Our objectives and desired outcomes are:
- to bring the women out of poverty through linking them directly to the tourism industry
- to enable the hospitality sector to recognise the benefits of purchasing their horticultural produce locally from the project
- to ensure the women understand their rights and are empowered
- to enable the women to share knowledge, such as how to sow seed, something the women had never know how to do correctly before
- to create a sustainable, profit making co-operative
- to share the experience, learning and knowledge as widely as possible
Development and Change
The rationale for establishing this project is to improve the livelihoods of impoverished women farmers and their families and help empower them.
Over the two years of the project, women have already increased their income, sometimes they are doubled, tripled and quadrupled. But we still have to increase production to ensure stability. We place a strong emphasis on learning and innovation. We intend to develop a model and create tools to not only bring 120 impoverished women farmers out of poverty, but to also take this project to other locations to reach more women.
Key Areas for Change
We need to tackle the key barriers to women’s economic participation in this potentially lucrative value chain. Over the course of the project we expect to make progress in achieving these changes, but recognise that it will take longer before we achieve full benefits of what is possible to ensure sustainability.
We have identified eight key areas where we need to see change. We hope that the project’s farmers will be able to:
- Run their farms as a business enterprise and make a fair return for their labour
- Access and use new skills in fruit and vegetable production in order to maximise the quantity, quality and reliability of what they produce
- Access and use new skills in financial planning and to be able to access credit when they need to expand their enterprise
- Access new skills in co-operative working and management and to work collaboratively with other farmers. This will be for the principal purpose of marketing their products in bulk to meet the needs of the value chain and gain access to greater returns from it.
- We expect the women to see other benefits in work through a co-operative mechanism, such as the sharing of technical production knowledge and developing solutions to allied challenges of input supply, storage, transport, quality control and running a supply business
- Understand the concept of women’s rights and be able and confident to enforce these to access and keep land and to enforce contracts
- Live and work within a situation of changed social norms that means there is a shared responsibility for unpaid care duties within the home between men and women and within the community. This will result in women having the opportunity to pursue their economic productive life in balance with time to manage the responsibilities of family life and their own personal needs such as for rest and relaxation
- Experience the reduction and elimination of the high levels of gender-based violence.