Alphonsine Nyiranzeyimana, a farmer from Cyahinda, in the southern part of Rwanda, says that learning new farming techniques completely changed her life. She’s not exaggerating. Today, Nyiranzeyimana is the leader of a farmers’ cooperative and the yield on some of her crops has more than doubled. The agricultural sector accounts for a third of Rwanda's GDP and more than 70 per cent of Rwandan women are engaged in farming activities since their childhood. Yet, they don’t have the same access to land, production inputs, finance or markets as men.
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Food & agriculture
When Trin Gim first started her biogas digester business, many members of her community raised their eyebrows. In the little district of Ung Hoa, located south of Viet Nam’s capital, Hanoi, villagers were not accustomed to seeing a woman take the reins of a business. But eight years later, Trin Gim has achieved not only financial success, but has played a role in a larger fight in Viet Nam against the devastating impacts of climate change.
By making jam, a woman-run organization is earning money to improve the inclusion of children with disabilities, while also building a whole community of support and encouragement.
Working closely with national stakeholders, through the RYM project on youth mobility, food security, and rural poverty reduction, FAO has promoted innovative pathways for decent youth employment and agricultural entrepreneurship in areas prone to migration. In particular, the project provided unemployed youth with training and equipment, helping them launch their own small agricultural enterprises, also by productively investing the remittances received form the diaspora.
Through women's cooperatives, a joint UN programme provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
In five rural districts of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces in Cambodia, Banteay Srei, a local women-led NGO works with the poorest, most marginalized women-including those who are illiterate or single mothers-to help them improve their livelihoods. Twenty-year-old Vern Chantha is one.
It is eight o’clock in the morning. As punctual as ever, Jamila Ali Hassan, 30, opens the creaking door of the Dairy Retail Cooperative in the Melkadida refugee camp, ready to receive the farmers who beat a path to the door.
Across the developing world, rural women play a crucial role in agriculture and farming. And Bangladesh, where women exceed 50 percent of the agricultural labour force, is no exception.
The Blue Growth Blog, run by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department at FAO, reflects on recent activities related to women and their role in the sector.
Fighting food taboos for women In Yalosuna, a village in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dimitra community listeners' clubs have played a role in changing people's perceptions about food taboos for women, improving food security and nutrition issues in the communities as a result.