The shift from subsistence farming to surplus farming is about more than simply increasing production. Farmers face many hurdles that have to be overcome, and women farmers in particular often face serious barriers to progress.
Activities this September at ADPP Farmers Club projects across the country demonstrate the wideranging elements that together support and empower women farmers to break down barriers.
Literacy, disease prevention, commercialisation of produce and economic diversification are among highights this month. World Literacy Day on 8 September focused attention on the importance of literacy skills among farmers. The day was celebrated in Quibala, Cuanza Sul, with the official launch of the Women’s Economic Empowerment project in the province, bringing together municipal education, agriculture, judicial and banking authorities. In Malanje, the Municipal Administrator, Agricultural Director, Municipal Head of Education, traditional and religious authorities, representatives of IPA, FAS and ADRA, and social partners joined literacy tutors and literacy learners celebrated literacy as a means of empowering not only women but men as well as society as a whole.
FC Luanda held a malaria testing campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health at Cabiri Health Post. Reducing the incidence of all preventable diseases improves people’s quality of life. For women farmers, it also means less time spent looking after sick members of the family and more time available for agricultural production and sale.
Agricultural production and sale are obviously key components at Farmers Clubs. WFC Cuanza Norte farmers displayed their produce at the 4th edition of Expo Cuanza Norte in Ndalatando, along with representatives from all the municipalities in the province, large and medium size businesses, producers and others. Showcasing produce at agricultural fairs helps link farmers with buyers.
Farmers Clubs Lóvua, in Lunda Norte, which is helping refugee and local farmers develop horticulture for own consumption and for sale at markets, is in full swing with the cultivation and harvesting of cucumber, carrots and many other vegetables.
At the other end of the country in Bibala, Namibe Province, the first beans of the season are being harvested by members of Farmer Field Schools. Despite the lack of water, the work never stops.