Closing the gender gap in agriculture through training in Uganda

Closing the gender gap in agriculture through training in Uganda

One of the focuses of the FRB’s Uganda-West Nile program is equal gender involvement in agricultural production. In Uganda, the perception of farm work as women’s work is slowly changing through trainings. In fact, men like Bran are now helping their wives in the field!

Mariam and Bran have nine children. Mariam is a member of one of the programs Farmer Field Schools (FFS), and she always shares her knowledge with her family. As Bran explains it, “I was changed by the training on equal gender involvement in agriculture. It made me realize we can improve productivity in our home when we are united and working together. There are many activities that I used to leave for my wife and children, such as weeding the beans and groundnuts, yet my involvement could have eased the workload and improved our harvests!

I just got the highest yield of tomatoes in my life this year after my wife explained to me what she learned at the trainings. I’ve started attending the agriculture trainings now, too. I used to despise mulching but, after what I learned, I must confess that it really works when the thickness is appropriate to cover the soil surface!”

In a neighboring community, Agele, 57, explains how working together has restored harmony in his family as well. “Since I joined this FFS, I have seen positive changes in our village. Men in our village used to quarrel and fight with their wives over money – me included! This was because our wives used to wait for everything from their husbands, so when the husband would not buy food, we’d start to fight. But through the trainings, we have learned how to make money and provide for the needs of our families. Also, I can easily access loans through my FFS. I used my loan to open an acre of land on which to plant cassava. This is the largest piece of land I have ever opened! Putting my learning to practice in this cassava field will help me feed my family well, and I’ll also sell part of it to pay school fees for my son. My wife and I now live in peace and our children do not fear being at home because we no longer fight.”

The Uganda-West Nile program encompasses 10 communities, 500 households, and 2500 individuals.

Excerpted from a program report

11/04/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment