Empowering Women through Agriculture

Women are key to eliminating hunger and poverty. Our Goal is to empower 1000 women, feeding 10,000 people, by 2017.

Ag wFarmers Union 2015 v2

In Zambia today, the most important business is growing enough food and ensuring that it reaches everyone.

To feed the growing population, Zambians need to increase their food production by 65%.

Women make up the majority of the agricultural workforce in Zambia.  Yet, for every investment made in producing food, they fail to get the best results because these women lack the access they need to land, seeds, water, and markets. If we equip women with the right tools, the right training, and the right technology, we could see as much as a 30% increase in food production.

In addition, women who have greater control over their families’ funds spend more on their children’s wellbeing.  Not only can the population in extreme poverty be reduced and malnutrition decreased, but the ability for a child to learn is enhanced exponentially.   A nourished child goes to school, fed and eager to learn.

One woman farmer was interviewed in Keembe where her difficult and old methods of farming yield very little:  “We are always looking for hand-outs; we have to rely on relief food.”  Like many, this woman has no oxen or tools of her own to plough her field.  She has to wait in line to hire some, which means she often fails to plant as soon as the first rains fall – with disastrous consequences.

If we improve access to opportunities for one woman, we improve her ability to produce good yields and thereby her economic and social environment is enhanced.   Women are key to eliminating hunger and poverty. Their pivotal roles as farmers, mothers and caregivers have immense implications for improving the livelihoods, food, and the health and nutrition of their families, and to the children we serve.

Our Progress

 2012:

  • Program definition complete.
  • Formed partnerships with the US Embassy/Agriculture Department; Zambian Farmers Union; University of Zambia; and NASAD.
  • Secured land for pilot programs in Keembe and Lehteti.

2013:

  • Irrigation for pilot sites completed.
  • Training Program developed and initiated.
  • Marketing contracts for spring harvest secured.

2014:

  • Harvest!
  • Second year planning.
  • Additional partnerships formed: Young Rotarians, Independent Farming Specialist, Waterworks.
  • Training Program continues.
  • Marketing contracts re-negotiated.

Our Next Steps

2015:

  • Revisit 5 year plan for Agriculture Program.   Seek priority for clean water and sanitation in support personal AND agriculture program growth and sustainability. See: Water and Sanitation Program.
Agriculture Field Day 2015

Agriculture Field Day 2015

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