By Our Reporter
KAMPALA, Uganda |SHIFTMEDIA| Limited access to productive resources, a prerequisite for income generation in agriculture is hurting rural women. The women constitute 76% of the labor force in Uganda, it remains sad that just 4% of them own land while 20% have control over the land they till in.
Given another scenario where just 17% of the women in Uganda have land that they purchased individually, own compounds the efforts of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal number 2 and 3 (Zero hunger and Good health and well being).
These and scores of other issues is what came out of this year’s 3rd Women in Agriculture Conference (WiA) 2021 that was held at the Eureka Place Hotel in Kampala. The two day conference whose theme was “Tracking Progress of Women Small Scale Farmers in Farming as A Business (FAAB) and its implication to National Economic Transformation” attracted farmers across the country.
The WiA conference is a platform that brings together different stakeholders to build collaboration towards addressing the challenges that women in agriculture face. It was organized by the Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) https://esaffuganda.org/ Uganda in partnership with OXFAM, Kilimo Trust, Food Rights Alliance (FRA) Uganda, and Slow Foods (U).
Farmers speak out
Namulime Ruth a Youth farmer from Mityana told the gathering that the youth have not yet embraced agriculture. To her, they (Youth) still assume that agriculture is for the aged and elderly. “There is so much opportunity in agriculture but the youth don’t know. Government needs to come up to sensitize the Ugandan youth regarding these opportunities,” said Namulime.
Irene Namubiru a small scale farmer from Mukono highlighted the impacts that farmers in Uganda face due to climatic change. “During drought we (Women) trek long distances with children on our backs in search for water for irrigation. We use rudimentary methods so as to get some profits or we shall lose out due to poor harvest,” he said.
She urged government to come in to support small scale farmers access skills in agroecology. Agnes a Onen a farmer from Apac reechoed the need to support women from harassment from their husbands. “Due to culture we don’t own land, yet we are the ones who do the digging, but when harvest comes, our husband come and sell all produce, this is causing gender based violence.
Agroecology school launched.
Hakim Baliraine the ESAFF Uganda National Chairperson said they had launched an Agroecology school in Uganda for journalists and communicators to ease farmers challenges. “Since you (media) are the fourth estate, people believe in whatever you say.
We want you to be our point of focus. Please enroll, study learn its free and share the skills learnt through your various platforms,” said Baliraine