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You, whose voice can be heard in other places

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Friday, July 21, 2017 0 comments

By Tomás Ricardo Rosada Villamar,  Country Programme Manager for Mexico

It was still dark when we left. Without breakfast, without even a sip of coffee. Half asleep, we all piled into the three vehicles that had been assigned to us and began driving up the mountain in a state that is now known for its blistering land and its unsafe territory: a land of death, a land at war.

We were tossed around inside the cabs of our trucks as we rolled over streams and open wounds in the roads, slowly being engulfed by the depths of green vegetation as we penetrated deeper into the forest. Its shades of green were endless, an explosion of hues that were evidence of nature almost completely undisturbed. Adobe houses adorned the hillsides, and every so often we glimpsed a peasant herding goats or a group of women shouldering bundles, slowly but surely making their way.

We finally reached our destination several hours later, with the sun high above us. A group of visitors from distant places, with their lists of questions, and local guides who knew their way around the hills with a guerrilla-like intuition. Of course, we all arrived with the stubborn expectation of finding the survival instincts and organization that supposedly always prevail, even in the harshest of conditions.

We were welcomed by a group of inhabitants of a small settlement that was proudly called a village. We got out and started walking up to one of the villagers’ houses, then to their gardens and orchards, spread out in the surroundings. They showed us their production techniques, talked about their dreams, and asked us what we thought or how this or that was done elsewhere. Then we went back to the first house where a group of women were preparing a meal, an unmistakable sign of poor people's gratitude: sharing their hearth and their table, offering a stranger their best food.

From the back of the house appeared an old woman. Small and discreet, with a calm and profound look. This is Doña Carmela, they told me. She's the oldest person in the village and she's still as lively as ever. She likes doing everything and going everywhere. She'd even climb the trees with us if she could!

She exuded such magnetism that I went over and knelt beside her so that I could talk to her, but above all so I could listen to her. She took my hand and gave me a smile that revealed some missing teeth. She bowed her head discreetly, her way of thanking us for our visit. She grabbed the arm of a girl whom she might have resembled seventy years ago and sat down in a chair to wait; to wait with the patient determination of someone who is certain that they must take the opportunity to send a message with an emissary who is finally within reach.

When the time was right, she spoke in that timeless language of Rulfo and his Comala[i],making reference respectfully and impersonally to forces and attitudes that have ignored them for years on end, even today on the centenary of a Constitution born out of a revolution that over the decades has lost sight of its main goal: satisfying the peasants’ clamour for land and development.

"You, whose voice can be heard in other places, tell them not to forget about us, the poor." I promise to pass on your message, I told her. We shook hands again and said goodbye: she, feeling certain that she had sent her message again, and I, fearing that it would fall, once again, on deaf ears.

[i] Translator’s note: A reference to Mexican writer Juan Rulfo and a town mentioned in his novel Pedro Páramo

By Susan Onyango

Originally posted here.

Africa’s population is expected to double from 1.26 billion today to over two and half billion by 2050, little more than 30 years from now. At the same time, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and the effects of climate change pose increasing challenges to the continent’s agriculture sector, particularly smallholder farmers.  If left unchecked, these challenges will threaten the food security of millions of people, particularly in the drylands. Affected countries will require national policies and farmer practices that safeguard food production, as well as frameworks for mutual cooperation across the agricultural and environmental sectors, if they are to ensure the sustainability and resilience required to feed their people.

In an effort to address these multiple challenges, more than 80 government and development sector experts met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 5 July 2017, to launch the Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa. Financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the 5-year, USD 116 million programme is designed to promote sustainability and resilience among small holder farmers through the sustainable management of natural resources – land, water, soils and genetic resources – that are crucial for food and nutrition security. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is the  lead agency with the Programme Coordination Unit hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) at their headquarters in Nairobi. Bioversity International, UN Environment, UNDP, FAO, World Bank, UNIDO, AGRA and Conservation International are all involved.

Smallholder farmers, who are responsible for most of the region’s food production, will benefit from practices and policies that will ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of their production systems. Efforts to ensure post-programme sustainability include a particular focus on gender issues at every level of the programme to address policy and culturally-related barriers to gender equity and women’s empowerment in most of the participating countries. The Programme targets almost three million households in 12 countries and will improve the management of 10 million hectares of land.

“With an explicit focus on smallholder agriculture in the drylands, we have collectively established a framework to underpin the long-term sustainability and resilience of production systems,” said Dr. Mohamed Bakarr, Lead Environment Specialist at the GEF. “The program framework, which is defined by three main components – platforms for multi-stakeholder engagement, acting to scale-up innovations, and systems monitoring and assessment – is informed by sound science and policy, including a theory of change.”

The Programme includes the increased involvement of the private sector in developing viable value chains for food crops. At the same time, a regional hub that will support, synthesize and promote learning across the network of countries will improve access to knowledge from scientific institutions and help inform policy options and investment opportunities for managing ecosystem services in smallholder agriculture.

