The project aims to ensure gender consideration in designing agricultural interventions with attention as well to value addition. Women are still know to battle a number of challenges in agricultural production. Some of these challenges include – payment of higher labour cost relative to what men pay, deep cultural sentiments that do not favour them, poor control over land resources where they manage to be available and others.
CIA-GED is raising awareness on this with the women and community leaders on household/reproductive issues as it affect women in agricultural production. This intervention is being executed through the 2SCALE project via Mortool Ventures. Women were sensitized on production of vegetable despite these various challenges, selected community and opinion leaders from Bolorunduro, Bomodeoku, Iraqi, and Sasere were also sensitized on the need to understand importance of given support to women to thrive in agricultural production.
Chief among the issues brought to the table was the cultural impediments. Of note is the understanding that some of the gatekeepers came to and later promised to join voices to support women within the community. As part of the activity, 50 women from the project area were sent invitations through phone calls for the workshop before it was conducted on 4th April 2016; 39 of them made it to the venue of the workshop. Mortool venture representative introduced CIA-GED staff to the participants. CIA-GED staff then engaged the women in a focused group discussion (FGD) to find out the reproductive and household issues that affect them in vegetable production. The dominant themes identified were – pregnancy and childcare often limit ability to be involved, daily domestic chores are also demanding and some of them mentioned that they were also involved in their husband’s farm work.
The discussions ended with proffering solutions to the challenges thrown up by these household and reproductive health issues. Three plenary groups made presentations around these and CIA-GED staff and cluster advisor of 2SCALE supported each group. Some of the solutions proffered includes – House work should be well planned and men should support their wives; labour saving technology should be adopted; CIA-GED through 2SCALE/MV should create further awareness so that men (husbands) should support women and allow them time to concentrate on production so that use of labour can be reduced a bit; Basic course on business improvement will assist women to have some basic knowledge beyond production and the criteria for accessing loans for women also needs to be reviewed.