Small holder women farmers have struggled to access markets for their produce , a situation that have left them with stunted growth in the sector.
DAPP Zimbabwe with support from Canada Funds for local initiatives conducted a 2 day digital marketing training exercise for women farmers at Siyalima Farm in Guruve.
The training was centered around how they can effectively use their mobile devices to increase their market reach, strengthen linkages and earn more from their crops.
Beneficiaries says the training at the opportune time when online trading is the only option due to the nationwide Covid -19 lockdown
“Due to the current prevailing Covid-19 lockdown its been very difficult to go to the market as usual so this training on sell using phones from the comfort of our homes will open new markets to us and we can do it from home” Stella Chatambudzika
The project officer at Siyalima Paul Majongwe said though most of the beneficiaries face several challenges from cultural, social factor , time this type of training has made a significant impact and has broken down barriers and is allowing both women and men to engage and unlock the benefits of online platforms. “Our goal is to encourage these small scale farmers to look beyond their community to seek out better markets and pricing for their produce through the use of these technologies”
” It is critical that our focus remains on gender mainstreaming and inclusivity hence we ensured that the training encouraged full participation from both men and women in an effort to fight poverty and increase agricultural production, access to markets, raise family income for the development.” said Majongwe
Women and girls often engage in unpaid agriculture work as they lack have no say in the distribution of the agriculture income. Women and girls have limited opportunities of attending trainings and other information sessions which leave them behind in adopting improved farming practices and access to productive resources. DAPP Zimbabwe through financial support from Canada funds for local initiatives (CFLI) is implementing a project seeks to address strongly embedded agricultural gender inequalities with women and girls bearing the brunt of this state of affairs at Siyalima farm.
The project is expected to improve gender equality among smallholder farmer families through transformational capacity building, and advocacy. Capacity strengthening and access to the productive resources will help 29 women farmers maximize economic opportunities, increase productivity, and improve food security, education and healthcare, since women tend to reinvest more in their households.
DAPP Zimbabwe acting Country Director Luckson Soda said “ Despite women’s crucial roles in household food security, they face discrimination and limited bargaining power at both household and community level.” This project is meant to address these patriarchal norms that have created disadvantages for women farmers specifically with regards to accessing productive resources such as credit, extension services, inputs, information and access to markets.
The project is expected to institutes gender sensitive actions that promote positive gender outcomes towards the economic empowerment of women farmers at Siyalima farm in Guruve Zimbabwe. The equal participation of women and men in agriculture processes will ensure adequate use of a mix of indigenous knowledge that are critical in environmental conservation. Health education and promotion will be integrated in the project with a key focus on HIV, TB and COVID-19 pandemic to promote the health and wellbeing of target.