Margarita Astralaga, Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division reiterated the importance of linking food production with ecosystems to protect the environment and to ensure that smallholder farmers reach markets.

“A key ingredient to the Food Security Integrated Approach Programme is the learning across the twelve country projects as well as its three components on institutional frameworks and policy, scaling-up integrated approaches, and on measuring collective impacts,” she noted.

To ensure effective implementation of the project, participants called for system-wide stakeholder engagement – from the field to the government – and the mapping of existing and previous projects to enable south-south learning. They also emphasized the need for technical support on improving stakeholder engagement, capacity development, strengthening institutions, monitoring systems, combining research and technology, scaling technologies, and communicating among stakeholders in participating countries and globally.

“The process has been very engaging, giving us insight for those who haven’t started on implementation (and) alignment with regional programmes, especially indicators and information on national and regional goals,” said Shamiso Nandi Najira of Malawi’s Ministry of Environment. “We look forward to working with the implementation agencies. Learning from others on what they are doing in their countries has been a good eye opener.”

“Taking resilient food security to scale means supporting innovation among millions of farmers over millions of hectares,” said Fergus Sinclair of the World Agroforestry Centre. “We have to go beyond simply promoting best bets, to supporting farmers as they experiment with new options in their own contexts, and then foster the sharing of that learning about what works where and for whom.”

The Food Security Integrated Approach Programme is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals and the three Rio Conventions on biological diversity (CBD), to combat desertification (UNCCD) and on climate change (UNFCCC). It will be implemented in 12 countries including Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda.

Other Integrated Approach Programmes of the GEF are on Green Commodities Supply Chains and Sustainable Cities.

Also see:
GEF Integrated Approach Pilot: Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa 

IFAD Director presenting the Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP)

By Nerina Muzurovic, NEN/IFAD, and Drew Gardiner, ILO

Rates of female education in the Arab World have increased dramatically—a factor usually leading to higher levels of employment. Why, then, is female labor force participation in the Arab World not only the lowest in the world, but also rising very slowly?

This was one of the questions addressed at a policy forum on gender and labor markets in the Arab world on 3 July 2017 in Amman, Jordan. Panel members hailed from Jordan’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the International Labour Organization (ILO), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation, and the University of Minnesota.

The forum was part of an executive course on evaluating labour market programmes conducted by ILO, under the IFAD regional grant on gender monitoring and evaluation in the Near East and North Africa (NENA). The IFAD and ILO partnership, also known as the “Taqeem Initiative”, looks to build evidence on “what works” in effective rural labor market strategies for women and young people.

The five-day course brought together more than 60 participants from 9 NENA countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen. It also included co-financiers, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), GIZ and the Economic Research Forum who contributed financial and in-kind support.

In his opening remarks, the Labour Ministry’s Secretary General Farouq Hadidi highlighted the need for evidence of investments’ impact, when it comes to generating job opportunities. He also noted the importance of supporting positive labor market outcomes in Jordan, as well as drawing from good practices when drawing up policy recommendations.

The keynote lecture, “Gender and Labor Markets in the Arab World,” was delivered by Ragui Assaad, a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Professor Assaad discussed what he called “the MENA paradox.”

"Rural young women are both increasingly educated and increasingly unwilling to engage in traditional agriculture work,” said Assaad. “Thus, because of limited mobility and limited modern employment opportunities in their local labor markets, they are increasingly unemployed or withdrawing from labor force altogether."

Arguing against the idea that “this is strictly a story about conservative cultural values restricting labor supply,” Professor Assaad introduced the idea of “reservation working conditions”—the minimum working conditions that a woman (and her family) will accept.

“Educated women in the Arab World are seeking higher rates of market work if such work can meet their ‘reservation working conditions,’” Assaad explained. In countries like Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia, this means work places must do the following: preserve women’s sexual and reputational safety; prevent contact with male clients or owners and bosses in non-public spaces; be geographically accessible without excessive commuting; and be located inside fixed establishments, protected from passers-by. “Generally, this means larger workplaces with many other women present,” said the professor.

To support his claims, Professor Assaad cited primary data gathered from some 1,000 interviewees as part of a recent ILO report on Jordanian labor market challenges by Susan Razzaz. “As long as I am alive, I will never let my sister work in manufacturing,” said one male Jordanian manufacturing worker. “The employers are very rough. I don’t trust them to not yell at my sister or harass her.” When these conditions are not met, many women stay home.

Furthermore, safety and harassment were considered common concerns. As one unemployed Jordanian woman said: “I’d be willing to work in a hotel if the job was in reservations, at the front desk, or in food service. Of course, I can’t work in housekeeping or room service because it is near the bedrooms.”

Long commutes were also a concern: “I wouldn’t want to spend 3 hours a day on the road,” said one female Jordanian worker. “I could barely stand the time spent getting to and from work in Amman, so I wouldn’t work outside of it.”

However, change is possible: An IFAD-supported initiative under the Agricultural Resource Management Project (ARMPII) in Jordan tapped into the region's traditional knowledge base to initiate 400 small-scale enterprises for women in the southern part of the country. Relying on the sustainable use of local resources, these businesses centered around food processing, dairy and pickle production, and the harvesting of mushrooms.

Interviews with the women involved showed they felt empowered, managing small-scale income-generating enterprises. They reported increased levels of independence and status, as well as more effective participation in decision-making at both the community and household levels.

Findings like these indicate that effective policy interventions should look into improving opportunity structures for women. Peter van Rooij, ILO’s Director in Cairo, Egypt agrees, “Women and men need to have equal opportunities in the world of work, especially in the agriculture sector which represents the most important source of employment for women. Achieving gender equality goals under the 2030 Agenda can only be achieved through concerted effort and unique partnership, such as that between the ILO and IFAD in the Near East and North Africa”.

Indeed, the panel discussion that followed recognized positive trends: factors affecting female labor supply are moving towards increased participation. These factors include educational attainment, later marriages, access to improved infrastructure like water and sanitation, access to household technologies, and access to markets for time-saving goods and services.

The panel also noted that incentivizing private employers to offer shorter work days, low-cost transportation, telecommuting, and flexible and part-time work opportunities would make a difference. Other important changes would include shifting maternity leave pay to social insurance, specifying a minimum wage on an hourly basis, establishing better public transport systems--where women can feel safe—and taking steps to gradually expand the range of jobs considered acceptable for women in conservative societies.

Creating a more attractive environment for investors to invest in remote rural areas, as well as making agricultural sector more attractive, should also be considered a priority.

“With a rising population and growing demand for food, there is an ever greater need to invest in agriculture and rural development. Investment in agriculture is two to four times more effective in reducing poverty than investment in any other sector. The agricultural sector is also a rich source of employment for young people, especially women. Thus, creating job opportunities in this sector will improve the lives of poor farmers, and serve indirectly as a means to combat migration to cities and beyond, ” said Khalida Bouzar, Director of the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, IFAD.

A journey through the implementation of an IFAD project in Fiji

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Monday, July 10, 2017 0 comments

By Inosi Vulawalu, Knowledge Management, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Fiji AgriculturePartnership Project (FAPP)

The Fiji Agricultural Partnerships Project (FAPP) is the first IFAD in-country loan investment in the country and became effective in December 2015. It has a Project Management Unit (PMU) located within the Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters in Suva. The Project is co-funded by the Government of Fiji (GoF) and IFAD and has a four-year timeframe. It will be implemented in one district of Naitasiri province, 2 districts of Ba province and 4 districts of Nadroga/Navosa province. The overall goal of FAPP is reducing hardship in remote rural communities of Fiji. To achieve this goal, the Project endeavours to engage small-scale producers in sustainable farming and establishing business partnerships in remote areas, particularly in the highlands.

Over the past months, the PMU participated in a number of trainings and learning events that were instrumental in having the team strengthen their skills and experiences, familiarize with IFAD processes and operating modalities, and put in place project implementation arrangements.

Training in value chain analysis and knowledge management

Most recently, FAPP’s PMU staff participated in the Value Chain Analysis capacity building training organized by the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON). The workshop was held from 26 to 28 April 2017 and participants included IFAD Sub-regional Coordinator for the Pacific, Sakiusa Tubuna, staff of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Tim Martyn from FAO. It was also attended by nine Research and Extension staff of Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture.

The training covered topics such as introducing the basic concepts of value chain, key lessons from Pacific value chain studies, and undertaking a value chain analysis for fresh and processed ginger and taro. Field visits were also part of the program. Participants visited some value chain actors who are the leading agricultural exporters in Fiji to-date, such as Ben’s Trading Limited, Kaiming Agro Processing Ltd both situated in Navua and Ranadi’s Plantation. Ben’s Trading Ltd primarily exports root-crops such as taro and cassava, to markets in Australia, NZ and USA. Kaiming Agro Processing Limited exports crystallized and glazed ginger to USA, Australia, NZ, UK and Germany. Ranadi Plantation situated along the Queens Highway in Deuba is about 45minutes drive away from Suva. They are one of the largest organic ginger producers in Fiji and also exports fruits, legumes and spices

Last year I also had the opportunity to attend a regional workshop on “Developing Knowledge Management Capacity for Improved Agriculture, Information, Research and Policy Banks in the Pacific“. The training was organized by the Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP) co-funded by the EU, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and took place in Fiji from 31 May to 3 June 2016. The purpose of the workshop was to assist us improve our knowledge sharing environment to disseminate agricultural information and knowledge within our country and amongst other countries. Topics covered were on Knowledge Management (KM) products, tools and understanding the KM tree provided by CTA.

