Kenya on Thursday called for inclusion of women in agribusiness to help transform the continent’s economy.
Mwangi Kiunjuri, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Irrigation, said that the countries should start developing and implementing interventions to support women in agribusiness with focus on the entire supply and value chain in agriculture.
“There is need to provide support to smallholders and women owned micro enterprises to access opportunities to benefit from the existing affirmative action policies,” he said in Nairobi during the launch of ‘Value4Her’.
According to Kiunjuri, `Value4Her’ is aimed at strengthening women’s agribusiness enterprises in Africa.
He noted: “It is unfortunate that in spite of women’s role in production, their engagement end in the post production stages of the agricultural supply chain where they disappear.’’
He blamed the isolation of women in agribusiness for the under-performance of agricultural sector in the developing countries.
“Women farmers face more severe constraints than men in accessing productive resources, markets and services yet they are the mainstay of the sector.
“It is unfortunate that women lack the resources and opportunities they need to make the most productive use of their time in agriculture production,’’ Kiunjuri said.
He noted that women are capable of increasing yields on their farms by about 20 to 30 per cent if given the same access to fertilisers, machinery and information as men and help reduce food imports to the continent.
Michael Hailu, the Director Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Cooperation (CTA), said that the modernisation of agriculture can only be possible with full participation of women.
Hailu said that women are capable of succeeding once they come together and demand for financial, favourable policies and training on business skills.
“We have to digitalise agriculture so that women farmers could access tools and information online,’’ he added, noting that the ‘Value4Her’ project is meant to give opportunity for women in small agribusinesses.
He revealed that CTA has allocated two million Euros to allow women to empower themselves in the next two years. (Xinhua/NAN)