Malawi: Expert urges women farmers to diversify

Women farmers in Malawi have been advised to diversify into other aspects of agriculture to tackle the effects of climate change in the country.

This charge was made by an expert at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Dr. Judith Kamoto, who spoke during the Independent Dialogue on Gender and Equality for Food Systems Transformation in Malawi,

According to Kamoto, crop diversification brings about the diversity of diet, improves their income and nutrition security.

The event which brought together key partners in the agricultural sector was organised by the Malawi Irish Consortium on Gender-Based Violence (MICGBV), in partnership with Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD).

Kamoto said, “When crop diversification is fully embraced it can as a result contribute significantly to livelihood, improved health and nutrition, household food security and climate resilience among other things,”

She further lauded Trocaire Malawi and other organisations that are focusing on capacitating women as far as agriculture is concerned as they are usually sidelined.

“Training women to attain skills that improve their agriculture activities and empower them economically is very significant.

“The society should understand that women can also make a positive impact in the agriculture sector and the development of the country as well. Let women also be decision-makers in as far as agriculture is concerned,” she said.

The Country Director of Trocaire Malawi who also doubles as the chair of MICGBV, Jeannette Wijnants said they have trained women in crop diversification amongst other things because they understand women’s capacity both in the household and national development.

She further revealed that investing in women farmers is one of the most effective strategies for reducing extreme poverty and hunger yet, women are hardly reached by agricultural investments.

“We also aim to devise solutions on rural women’s empowerment in food systems, how to bridge the gender technology gap in the sector, and amplify women’s voices and decision making in food systems,” she said.

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