Another workshop I also attended was on “Development of E-agriculture Strategy for Fiji”. It was organized by the International Telecommunication Unit (specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies) and FAO. It took place in Suva and its purpose was to help identify and address challenges in a broad manner and help Fiji leverage the best outcomes from emerging and innovative technologies.

FAPP also conducted its first ever stakeholder workshop in April 2016. The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh officiated the opening and acknowledged the participation of international agencies like IFAD to partner and develop the livelihoods of people residing in rural and vulnerable communities. The workshop, held at the Holiday Inn in Suva, was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and few farmers from the PHVA project in Nadarivatu.

The team also joined IFAD Indigenous people consultation session held in Deuba on 23 November 2016. Monica Romano, IFAD Project Implementation Specialist, conducted a presentation on the action plan for strengthening KM communication in managing the IFAD Pacific portfolio in the pacific.

Awareness raising about FAPP

The PMU has conducted some awareness sessions to the Ministry of Agriculture’s extension officers that will be cooperating with FAPP in the project’s target areas. For example, in October 2016, we paid a visit to the extension officers responsible for target areas in Nadroga/Navosa province and their Principal Agriculture Officer Western. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Sigatoka Research Station in Nacocolevu, approximately 10km from Sigatoka town. The team also visited three exporters in Bilalevu, which falls in the Waicoba district of Nadroga Province. These exporters procure eggplants, Okra, Moringa (Saijan) leaves mostly from farmers in the upper valley of Sigatoka and exports to New Zealand market and supplies also to local markets.

Earlier in July 2016, the project team had visited the highlands of Viti Levu and briefed the extension staff as well. The extension officers will be working in cooperation and coordination with project in-field staff, providing support in technology transfer to the communities. That’s why we felt it was important that we established linkages with them early on and we explained the project's focus and implementation structure in the field. The team had also the opportunity to visit some of the Ministry of Agriculture’s projects in Navai and Nadala villages. Navai village falls within Nabobuco district of Naitasiri but is located very closely to Nadala village in the district of Savatu, Ba province and Nadrau in the province of Nadroga/Navosa province. We visited a potato and other assorted vegetable farmer and also witnessed a small mushroom plot managed by a woman. Demand for mushroom in Fiji according to the Ministry of Agriculture Extension officers in Nadarivatu, is huge. The Ministry of Agriculture through promotion and training of local farmers will enable them to sell mushroom in local markets and generate income.

In addition to these training and visits, the PMU also visited Kaiming Agro Processing Ltd, Ben’s Trading Limited and Joes Farm on 3 March 2017. This enabled us to better understand the operation processes and also to brief them on FAPP’s component on SMEs. Joes Farm exports vegetables to PICs such as Kiribati, Nauru and the Marshall Islands. They also export Dalo, Cassava, Jackfruits, Breadfruits, Yams to Australia and USA.

Given the vital role the Research Division will also play in the project, the PMU also made a courtesy visit to the Koronivia Research Station (KRS) to brief the Principal Research Officers on FAPP and most importantly the project’s linkages to the Research Division. Principal Research Officer - Agronomy guided the PMU team to the Naduruloulou Research Station where various propagation methods of fruit trees are conducted. Nursery management is also a vital component of the station’s operation

FAPP team made another visit in April this year to the Extension officers following its meeting with the Assistant Minister for Agriculture to provide an update on FAPP. The meeting also included other government stakeholders from the Ministry of Provincial Development and the Ministry of I’taukei Affairs.

FAPP team led by the Project Manager Kaliova Nadumu briefed the new Assistant Minister for Agriculture Hon Viam Pillay regarding the project and its core purposes. Hon. Viam Pillay acknowledged the team for the brief. He requested the team to keep extension officers updated on the progress of FAPP.

IFAD Implementation Support Missions

In November 2016, a team of international experts from IFAD led by the IFAD Sub Regional Coordinator visited us to undertake an Implementation Support Mission. The team consisted of Ronald Hartman, IFAD Country Director managing the Pacific portfolio; Monica Romano; Ed Angeles (IFAD Finance Specialist); and Finance Trainee, Viliame Mavoa.

The team reviewed the project’s progress and worked with PMU to advance implementation, identify bottlenecks, and revise the Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWP&B) and Procurement Plan, and define KM activities. They also met various stakeholders to discuss project related issues. Ron Hartman had the opportunity to meet the Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Joeli Cawaki, and acknowledged the Ministry of Agriculture’s support towards the project.

Earlier in 2016, IFAD provided implementation support in the areas of project management, with the support of Monica Romano, and financial management and procurement, with the help of Ed Angeles, who revised the Project Implementation Manual (PIM). During a Mission in April 2016, Monica also helped the PMU to prepare KM and M&E action plans, liaising with the M&E office of the Ministry of Agriculture, and drafting the overall project M&E framework, including formats to be used in the field. This work has been further advanced through the assistance of the IFAD M&E Consultant, Fabrizio Vivarini, who was with the team for almost two weeks in December 2016 looking into the RIMS framework, logframe and reporting templates to be used both by PMU and the Lead Implementing Partner (LIP). Therefore, the KM and M&E system is now fully in place.

