Over 200 women engaging in agriculture are set to meet in Kampala to discuss key issues affecting their effective participation in the Sector.
The meeting, expected to take place on Friday 8 at Hotel Africana, is being organized by the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) Uganda chapter with support from Trust Africa.
According to Andrew Adem, the ESAFF programmes manager, the meeting intends to empower women on how to fully participate in agriculture since their participation has big impact on ensuring food security in the country.
“Gender equality and women’s empowerment is powerful in achieving food security for all, improving agricultural productivity and ensuring the full participation of rural people in decision-making processes” Adem said
ESAFF Uganda is a small scale farmer initiated and led movement formed to facilitate processes through which smallholder farmers’ development concerns are solicited, articulated and ultimately addressed through local, national, regional and international policies and programmes.
Constraints farmers face
Adem noted that although the sector is dominated by peasants (small holder farmers), rural farmers are finding very difficult to fully participate in the sector due to constraints beyond their control such a as access to land financial support and also poor among other factors.
“Rural women face greater constraints than men in accessing land, technology, markets, infrastructure and services. Evidence presented by FAO shows that when rural women have the same access as men to productive resources, services and economic opportunities there is a significant increase in agricultural output and immediate and long term social and economic gains, all contributing to the reduction in the number of poor and hungry people,” he told East African Business Week.
Such factors are making it very difficult for the rural women to earn more from the sector .According to World Bank studies shows that plots managed by women farmers produce 13% less per acre than men´s, or those managed jointly while only 24 % of women, compared to 33 % of men, use improved seeds. Only 18.6% have access to extension advisory services compared to 81.4 % of men.
Agricultural Activists in the country blames the poor participation of Women in Agriculture on the poor Government policies which favors mostly the men and the rich people.
The Friday meeting will be attended by non-state policy makers and the State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza expected to be the keynote speaker
The Minister will speak about demystifying policy issues around rural Women.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO