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Rural women producers project launched

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A project aimed at enhancing the capacity of rural women producers to increase their incomes and quality of life, by upgrading their fruit and vegetable value chains, was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with UNESCO, on Wednesday, February 18.{{more}}

The project, which is being held under the theme “Enhancing Income through Capacity Building,” is being financed by the UNESCO Participation Programme to the tune of US$24,631.

The beneficiary group is the Women in Agriculture Langley Park (WALCO).

The global economic downturn, coupled with natural disasters and exotic pests, have impacted the ability of rural farmers to generate a decent livelihood for their families.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, this reality is more stark among women. The survey further revealed that in 2014, farm income among some women farmers was as low as $5,657.

Productivity among these producers is quite low compared to their male counterparts. This is because of their generally lower levels of knowledge and skills required to produce vegetables commercially. Additionally, this is impacted by the demands of undertaking household chores and other responsibilities as homemakers.

Reversing the fortunes of these women requires an intervention to break them out of this low income cycle. This project was conceptualized on this premise. In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture submitted a project to UNESCO for funding a capacity building initiative, which will provide the impetus for sustained growth among these women in the WALCO group.

Approval was granted for the project in late 2014 and will be implemented over a one-year period. It will deliver a combination of training, seeds, mulch, two tillers, and water tanks.

Additionally, a cooperative marketing approach will be used to market produce in collaboration with the Rabacca Farmers Cooperative (RAFCO) and the Orange Hill marketing facility.

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