The financial management and procurement aspect of the project is also now fully established. The PMU welcomed the project’s Financial Management & Procurement Assistant, Atelena Nauku, at the beginning of 2017. We benefitted a lot from her vast experience and in-depth knowledge of the GoF’s financial management and procurement guidelines. Required office equipment for the PMU and the newly established Agribusiness Development Unit (ADU) is procured with necessary register maintained. The Finance Management and Procurement Officer liaised with the Ministry of Economy and facilitated a refresher on-the-job training on operating the financial management systems. Officers from the Ministry of Economy had conducted two of this type of trainings to the project’s FMPO and his assistant.

Learning from and experience sharing with other IFAD funded projects

Early on after its effectiveness, FAPP benefitted from the support from neighbouring IFAD funded projects in the Pacific.. Soane Patolo, Manager of the MORDI Tonga Trust, a NGO implementing the IFAD-supported Tonga Rural Innovation Project (TRIP), was sent to share some valuable experience of project implementation and experiences. The PMU also liaised with the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) of Kiribati’s Outer Island Food and Water Project (OIFWP) when preparing for the RIMS Baseline Survey for FAPP.

Looking forward to project implementation in the field

Project preparation and implementation arrangements are near to completion by now. We are now working on the RIMS baseline survey that will be the basis for our continued project monitoring. We look forward to implementation of in-field activities and to sharing our experience of linking small producers and farmers with markets in Fiji.

by Hazel Bedford

As communicators, when we set out to make a case about inequality, poverty or women’s empowerment we need numbers to make our case. Preferably eye-catching numbers that grab people’s attention and make our message crystal clear.
Ellen Nkomakoma, a 45-year-old widow and mother of 3 in Malawi,
 is one of millions of women who work in agriculture worldwide:
“I’m a farmer, I grow maize, beans, peanuts and tobacco ...
 I also keep cattle, goats and chickens.”
©IFAD/Marco Salustro

But it’s often hard to find accurate statistics that reflect reality in the poorest – mostly rural – parts of the world. Where there are few roads and erratic electricity, there are often no reliable censuses either, and statistics that may have been commonly used for years are actually little more than guestimates, or even worse, they are ‘zombie’ statistics with no basis in fact but seemingly indestructible.

However, things are changing in the data world, especially with the emphasis put on gathering reliable statistics by the 2030 Agenda. The purpose of this blog is to share some sourced big numbers that are particularly relevant to IFAD’s work with poor rural women towards the 3 interconnected strategic objectives in our Gender Policy. Here’s a quick reminder of what they are:  
  • Empower women economically – help rural women acquire more assets, including land and livestock, make more money, learn how to manage it and have more say over how it is spent. 
  • Reduce women’s workload – make labour-saving devices available to women, improve infrastructure to alleviate the burden of daily water and fuel collection for women and girls, and promote the redistribution of domestic chores and onerous care work. 
  • Increase women’s voice and influence – enable them to take part in decision-making inside and outside the home, at the community, local, national and international level.
I’ve identified a selection of useful facts and figures by objective.

Economic empowerment

  • Women make up 43% of the global agricultural workforce – this includes farmers, family workers, casual labourers and employees on large plantations (FAO: The role of women in agriculture
  • Globally, the gender wage gap is estimated to be 23% ; in other words, women earn 77% of what men earn (ILO: Women at Work 2016
  • The ILO has noted that, without targeted action, at the current rate, pay equity between women and men will not be achieved before 2086. (ILO: Women at Work 2016
  • Women with children in sub-Saharan Africa earn 69 cents to a man's US$1, and women with children in South Asia earn only 65 cents to a man's $1. (UN Women: Progress of the World's Women 2015-2016
  • The proportion of married women in developing countries with no say in how their own cash earnings are spent ranges from 2% in Cambodia, Colombia and Honduras to over 20% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Zambia and 42% in Malawi. (United Nations Statistics Division: The World's Women 2015, chapter 8, pg. 194)
  • Only 2 in 3 married women aged 15 to 49 participate in decision-making on major household purchases in developing countries. (UNSD: The World's Women 2015, chapter 8, pg. 195)

