Investing in Rural Women to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems

15 Oct 2013

The workshop lasted 2 days, October 15-16 and featured a combination of technical discussions and exchanges on agricultural practices, challenges and solutions in this regard as well as field visits to surrounding farms. The event will piggy back on the 108th Annual Congress of the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) as well as the ZNFU Women Farmers’ Forum. 

Organizers: WFO and ZNFU in collaboration with World Fish, We EFFECT, WMO, and IFC

Date: 15-16 October 2013, Lusaka, Zambia


Evidence shows that the more women are socially and economically empowered, the more they become powerful agents of change. In rural areas of the developing world, but also of the developed, women play a significant role in running households, nourishing their families, and managing agricultural production, processing, and marketing. However, severe inequalities between men and women still persist, making it impossible for women to make use of their potential. Women rarely have equal access to the productive inputs and resources that would make their work more productive and ease their immense workload. Ultimately, this has detrimental effects not only on them but also on their families and communities. Women are further hindered by a lack of access to education and training, unequal property rights, and limited control over other resources. In order for poor communities to prosper and grow, women’s needs and rights must be addressed.

At a time when smallholder agriculture is changing rapidly as a result of commercialization, globalization, climate change, and new technologies, it is important to recognize the key role women play in agriculture. Evidence shows that investing in women can generate significant improvements in productivity, nutrition and food security. Entire communities benefit socially and economically when women have access to land, water, education, training, financial services and strong organizations. World Bank studies demonstrate that in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, food production could increase by 10 to 20 percent if women faced fewer constraints.

Investment in women farmers is fundamental to achieve global food security and nutrition objectives. There are many policy issues that must be addressed in this regard: in particular family farming, climate change, innovation, and finance.

Family farming models must be reinforced, especially women’s role with these. Women must also have better access to innovations and be involved in their development. In order to improve their productivity women need access to timely and adequate climate and weather information and services as well as adequate and innovative forms of finance.



October 15, 2013


07.30 – 08.00  Registration


08.15 – 09.00  Opening ceremony


Dr Evelyn Nguleka, 1st Vice President, ZNFU, Lusaka

H.E. Lena Norstorm, Ambassador, Kingdom of Sweden, Lusaka

Ms Neeta Trivedi, Senior Coordinator, Self-Employed Women’s Association, Ahmedabad,India

Guest of Honor, Hon. Inonge Wina, Minister of Gender and Child Development


09.00-11.00  Session 1: Family Farming: Feeding the World


Keynote: Hon. Marie Jalloh, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Sierra Leone



Ms Mwiinga, Dairy Farmer Makeni

Ms Tabeth Chiuta, Africa Regional Director, World Fish, Lusaka


Moderator: Jennipher Sakala, WE Effect- Gender Regional Coordinator  


11.00-11.15  Coffee Break


11.15-13.15  Session 2: Climate Easy, how to improve production through mastering climate information


Keynote: Mr Peter Prins, LTO Noord, Project Manager, The Hague, Netherlands



Mr Charles Ogang, President, Uganda National Farmers’ Federation, Kampala

Mr Jacob Nkomoki, World Meteorological Organization Representative Zambia


Moderator: Ms Kati Partanen, The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners


13.15-14.30  Lunch


14.30-16.30  Session 3: All money is not the same, how to access finance for farmers


Keynote: Mr Daniel Gad, Board Member, Ethiopian Horticulture Cooperatives, Addis Ababa



Mr Coillard Hamusimbi, ZNFU- Head Outreach and Membership-Access to Finance for Small-Holder Farmers

Ms Sianga, Horticultural Farmer Kafue DFA


Moderator: Ms Mary Mbita Nandazi, Finnish Embassy


16.30-16.45 Coffee Break


16.45-18.30 Session 4:Tech it easy, savvy use of innovation for farmers


Keynote: Mr Peter Button, Vice-Secretary General, UPOV, Geneva, Switzerland



Mr Thomas Price, Senior Officer, Global Forum for Agriculture Research, Rome

Ms Grace Malindi, Global Forum for Research and Advisory Services, Lilongwe

COMACO – Rural markets for farmers

Chakwanka – Value Addition

SARO Agro-mechanized Value Addition Equipment and Services


Moderator: Mr Marco Marzano de Marinis, WFO Executive Director, Rome


19.00  Social Dinner


October 16, 2013


09.00-17.00  Visit to local farms