Malawi through the the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare and the New Partnership for African’s Development (Nepad) on Wednesday held talks to find ways on how women can be supported in agricultural business in the wake of climate change.
The meeting targeted women who are under the Nepad Gender Climate Change Project.
Among others, the project seeks to identify and fill the gaps that exist in the gender roles and climate change adverse effects on women smallholder farmers, policy and institutional gaps that are unfavorable to the vulnerable groups.
Nepad Agency programme officer, Edna Kalima said women farmers face a lot of challenges in agriculture and they are rarely supported by government.
Kalima said the objective of the project is to mainstream gender issues into the national policies and plans while at the same time enhancing participation of women in decision-making processes.
“We found that the impact that climate change is having on women in the agriculture sector is not theoretical, it is not something that we just read about and forget that it is a real.
“ The project among others seeks to improve access of women to livelihood assets, agricultural input and rural infrastructure and build capacity of women farmers and relevant public institutions,” explained Kalima.
She said the partnership with the Ministry of Gender will help to have an effective and more equitable participation of Malawian women, especially small holder farmers in climate-smart agricultural practices that boost food security in the face of climate change.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Dr. Mary Shawa acknowledged the impact that women were making to the country’s agricultural sector.
She also described lack of support as one major challenge affecting their growth and the much- needed contribution.
“It is our hope that this project will improve women economic empowerment and participation in the agro-sector,” Shawa said. n