Gender Gender

Gender ministry embarks on agricultural empowerment programmes

MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT says women empowerment and girl-child education are key components in improving the lives of vulnerable people in society.
Minister of Gender Nkandu Luo said in an interview on Monday that girl-child education encourages girls to concentrate on education and shun vices such as early and child marriages.
Prof Luo said it is the more reason her ministry has engaged in economic empowerment programmes such as farming to help improve the livelihood of women and children in communities.
Recently, the Ministry of Gender launched the Agriculture Development Value Chain Enterprises (ADVANCE) in Nalolo district to empower women with agricultural equipment and inputs.
Some of the equipment which was handed over to women includes the tractor, sprayer and a disc plough.
“All these are meant to increase the hectarage for crop yields, we want to ensure that women have high productivity so that they can make enough money when they sell their produce,” Prof Luo said.
She said her ministry decided to embark on agricultural programmes for women clubs in order to shift from a system of empowering women with money.
Prof Luo said it is unfortunate that some clubs which were initially given funds to run the clubs were not using the money for the intended purpose while others were failing to save in banks.
“The ministry has started engaging women in identifying income-generating activities that may sustain their lives, we want to ensure that women grow produce that will contribute to their well-being,” Prof Luo said.
She said the programme has engaged financial institutions to sensitise women on financial literacy and become acquainted with savings.
The minister is hopeful that the ADVANCE programme will soon be extended to all parts of the country.

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