Rural Women Farmers Building Climate Resilience through Organic Agriculture
As the world faces an increasingly critical need to act against climate change, the important role that rural women and girls play in building resilience is unquestionable. Rural women and girls play a significant role in agriculture, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management and unpaid and domestic care work. Despite women and girls’ critical contributions, rural women lag behind rural men and urban women on almost all global gender and development indicators. Women are more likely to die during most climate-related disasters and face greater constraints in accessing natural resources like land and water.
In commemoration of the critical efforts by small scale rural women farmers, ESAFF Uganda and partners organized the women community dialogues in different regions of the country i.e. Mukono district local government Headquarters, Mubende South division, Pakele sub county in Adjumani and Anaka Sub county- Nwoya district under the theme “scaling up the role of rural women in organic agriculture”. Over 150 rural women small scale farmers engaged their leaders. This was to appreciate and celebrate the contribution of rural women in promoting organic agriculture towards climate change and amplifying the commitment of leaders towards eradicating hunger with the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets.
Well knowing that organic agriculture is a unique production management system which promotes and enhances agroecology systems -countering climate change, Women small scale farmers out cried the limited capacities of extension workers on organic farming, lack of knowledge on policies and regulations in place on organic agriculture, limited awareness on organic foods and markets, high costs and beauracracy in organic products certification. Further, rural women claimed negative attitudes towards organic farming amidst massive propaganda by inorganic farming proponents threatening the foundations of organic farming, foods and products as well as land.
Rural women however called for a well-developed infrastructure system where government increases the number of extensionists with technical knowledge on organic farming, strengthen and support the creation of farmers organic clubs, gazzetting of farmers organic markets, awareness creation through organizing sensitization engagements such as trainings, exposure visits, Skills trainings in value addition and packaging of products to enable products compete in various markets. Farmers, consumers and marketers should be sensitized on organic agriculture to create awareness on the farming practices and the benefits of organic agriculture. Women farmers asked government and other stakeholders to popularize and implement well the national Organic policy of Uganda.