A taskforce on Food and Climate Justice (FCJ) campaign has planned activities during the World Food Day on October 16 to lobby government so that women food producers have access to climate finances in the country.
The campaign aims at building the resilience of people whose right to food is threatened by climate change. It focuses on the responsibilities of governments as well as the food and beverage industry.
And during the spike this year, the taskforce will embark on a special campaign to highlight the positive role that women play in food production and how climate change is making this work difficult.
A concept note on the FCJ’s planned campaign shows that the drive will focus on policy advocacy, public awareness and women mobilisation.
Reads part of the note: “Women small holder farmers, who constitute an estimated 70 percent of the agricultural labour force and produce at least 80 percent of household food, have poorer access to inputs and extension services than men.
“Malawi must ensure that appropriate actions are taken to ensure food availability; accessibility and adequacy to ensure that all its
citizens alone or in community have physical and economic access at all time to adequate food or means for its procurement.”
A member of the taskforce, Oxfam Malawi has been working on food and climate change issues with focus on supporting farmers to increase production and access markets.
However, lack of necessary changes in policy and practice required to support farmers’ adaptation needs like the Right to Food Bill as well as adoption and approval of the climate change policy are said to behampering progress.
Oxfam Malawi’s Livelihood Resilience Manager, Carol Kayira-Kulemeka, said in an interview on Thursday that the planned activities present an opportunity to enhance farmers’ voices in food and climate change policy processes.
She said this will result in reduced numbers of hungry people, reduced pressure on natural resources and improved resilience among farmers.
According to Kulemeka, Oxfam is mobilisation about 500 women from rural areas to be active drivers of the campaign.
She said the women and youth mobilisation strategy will involve a
half-day debate on climate financing on October 6 in Lilongwe and climbing of Mulanje Mountain from 12 to 15 October.
“We want to mobilise, raise and amplify Malawi women (food producers) voices – including their stories and leadership in tackling climate
change and feeding the country and the world,” she said.
Kulemeka added that the taskforce will also be calling on the
government of Malawi and global leaders to ensure that women food producers have access to climate funding.
Apart from Oxfam, other members of the taskforce include Action Aid, NGO Gender coordination Network (NGO-GCN) , Right to food platform, Coalition of women farmers (Cowfa), Civil Society Network on Climate Change (Cisonecc) and Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet).
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was founded on October 16 1945, and the World Food Day is celebrated to honour that day.