he focused on mergers & acquisitions.

Mariana Vasconcelos

Co-founder and CEO, Agrosmart

Mariana Vasconcelos is the daughter of farmers, co-founder, and CEO at Agrosmart, a tech pioneer company by the World Economic Forum. Biz Dev with degrees from UNIFEI, UCLA, and Singularity University, Mariana was nominated MIT Technology Review Innovators under 35, Forbes Under 30, and Fast Company 100 Most Creative. She is a global ambassador for Thought for Food, an expert in digital agriculture, and considered one of the 100 most influential agribusiness people by Dinheiro Rural Magazine.

Johanna Hartung

Project Lead in Ghana, German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ)

Johanna Hartung works at the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) as a Policy Advisor to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Her fields of work include G20 partnerships on digitalization during the German presidency in 2017, digital inclusion, and women’s empowerment in the digital age. Prior to joining GIZ, Johanna worked in different positions at the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Humboldt University in Berlin, and the consultancy company FAKT. Johanna earned her master’s degree in media and political communications from the Free University in Berlin with a thesis on mobile phone use patterns in West Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Konstanz and studied abroad at the University of Warwick. 

Dina Umali-Deining

Practice Manager, East Asia and Pacific Region, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank 

Dina Umali-Deininger is the Agriculture and Food Practice Manager for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. She manages analytical and advisory services and a lending portfolio totaling $3.5 billion, which focuses on promoting climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture, linking smallholder farmers to markets, agriculture value chain development, and enhancing rural livelihoods and jobs. She formerly served as the Agriculture Practice Manager in Central and Eastern Africa and Water Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia. She also served as Country Sector Coordinator and Lead Agriculture Economist in the World Bank New Delhi office overseeing the World Bank's agriculture and rural development program in India.  Prior to joining the World Bank, she held a teaching position at the University of the Philippines and was a Research Associate at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Stanford University and a B.A. in Agribusiness Management from the University of the Philippines.

Lesly Goh Senior

Technical Advisor, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Ms. Lesly Goh is the Senior Technology Advisor, former Chief Technology Officer for the World Bank Group. She is a Fellow at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) Judge Business School and Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Lesly advises policymakers on the regulatory impact from emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G, Cloud and Edge Computing. Prior to the public sector role, Lesly built a solid technology career at Microsoft, Deloitte, and startups. Lesly is the Board of Director for Singapore GovTech and a member of the WEF Global Future Council on Data Policy. From her extensive experience in public and private sectors, she introduces strategic partnerships for agriculture digital transformation, leveraging data and technology innovations in emerging markets. 

Questions Submitted

jose luis

- Aug 1, 2022
muy bueno


- Nov 28, 2021


- May 14, 2021

Lynn Ioana

- Apr 25, 2021
well done


- Mar 13, 2021

Mohammad Nadir

- Mar 3, 2021


- Mar 2, 2021


- Feb 27, 2021
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