UNDP Facilitates Agri-business Empowerment Training
UNDP in collaboration with MASHAV funded and facilitated a three-week agri-business training that was held in Israel in 2014. The training was a blue print for helping African countries namely Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Ethiopia to formulate agricultural projects for helping and empowering women.
The training included selected study areas, farmer visits, excursion trips and relevant capacity building and knowledge sharing discussions conducted in and outdoor. The participants had an opportunity to cover topics on innovation in marketing for micro enterprises, internet marketing, branding as a business strategy, gender and agriculture, gender concepts, and how to integrate gender perspectives into agricultural business.
The participants also had an opportunity to visit study areas. They engaged with women entrepreneurs who despite the challenges of gender inequality have managed to make their businesses successful. From the selected study areas, they learnt business practices in areas of bee keeping, fruits drying and selling, international trade, resource management, renewable energies and water technologies, creation of liquid fertilisers form bio gas, and growing organic foods.
At the ministry of foreign affairs, the participants engaged with UNDP administrator, Helen Clark who spoke a lot of the potentiality of African development in agriculture and gender, during her remarks, Helen Clark said that “people believe that agriculture is old fashioned but that is what made new Zealand rich.” She insisted that projects should bring in movers and shakers in production.
During the presentation of business projects and knowledge sharing sessions, Tanzania participants discussed sunflower projects and how they have empowered women located in the semi arid zones of the central corridor of Tanzania and who are mostly impacted by climate change. The training participants are meant to involve Tanzanian women in sunflower production as a cash crop, which has potential to provide higher income and ensure food security and poverty reduction.