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NFAM targets women farmers for export markets

March 01, 2023 / Bester Kayaye

A local umbrella body for pigeon peas farmers, Nandolo Farmers Association of Malawi (NFAM), has called for concerted efforts in empowering women in producing crops that will transform their lives

NFAM chairperson, Susan Chimbayo said crops like pigeon peas have the potential to transform the lives of many rural women in Malawi.

She was speaking on her arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she went to attend the 6th Empowering Women in Agriculture (EWA) on the margins of the 36th summit of the African Union.

According to Chimayo, women play a critical role in agriculture, and their empowerment is essential considering that the crop offers high nutritional value, income, and boosts soil fertility..

“NFAM is urging stakeholders to support our efforts to empower women in agriculture and unlock the potential of Nandolo as an export crop.” -She said

She said her organization was moving towards commercial farming, and collective marketing and aggregation of valuable roduce.

“NFAM sees its future in the value addition and processing of Nandolo into various products, creating demand beyond India, its primary consumer” she said

NFAM represents over 10,682 smallholder farmers from 45 cooperatives, of which 7,478 are women and 3,204 are males. The organization aims to equip Nandolo farmers with education and skills that will make them more efficient and facilitate maximum output. It also seeks to create a conducive agricultural operating environment for improved variety, productivity, and profitability.

The EWA initiative targets ten pilot countries, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Morocco, Djibouti, Liberia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Malawi. The initiative has taken various activities since 2012, such as the development of EWA indicators to track progress in empowering women in agriculture, a baseline survey on mapping of initiatives on women and agriculture in Africa, and a case study of initiatives by GIMAC members at the country level.

The EWA initiative also aims to mobilize and engage various stakeholders to increase the capacity of women cooperatives in the pilot countries, as well as key actors and business opportunities. The initiative seeks to increase stakeholders’ awareness and engagement at the national and regional levels, advocating for its success across Africa.

The Event was graced by various African Leaders including: President Sahle-Work Zewde, of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Co-Chair of EWA Dr. Olusegan Obasanjo, Former President of the Republic of Liberia and Co. Chair of EWA, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Malawi’s Former President Dr. Joyce Banda.

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