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Empowering Vulnerable Rural Women Through Agriculture and Reforestation - Zambia

This activity is helping women farmers in Zambia organize self-help groups to promote village forests and conservation farming. “Empowering Vulnerable Rural Women Through Agriculture and Reforestation,” sponsored by the Kachere Development Program, is intended to boost agroforestry and food security, giving women alternative ways of making money and breaking the chain of male domination.

Fast facts:

  • Presently 860 women organized into 46 self-help groups
  • 1,400 beneficiaries planned for expanded program
  • Kachere Development Program has planted more than 3,000 trees and trained 126 farmers

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The problem

Zambia’s Eastern Province is one of the country’s major food baskets, and women account for the vast majority of small-scale farmers. But poverty levels are high, and women are often just used as cheap labor. Rural farmers’ methods have for some time been contributing to land degradation and deforestation.

The solution

“Empowering Vulnerable Rural Women Through Agriculture and Reforestation” seeks to promote better natural resource management and farming methods adapted to climate change. Working with self-help groups in the Chipata and Petauke districts, Kachere Development Program is supporting conservation farming and promoting village forest demonstration projects.

Helping the planet

Agroforestry reduces deforestation, preventing climate change. Improved farming methods reduce pressure on natural resources like freshwater and land, while also increasing land and water quality.

Helping people

The activity provides women with new means to make money, allowing them to start up small businesses and better support their families. As women organize themselves into self-help groups, they are better able to influence decision-making in the traditionally male-dominated society.

Spillover effect

The project is planned to be rolled out to other areas where tobacco farming has caused rampant deforestation. Plans to increase the number of beneficiaries from 860 to 1,400 reflect potential for the project to grow.

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