DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka
THE Non-Governmental Organisations’ Co-ordinating Council (NGOCC) has called for adequate financing of women in agriculture to help them venture into climate smart agriculture activities.
NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said agricultural production comes from small farmers, who are mostly rural women who comprise the largest percentage of the workforce in the agricultural sector, but do not have access and control over all productive resources.
Mrs Mwale said climate change poses the biggest risk for agriculture and food security.
“We all know that women are the largest percent of farmers everywhere and we need them to produce more food but without enough funds, this cannot be done. We need to invest in agriculture such as irrigation, drought-resistant technologies, controlling floods to be able to adapt to climate change. Such investment can only be possible if more funds are allocated to access such,” she said.
Mrs Mwale was speaking at the just-ended 51st Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) held in Lusaka.
She said women in agriculture do not have the same access to technology, finance and extension as men do, which results in lower yields and income.
Mrs Mwale said investments in climate adaptation and development of insurance and other capital market products to compensate for losses are underdeveloped in emerging markets need to be further developed.
“We also need to use insurance and other mechanisms to mitigate the effects when climate events cause losses in agricultural production and assets”, she said.
She said focus on youth and women is needed to make agriculture more attractive to young people and empower women so they can contribute more.
“The average age of farmers around the world is rising as agriculture is not appealing to young people because of the numerous challenges that are associated with the sector. We need to be innovative and incentivise in order to attract more young people,” she said.