Women’s Farmers’ Club Kwanza Norte
Women’s Farmers’ Club Kwanza Norte was launched in July 2015, targeting 1,500 mainly female farmers. Key elements include organization in clubs, skills training and capacity building in the field of agriculture, plus literacy, entrepreneurship, leadership, nutrition and health.
The project collaborates with local and traditional authorities in Lucala and Cazengo municipalities, and with local technicians of the Institute for Agrarian Development As at similar projects around the country, Farmers’ Clubs Kwanza Norte comprises clubs of approximately 50 members each, led by committees of five farmers chosen from within the clubs. The committees attend training sessions in both management as well as relevant agricultural and technological methods, which they put into practice to assist their fellow members. The farmers themselves receive instruction at model fields, and further support in the application of new techniques and ideas during individual farm visits. Conservation farming in general, organic pesticides, organic compost, planning, new crops and crop varieties, seed propagation, firewood saving stoves and tippytap handwashing systems all featured in 2017 activities. Health and welfare, including nutrition and sexual and reproductive health, form part of Women’s Farmers’ Club activities.
Farmers, and especially women farmers, cannot achieve their potential if not fully fit and well-nourished, or if they have to spend large amount of time taking care of sick kin. Hundreds of farmers declared they had begun using their new knowledge about nutrition, and hundreds more could demonstrate knowledge of disease prevention, especially with respect to malaria. In addition to instruction in conservation agriculture, club members receive new and improved seed varieties and Kickstart water pumps. Furthermore, members are encouraged to rear animals through a pass-on loan system, whereby a few farmers begin breeding livestock and pass on the surplus to fellow club members who repeat the process.The sale of surplus is promoted so individuals and clubs can earn cash, which can be used to pay for food, household furniture and equipment, medicine, school materials, a fresh supply of seeds, or whatever is required. Money raised in 2017 from the sale of produce at model fields at six Kwanza Norte clubs was being saved up to buy seeds and to help members pay for medicine. Literacy training is the final piece of the equation. Reading, writing and arithmetic skills are essential if farmers are to draw the maximum benefit from their endeavours. 720 members of Women’s Farmers’ Clubs Kwanza Norte attended literacy classes in 2017.
- 30 Clubs
- 1500 Club members, 334 men and 1,166 women
- 10 Monthly training sessions for 144 Club Committee members
- 2834 Visits to farmers’ fields
- 836 Farmers receive nutrition education
- 1100 Farmers receive health education
- 30 Model/demonstration fields
- 600 KickStart water pumps distributed and in use
- 30 Sets of tools and seeds distributed to clubs
- 15 Pass-on animal loan systems
- 21 Club committees organized on increasing and selling surplus
- 720 Farmers participated in literacy training
- 1300 Farmers trained in basic business skills