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WINFA recognises Women’s achievements

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The Board of Directors, the Members and Secretariat and staff of the Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) last Tuesday extended greetings to the women of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean particularly and the women of the rest of the world on the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD){{more}}

A release from WINFA said that over the years, women have made tremendous strides in education, on the job, in politics, and in many other areas of social and economic life. Today, despite the many noticeable achievements of our women over the years, the vicious acts of sexual and domestic violence have continued to plague our societies, resulting in psychological, economic and social burdens on the shoulders of our innocent women and children.

As a farmers’ organization, WINFA said their thoughts are particularly with those farmers and agro processors whose livelihoods have been affected following the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas. “Many of their livelihoods have been disrupted – crops, livestock and in some instances their homes – have been destroyed, leaving them with loss of income which have impacted tremendously on their economic and social status. Our agro processors have also been seriously affected as the source of their raw materials has been obviously damaged thus limiting their ability to meet market demands,” the release said.

“In this context, and as we mention the economic changes that have been brought about as a result of Hurricane Tomas, we as a region, must be mindful of the challenges of climate and environmental changes and the impact it is having on agricultural production and which is now linked to the global food price rises exacerbated by shortages and conflicts in the Middle East resulting in oil prices skyrocketing, hence increasing our vulnerabilities.

“We are grateful for the assistance provided by the Government both locally and regionally and other institutions in the recovery efforts. Despite such efforts, there is still a long way to go.

Even now there is the problem of marketing the vegetable produce (e.g. tomatoes) as the planting of short term cash crops a glut on the market thus forcing the prices down.”

WINFA said they also recognize the important role women play in the food chain system in the Windward Islands, as producers, processors and distributors. They, therefore, hold the view that women are the transmitters of cultural codes about food and eating through the everyday routines of family meals. This role should be recognized and be used as a platform for arresting the inroads beings made to the traditional food system.

WINFA pledged its continued support to the female farmers and agro processors whose contributions are vital to food security and stability in the rural areas as an important part of our Food Security strategy.

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