- Kyankwanzi, Central Uganda
The majority of rural households in the Kyankwanzi district in Western Uganda rely solely on the uncertain outcome of subsistence farming to feed and provide for their families. For the rural women farmers of the Mulagi and Gayaza sub-counties the vulnerabilities of subsistence farming are further compounded by cultural constraints and low literacy rates. Though the majority of farming in rural Uganda is done by women, rural women are traditionally denied access to land, have little to no access to modern agriculture techniques, and limited opportunity for economic advancement. Pilot Light partnering with ARUWE(Action for Rural Women’s Empowerment) provides comprehensive market development enabling 100 previously isolated women farmers access to the education and economic opportunities necessary to reach their full potential.
Opportunity through Unity Working and Learning Together Women learn group dynamics and are supported in forming their own Farming Cooperatives. Working together as a collective the women can dramatically increase their own opportunities as they build secure interdependent communities .
In The Hands of Women Women receive much needed training in improved farming techniques and practices. The specialized production of Maize, Beans and Vegetables allows women to produce in volume and capitalize on existing markets. Business Acumen is gained through education in Best Business Practices, market strategy, and through introduction to savings and loans and community lending through creation and participation of a revolving agricultural loan fund.
From subsistence to sustainable Agribusiness. The formation of a Women Farmer’s Marketing Association is used for the collective procurement of farmable land, increasing each Women’s farming acreage from less than 1.5 acres to at least an average of 3. The establishment of a collection center provides the advantage of storage and the ability for the women to sell at volume collectively. The increased productivity and increased bargaining power of collective marketing ensures the women’s access to larger more profitable markets.
Economic Self Sufficiency The project empowers 100 rural women farmers to reach their true potential enabling them to provide basic needs of food and shelter for their families.
Gender Equity and Increased Stature in the community Increased skills and Economic Parity elevate social and cultural status within the community allowing these women and future generations of women to participate in shaping their own communities.
Preservation of Natural Resources – Adoption of appropriate agricultural techniques increases yields and crop diversity ensures environmental and economic sustainability into the future.