Participants to the fourth conference on women in agribusiness in Durban, South Africa last week agreed to upscale climate smart resilience and explore solutions of access to affordable investment finance.
The participants also agreed to maximise utilisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
African Union (AU) development agency, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), through the Gender Climate Change Agriculture Support Programme (GCCASP), has been supporting smallholder women groups in five countries, namely Malawi, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Niger and Rwanda.
South Africa Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Nomalungelo Gina said they are working on how to secure African countries.
“You know issues of origin of goods during trade are crucial. We need to tighten up all these loopholes so that others do not use this free trade area to bring products from outside,” she said at the conference.
On her part, Nepad director of programme implementation and coordination Estherine Fotabong said the women in agribusiness platform is conceived to find solutions to challenges facing women enterprises in the wake of a changing environment.
“This platform provides a space for discussing key issues that affect women agriprenuers within an African context. These include access to investment, skills, finance and markets to find practical solutions.
“Moreover, it provides insights and lessons on what works in overcoming gender-based stereotypes and exclusion that disadvantage women agripreneurs,” she said.
In Malawi GCCASP was implemented in two districts of Rumphi and Machinga where women farmers learnt climate smart agriculture to cushion them from climate change shocks.