LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s  Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) are calling for  serious policy change which can be tilted in favour of women because they receive inadequate support in agriculture sector.
The two  organisations call  comes amid background that 70 percent of farmers are women and the NGO has currently stepped up efforts aimed at addressing the challenges.
This follow the one day Policy Advocacy Forum held on Thursday in the capital Lilongwe aimed at soliciting ideas on how best women in agriculture can be assisted.
The forum is expected to make specific policy recommendations for consideration by policy makers towards enhancing the role of women farmers and their networks.
The project is being implemented on pilot basis in three African countries, namely Malawi, Rwanda and Liberia.
ACBF’s Executive Secretary, Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie, said the forum and all other interventions to be undertaken in the framework of ACBF partnership with BADEA will contribute to the successful implementation of Agenda 2063 and ensure that Africa’s development relies on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth.
The ACBF-BADEA Empowerment of Women in Agriculture (EWA) Project seeks to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa with women at the forefront.
“The program aims to support women farmers to participate in viable agriculture by enhancing women farmers and their networks’ capacity to become active partners in the process of agricultural transformation on the continent.
“The forum will make specific policy recommendations for consideration by policy makers towards enhancing the role of women farmers and their networks.” Professor Nnandozie said.
In her remarks, CISANET Executive Director Kuwali observed that there are inadequate initiatives and strategies for integrating women into agricultural programs in Africa hence the need for empowerment.
“To achieve sustainable development, there is a need for concerted efforts to empower women in agriculture and spur transformative changes in their livelihoods, households and communities,” said Kuwali.
Malawi Parliamentary women caucus chairperson Jessie Kabwila welcomed the initiative which aims at empowering women in agriculture.
“Women are sidelined in many aspects. They are not even given coupons and yet women are the ones who are mostly involved in farming,” Kabwila said.
The forum brought together about 160 participants representing women farmers, leaders of women farmer cooperatives and networks, government, civil society, and research and academic institutions. The local partner for the organization of the forum was CISANET.
Established in 1991, ACBF’s mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth, poverty reduction and economic transformation in Africa.
The ultimate goal is to improve the lives and prospects of people throughout the African continent by supporting capacity development through grants, knowledge sharing and technical assistance to countries and regional and sub-regional organizations.
ACBF’s approach to capacity development focuses on addressing capacity needs and gaps as well as on stakeholder ownership of interventions, project and program sustainability and synergy of interventions with other development funding institutions.
While the co-financier, BADEA, was established pursuant to the resolution of the 6th Arab Summit Conference at Algiers on 28th November 1973 and began operations in March 1975.
BADEA is an independent international financial institution created for the purpose of strengthening economic, financial and technical cooperation between the Arab and African regions and for the embodiment of Arab-African solidarity on foundations of equality and friendship.
To achieve this end, the Bank was given a mandate to participate in financing economic development in African countries, stimulate the contribution of Arab capital to African development, and help provide the technical assistance required for the development of Africa.
The local implementing agency, CISANET, is a locally registered lead policy advocacy network of civil society organizations in Malawi working on agriculture and food security policy issues affecting not only the smallholder farmers but generally the poor people and their livelihoods.
Policy advocacy is CISANET’s central part of work and works with its members at both national and district level to share information on food security issues as well as undertake policy advocacy initiatives which affect the poor.