Women’s workload

  • In developing countries, women spend on average 4 hours and 30 minutes per day on unpaid work, while men only spend 1 hour and 20 minutes. (UNSD: The World's Women 2015, chapter 4 pg. 111)
  • The global working-age population is split evenly between men and women, but for every 3 men in wage/salaried work, there are 2 women. For every 4 male employers, there is only 1 female employer. (Overseas Development Institute: Ten Things to Know about the Global Labour Force)
  • 59% of women in Latin America and the Caribbean, 89% of women in Sub-Saharan Africa and 95% of women in South Asia labour in informal work. (UN Women: Progress of the World's Women 2015-2016 chapter 2)
  • 663 million people still use unimproved water sources; 2.4 billion are without improved sanitation (SDGs Report 2016 Goal 6) 
  • 1.1 billion people lacked access to electricity in 2012 (SDGs Report 2016 Goal 7) – the vast majority of them in rural areas 
  • In 2014, about 3 billion people – over 40 per cent of the world’s population, relied on polluting and unhealthy fuels for cooking (SDGs Report 2016 Goal 7)

Women’s influence

  • In 2016 women held 23 per cent of parliamentary seats worldwide, a proportion that had increased by only 6 per cent over 10 years (SDGs Report 2016 Goal 5)
  • The countries with the highest proportion of women in parliament (lower or single parliamentary house) are Rwanda (61%), Bolivia (53%) and Cuba (49%) (Inter-Parliamentary Union: Women in parliaments)
  • 70 countries (or close to one third of all countries with parliaments) have less than 15% participation of women in the lower or single houses of national parliaments. (The World's Women 2015, chapter 5, page 121)

Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence is relevant to all three objectives because it limits women's freedom of movement and action and harms their health.
  • Worldwide, 35% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non‐partner at some point in their lives. (UN Stats: Violence Against Women)
  • Half of countries in developing regions report a lifetime prevalence of intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence of at least 30%. Its prevalence is highest in Oceania, reaching over 60% in some countries. (UN Stats: Violence Against Women)
  • Research has shown that indigenous girls, adolescents and young women face a higher prevalence of violence, harmful practices, and labour exploitation and harassment than other girls and women. (The World's Women 2015, chapter 6, page 149)

Some gaps and caveats

There are no clear and consistent global statistics available on women's land use and ownership. The accuracy of widely quoted figures such as " less than 2 percent of the world’s land is owned by women” or " Women in the developing world are 5 times less likely than men to own land, and their farms are usually smaller and less fertile" have been questioned by different researchers and stakeholders. (See for instance IFPRI, Gender Inequalities in Ownership and Control of Land in Africa, 2013)

Though the margin of inequalities can vary significantly by country, region, and type of property holding, all available data shows that women are at a disadvantage when it comes to land ownership, see blog on Securing Women's Land Rights: a growing momentum with SDGs and LPI.

Treat with caution any statements along the lines of “women produce xx% of the world’s food” – women and men often contribute labour at different points in the production of a crop and this is difficult to disentangle statistically. Also, as Cheryl Doss says in a recent research article: “no evidence supports the claim that women produce 60-80% of the world’s food. Given women’s responsibilities for household work, it would be surprising if they produced most of the food.” (Women and agricultural productivity: Reframing the Issues)

The statement “women provide the bulk of labour in African agriculture” has been shown to be false (see Agriculture in Africa: Telling facts from myths)

It’s useful to remember that reality is varied and complex: like other population groups, rural women’s experiences are affected by many factors, including their location, income, status, age, position in the family, education and ethnicity. It’s true that we need big numbers to grab attention, but our messaging needs to factor in the complexity behind them. In my next blogpost, I’ll be pulling together some messages on rural women and IFAD’s work to empower them.

Finally, I’d like thank Claire Ferry, who did much of the research to find these numbers.

Daniel Simango, Assessor de Posse de Terras no Projecto de Desenvolvimento de Cadeias de Valor nos corredores de Maputo e Limpopo (PROSUL), implementado em Moçambique.

De 6 a 16 de março de 2107, participei na Rota de Aprendizagem sobre Proteção de Direitos de Terra e Água no Senegal e na Mauritânia. Este treinamento fue organizado pela equipa do Procasur em parceria com o IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale), e promovido pelo FIDA.

