Empowering Women to End Poverty

Gladys weeding carrots in her vegetable garden
Gladys weeding carrots in her vegetable garden

Did you know that half of the farmers in Eastern Africa are women? However, these remarkable women are often not able to produce as much as their male counterparts because they are held back by many restrictions in their local communities such as lack of access to land, financial exclusion, and lack of agricultural inputs to name a few. This year, the global pandemic has further intensified the pressure on these women and their families facing dire food insecurity and loss of income.

Gladys Karaikudi was one of such farmers. She lives with her husband, and eight children, and has recently benefited from Raising The Village’s (RTV) Ready To Eat (RTE) program intended to support poor households facing food insecurity during COVID-19. Households like hers are provided with garden boxes which include various types of produce like; spinach, kale, eggplants, cabbages, nakati, nightshades, spider plants, amaranth, beetroot, pumpkins, carrots and Sukuma wiki. It only takes 3-4 weeks for these crops to be harvest-ready, and they not only turn into a sustainable and reliable food source for families like Gladys’s, but also serve as a long-term income source for them.

“There are nutritious vegetables I have never grown in my own garden but now I have them. Raising The Village gave us seeds which are growing well in my garden – I even started harvesting some.”

Gladys also received training by agronomists to learn good agricultural practices and learn how to fully maximize her small garden. This knowledge enables farmers like Gladys to maximize effectiveness in their crops, and to better manage their time.

“Raising The Village went ahead to train us how to plant in lines, spacing, compost making, and manure application. I used to plant by broadcasting but now I plant in lines, weed and apply organic manure which has doubled my harvests.”

Growth in small-scale agriculture is 2 to 4 times more effective in reducing hunger and poverty than any other sector, with women farmers like Gladys playing a critical role. Raising The Village’s work strives to equip community members with the right tools and resources, so that more families will be uplifted from poverty and hunger thanks to the hard work and devotion of incredible women like Gladys.