Rural Women Farmers’ Grassroots Networks in Africa
- 125 Downloads
African women at the grassroots are familiar with the environment in which they farm, keep cattle, or engage in fish mongering. Constituting a sizeable majority in farming, they have been introduced to the use of agrochemicals, breeding, crop production, farm machinery, processing, and seed supply and have received assistance in marketing and retail sales. Despite all the problems that the development world has been aware of since the 1980s, the women farmers have been innovative in their work strategies. They have proposed enhancing the value of their raw farm products through access to transportation and storage facilities, and some in West Africa have succeeded in attracting help in that regard. Most practice networking and revolving credit funding, and many in Eastern Africa have gained from enhanced use of revolving funds. Citing three examples that illustrate these successes, this chapter argues that women farmers’ innovative initiatives are indicative of their openness to adopt strategies and ways of sustaining their work. It underlines that the grassroots women farmers’ cooperative and credit association meetings can be used as platforms for linking them to the state and its laws. Like their work strategies, these provide compelling models, for instance, in raising their awareness of legal solutions to the statutory and customary laws that deprive women farmers of lands and other amenities.
KeywordsInnovative strategies Rural women’s networks Credit association Revolving funds Empowerment and awareness Rural women’s strategies Women’s legal rights Women’s land rights
- Adams, B. (2018). ‘Smallholder farmers’ rights are Women’s rights’, in Global Policy Watch. 20 Mar 2018. https://www.globalpolicywatch.org.
- Administrator. (2016). History of the Organization WOFAN, July 8. https://www.wofan-ng.org.
- African Union, Press Release, (2016). Mrs. Mahawa Kaba Wheeler addressed the press on activities and theme on Women’s Rights. www.au.int
- Alocha, C. (2017). Gender involvement in oil palm production’, Researchjournali’s. Journal of Agriculture, 4(5). www.researchjournali.com.
- Bakoumé, C. (2018). Sustainability of African oil palm agriculture in a changing climatic environment. Food Science and Nutrition Technology, 3(5).Google Scholar
- Balmford, A., et al. (2018). The environmental costs and benefits of high-yielding farming. Nature Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1038/S41893-018-0138-5.
- ‘Fact Sheet: Land Tenure and Women’s Empowerment’, in December 1, 2016 Land Links, Release Date:. https://www.land-links.org/issue-brief/fact-sheet-land-tenure-womens-empowerment/.
- FAO. (Food and Agricultural Organization), 05/02/2015, ‘Sierra Leone: Women vegetable farmers face huge losses due to the Ebola outbreak,’ (FAO) www.fao.org/emergencies/fao-in-action.
- FAO. 24 Feb 2016, ‘Empowering Koinadugu women farmers in Sierra Leone, Koinadugu,’ GREEN AFRO PALMS (GAP), (IPPA, 2010) ‘the challenge,’ gapworld.org/GAPROTECH-1; www:Gapworld.
- Gonsalvez, J. (2013). Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA). https://hdl.handle.net/10568/36136.
- GREEN AFRO PALMS (GAP), IPPA. (2010). ‘The Challenge.’ www.gapworld.org/ GAPROTECH-1.
- Hunduma, T., & Ashenafi, M. (2011). Traditional Enset (Ensete ventricosum) Processing Techniques in Some Parts of West Shewa Zone, Ethiopia. Journal of Agriculture and Development, 2(1), 37–57. Ababa: St. Mary’s University. https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/20.500.12413/8730.
- Kimani, M. (2008). Women Struggle to secure land rights, African Renewal https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/april-2008/women-struggle-secure-land-rights.
- Massay, G. 21 June 2017, ‘Africa’s women are still waiting for equal inheritance rights,’ in Women Deliver, https://womendeliver.org/2017.
- Ohimain, E., & Chibueze Izah, S. (2016). The opportunities and weakness of Nigerian oil palm industry,’ review article. Biotechnological Research, 2(1), 33–43.Google Scholar
- Palacios-Lopez, A., Christiaensen, L., & Kilic, T. (2017a). ‘How Much of the Labour in African Agriculture is Provided by Women?’ in Agriculture in Africa: Telling Myths from Facts, Directions in Development – Agriculture and Rural Development, Luc Christiaensen, Lionel Demery, editors, World Bank Publications, https://books.google.ie/books?id=TC48DwAAQBAJ.
- Palacios-Lopez, A., Christiaensen, L., & Kilic, T. (2017b). “How much of the labour in African agriculture is provided by women?” a living standards measurement study (LSMS), by United States survey unit, development data group, the World Bank in ELSEVIER. Food Policy, 67, 52–63. www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Paul-Basset, A. 15 Oct 2018, ‘Merry-Go-Round’ Groups Spin Kenyan women farmers to Success’, CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center). http://news.trust.org/item/20181015113356-dhjka.
- Politics Today. (2018). “Over 80 women farmers receive training on business management, record-keeping,” Sept 8. https://elotitv.com.
- Rathgeber, Eva M. (20–23 Sept 2011). “Rural Women’s Access to Science and Technology in the Context of Natural Resource Management”, UN Women In cooperation with FAO, IFAD and WFP Expert Group Meeting on Enabling rural women’s economic empowerment: institutions, opportunities and participation. Accra, Ghana.Google Scholar
- Sandys, A. (21 May 2019), ‘Teff Flour Patent Heuking Attempts to Revoke Teff Flour Patent,’ JUVE Patent Newsletter,. https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/cases/heuking-attempts-to-revoke-teff-flour-patent/.
- Simon, A. (29 June 2018) ‘Whose Injera is it anyway?’ Mail & Guardian. https://mg.co.za/article/2018-06-29-00-whose-injera-is-it-anyway.
- Teherani-Krönner, P. (Dec 2015/Mai 2016), Meal Cultures – Sources and Discourses Debates on African Leafy Vegetables in Kenya and East Africa, Horticultural Innovation and Learning for Improved Nutrition and Livelihoods in East Africa (HORTINLEA). europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=PMC5384444&blobtype.