Momento de discussão em plenária após trabalhos em grupos
O evento tinha como objectivo a troca de experiência dos técnicos dos Projectos financiados pelo FIDA sobre a Segurança dos Direitos da Terra e Água nos perímetros irrigados através de Ferramentas Inovadoras e Soluções Práticas. Nesta Rota de Aprendizagem participaram 15 países, nomeadamente: Algéria, Áustria, Bélgica, Burquina Faso, Gâmbia, Indonésia, Itália, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mauritânia, Moçambique, Nigéria, Níger, Senegal, Serra Leoa.
Durante a experiência deu para perceber que a população no geral é muito solidária. O princípio de solidariedade começa na refeição, pois num mesmo prato comem tantas pessoas e compartilham o mesmo pedaço de carne. O princípio de solidariedade associa-se ao de justiça e confiança. Foi também uma oportunidade para descobrir diferentes hábitos culturais, formas de comer, vestir e muito mais.
Outro aspecto importante é a criação e adopção do POAS (Plano de Ocupação e Afectação do Solo) na comunidade de Diama, incluindo o envolvimento da câmara municipal na sua operacionalização. Este aspecto, no contexto do Projecto PROSUL pode ser adoptado e adaptado através de um Plano de Acção para o mapeamento e inventariação cadastral dos regadios reabilitados pelo Projecto, onde todos produtores poderão ver seus direitos assegurados porque em paralelo ter-se-á uma base de dados alfanumérica e espacial com detalhe de cada parcela cadastrada. Isto vai contribuir na redução de conflitos de terra e gestão da água.
E tive a oportunidade de compartilhar minha experiência do Projecto PROSUL, na área de terras.© D. Simango
A construção de barragens ao longo do rio Senegal alterou drasticamente as relações entre pastores de tribos “fulanis” (Mauritânia) e agricultores de tribos “soninquês e wolofs” (Senegal). Historicamente, os Mauritanos da tribo “mouro” são comerciantes e com um poder político decisório. As medidas adoptadas por estes no uso e gestão da água acelerou a degradação das relações entre pastores e agricultores, tendo culminado com a guerra entre os dois países (Mauritânia e Senegal) em 1989. Os agricultores mauritanos têm maiores dificuldades para desenvolver agricultura irrigada devido a insuficiência de água, associado à degradação das infraestruturas hidráulicas. Por isso os agricultores Senegaleses da tribo wolof têm contribuído na segurança alimentar exportando de produtos agrícolas para Mauritânia.
This is the moment in which I presented my Innovation Plan, with reference to the three sites visited. I would like to engage in implementing cadastral mapping in our irrigation schemes in PROSUL, including the zoning of adjacent areas. This would help the producers to better manage both water and land, and furthermore in the payment of taxes related to their water and energy usage. © D. Simango
Na imagem, ilustra-se o momento da apresentação do Plano
de Acção com base nas três experiências visitadas. Eu pretendo fazer o
mapeamento cadastral nos regadios assistidos pelo Projecto PROSUL,
incluindo o zoneamento das áreas adjacentes. Isto vai ajudar aos produtores
na melhor gestão da terra e água e no controlo de pagamento impostos
pela utilização da água e energia. © D. Simango

Ainda no âmbito da rota de aprendizagem conheci o ponto de situação de outros Projectos financiados pelo FIDA, como por exemplo o Programa de Desenvolvimento da Cadeia de Valor (VCDP), implementado na Nigeria e o Programa de Desenvolvimento da Irrigação Rural (PRIDE), implementado no Malawi. Fiquei mais interessado nesse último, primeiro porque Malawi é um país vizinho de Moçambique e possui algumas características climatéricas similares ao nosso país em algumas regiões. E o segundo aspecto é que neste Projecto tem como um dos resultados o fortalecimento das comunidades na gestão da terra e água. Igualmente, o Projecto PROSUL tem como acção estratégica assegurar a posse de terra aos beneficiários do Projecto através de atribuição de Direito de Usos e Aproveitamento da Terra (DUAT).
Discussão temática em grupo entre Mozambique e Algéria com
assistência da Elisa Mandelli.
Os participantes ficaram muito impressionados com a abordagem do Projecto PROSUL no processo de atribuição de DUAT’s definitivos aos beneficiários do Projecto nas três cadeias de valor de horticultura, mandioca e carnes vermelhas, incluindo o contributo do DUAT no processo de mobilização de produtores para aderirem aos grupos de produtores ou associações. Assim, compartilhei com o grupo a minha apresentação incluindo alguns relatórios interessantes.
Durante a rota de aprendizagem visitamos três casos. O primeiro foi a apreciação do (POAS) Plano de Ocupação e Afetação do Solo em Diama. O caso de Maghama, onde vimos os mecanismos de gestão da terra e água e o caso do PRODAM II em Senegal sobre regulamentos fundiários e sistemas de desenvolvimento hidroagrícola.
Daniel Simango, representante de Moçambique foi indicado para
fazer a entrega do Certificado a Associação de Matama
Dos três (3) casos visitados prefiro adoptar os exemplos do primeiro caso relacionado com o POAS em Diama. Estou ciente que terei o desafio de assegurar que as entidades governativas a nível distrital e central (exemplo, Serviços Distritais das Actividades Económicas (SDAE) e Instituto Nacional de Irrigação (INIR)) compreendam e contribuam activamente na adopção e implementação deste instrumento. No meu plano de acção vou adoptar este plano no contexto do Projecto PROSUL com a designação de Plano de Uso e Gestão da Terra e Água nos perímetros irrigados. Igualmente, vamos criar uma base de dados para cada regadio com informação alfanumérico e espacial de cada parcela do produtor, onde os mapas serão afixados nas sedes das associações para consulta e conhecimento de qualquer indivíduo. Este plano vai contribuir na redução de conflitos de terra e será possível assegurar que todos utilizadores da água possam contribuir na sua correcta utilização, incluindo a manutenção das infraestruturas.

