Catalyzing innovation to enhance women’s participation in the agricultural sector and help improve food security
Women form 52 percent of Tanzania’s agricultural work force and carry out most of the sector’s labor activities, including harvesting, transporting and processing. Yet, they have limited decision-making power because of their reduced access to financial resources, inputs and land ownership. Implemented by Land O’Lakes and with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the IGE program leverages Tanzania’s active and vibrant civil society to establish a multi-stakeholder Centre for the Advancement of Women in Agriculture in Tanzania (CAWAT). This coalition invites actors from the public and private sectors to generate a common vision and strategy that promotes women’s leadership in agriculture. CAWAT is issuing calls for agricultural innovations that are designed to reduce women’s labor and enhance productivity. The program then publicizes the most successful innovations as a way to help attract investors and position them to scale up.
To promote women’s leadership, the program is developing a training package that CAWAT can deliver to their staff and members. The coalition is also creating a separate training focused on building sensitivity and awareness among men and community members. To inspire women leaders, the program is hosting a series of seminars that feature inspirational women speakers who have overcome barriers to become influential in the agriculture sector. The coalition is also advocating agricultural reform policies to increase women’s empowerment and improve food security for all.
Lenard Nzunda and his colleague with the sunflower thresher used by their community’s farming group
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Judith Muro inspects her mushroom farm, which is housed within a shelter that enables year-round growth.
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