FARM AFRICA - STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Women In Coffee
FOCUS: Female empowerment
HILDAH TURYAMUSIIMA’S STORY
Twenty-three year old Hildah Turyamusiima, a coffee farmer from Kanungu in western Uganda, has begun to reap the rewards of her hard work thanks to Farm Africa’s work tackling gender bias within the Kanungu district’s coffee industry.
A new survey on women economic empowerment in agriculture (WEEIA) launched by the charity showed that women have more control over coffee production within the district. Of the 348 female coffee farmers interviewed, 89% claimed to actively input into decision making on agricultural production compared to only 22% in 2019.
This is a needed change within the industry as a recent report by Farm Africa confirmed that although women are the backbone of the area’s coffee industry, which fuels the local economy, it tends to be men who have control over the profits.
Hildah is a TOT (Trainer of Trainees). She is also treasurer of her cooperative, called the Banyakinkizi coffee producers and processors cooperative.
Coffee farming requires access to land, which is rare for women and young people in Kanungu. Farm Africa has helped overcome this barrier by running workshops and developing a manual promoting voluntary land use agreements where older generations and men voluntarily give women and young people access to land on which to produce coffee. Hildah has established a voluntary land use agreement with her husband (Francis Byamukama), which has given her about one acre of land planted with coffee to manage independently.
The project works with coffee cooperatives, coffee farmers and local bodies to provide women with greater autonomy at the household, farm and cooperative level.
Helping women save and invest in their businesses provides them with access to financial resources through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), a group where women are able to save together and share financial resources, and by linking female coffee producers to financial institutions.
Alongside providing women with resources to take control and grow their coffee businesses, the project is also focused on changing attitudes and unpicking myths surrounding women’s value and contributions to the industry through the Gender Action Learning System Approach (GALS). This approach brings women and male decision-makers together to explore the economic and social benefits of women’s empowerment, spotlighting the benefits households stand to gain by providing women with access to, and control over, the proceeds from economic activities.
All quotations are from Hildah Turyamusiima, a coffee farmer taking part in the project [pictured above].
Farm Africa’s work in Kanungu is funded by UK aid from the UK government and the European Union.
Please find a selection of Farm Africa images, linked below. This includes images from the coffee project, which you have permission to use. Kindly remember to credit the correct photographer, which is displayed in the notes of each photograph.
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WHO WE ARE
Farm Africa is a leading international development charity that reduces poverty by unleashing the ability of farmers across eastern Africa to grow more, sell more and sell for more. We apply practical approaches to development, providing inputs, tools and expertise to enable farmers to double or triple their yields.
Farm Africa helps farmers to become more resilient to the effects of climate change and to access markets so they can increase their income and build sustainable businesses. We work closely with communities, the private sector and governments to make sure we’re finding the most effective ways to sustain natural resources, increase food production and help end Africa’s need for aid.
Typically, Farm Africa’s staff are from the local area, can speak the local language, and have a deep understanding of the local context. With 35 years’ experience working on the ground in rural Africa, we have a unique ability to spark change.
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