Informçoes adicionais:

By Daniel Simango, Land Tenure Advisor for the Pro-poor Value Chain Development Project (PROSUL), implemented in Mozambique

From 6 to 16 March 2017, I participated in the Learning Route on Securing Land and Water Rights in Senegal and Mauritania, a training organized by the Procasur team in partnership with IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale), and promoted by IFAD.

Discussion during the plenary work session
The event had the objective of sharing experiences among specialists from IFAD-funded projects in relation to land tenure and water rights in irrigated land through innovative tools and practical solutions. Fifteen nationalities participated in this Learning Route: Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

During this experience I was able to understand that the people had a strong solidarity. This started for example during meal time, as people share the same plate with many others. The solidarity principle is well associated with justice and trust. It was also an opportunity to discover different cultural habits, ways of eating, dressing and much more.

Another interesting element that I had the chance to learn during the workshop regarded the creation and adoption of Land Occupation and Use Plans in the community of Diama, which entailed the engagement of the Municipal council in its operationalization. This aspect, in the context of PROSUL, could be adopted and adapted to the Action Plans for the mapping and cadastral surveying of the rehabilitated irrigation schemes of the project, so that all producers can see their rights ensured, as in parallel there would be the creation of an alphanumerical and spatial database with details for each surveyed plot. This would contribute to the reduction of conflicts related to land and water management.

Sharing my experience with the PROSUL project, specifically in the realm of land tenure. ©D.Simango
I was also able to learn that the construction of dams along the Senegal river drastically changed the relations in the “Fulani” tribal pastoralists (Mauritania) and the “soninque and wolofs” tribal farmers (Senegal). Historically, Mauritanians of the moor group are traders, with strong decisional power. The measures adopted by the moor in the management of water sources accelerated the degradation of relations amongst pastoralists and farmers, which culminated in the war between the two countries (Senegal and Mauritania) in 1989. The Mauritanian farmers have since had more difficulties in developing irrigated agriculture schemes in virtue of the insufficient water, coupled with the ruining of the water infrastructure. For this reason the Senegalese wolof have been contributing to their food security, exporting agricultural products to Mauritania.
This is the moment in which I presented my Innovation Plan, with reference to the three sites visited. I would like to engage in implementing cadastral mapping in our irrigation schemes in PROSUL, including the zoning of adjacent areas. This would help the producers to better manage both water and land, and furthermore in the payment of taxes related to their water and energy usage. © D. Simango
This is the moment in which I presented my Innovation Plan,
with reference to the three sites visited. I would like to
engage in implementing cadastral mapping in our irrigation
schemes in PROSUL, including the zoning of adjacent areas.
This would help the producers to better manage both water
and land, and furthermore in the payment of taxes related
to their water and energy usage. ©D.Simango

During the Learning Route I was also able to know more about the current state of other IFAD-financed project, such as the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), implemented in Nigeria; and the Programme for Rural Irrigation Development (PRIDE), implemented in Malawi. I was particularly interested in the latter, first as Malawi is a neighbouring country for Mozambique and has some climatic similarities with some regions in our country. This project has the objective of strengthening the communities’ management of land and water. Likewise, PROSUL has the strategic goal of guaranteeing the tenure security of its beneficiaries, by supporting the issuing of Land Certificates (Direito de Usos e Aproveitamento da Terra - DUAT).

Thematic group discussion between Mozambique and Niger,
facilitated by Elisa Mandelli
I had the opportunity to share my experience in the PROSUL project, specifically in the domain of land. The participants were very impressed with PROSUL’s approach in the issuing of DUATs to the project beneficiaries in the three value chains: horticulture, cassava and red meat, including the contribution of DUATs in the mobilization of producers to participate in the producer groups and associations.

During the Learning Route we visited three specific cases. The first was related to the Land Occupation and Use Plans in Diama. Then we visited the case of Maghama, where we saw the mechanisms related to the management of water and land, and last but not least the PRODAM II project case in Senegal related to land regulations and hydro-agricultural development systems.

Daniel Simango, Mozambique representative was chosen to be
part of the panel handing out the Certificates to the Matam Association
Of the three cases visited I particularly think that the lessons of the first case related to Diama would be a good adoption for the area in Mozambique where I work. I am aware that this approach may face challenges in ensuring that all the Government entities at district and central level (i.e. District Services of Economic Affairs (SDAE) and National Irrigation Institute (INIR) understand and actively contribute to the adoption and implementation of the "Land Occupation and Use Plans" instrument. This type of plan, in the context of the PROSUL project, could be called "Water and Land Use and Management Plan in irrigated perimeters". In the same line, we will create a database for each irrigation scheme, with detailed information for each producer’s plot, with maps available in each Association, open to the consultation and knowledge of all individuals. This plan will contribute to reducing land conflicts and will allow all water users to contribute to a correct utilization of the resource, including the maintenance of the infrastructure.

Read more about PROSUL:

Portuguese version