Articles

Women Inclusion in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

By Seliphar Machoni

In Kakamega County, a new revolution led by visionary women is rapidly transforming the agricultural landscape.

As Women celebrate International Women’s Day, their resounding activities amplify, as they aspire to be integral parts of sustainable agriculture and food security.

Research underscores the pivotal role of women, especially those in rural areas, in the relentless battle against hunger and poverty.

Globally, women emerge as the primary guarantors of nutrition, food safety, and quality at both household and community levels.

In Kenya, particularly Kakamega County, women contribute significantly to food production, generating between 60 and 80 percent of food in many developing countries.

In rural communities, women bear the responsibility of providing food for their families, often cultivating small subsistence plots.

They are also actively engaged in local food storage and animal husbandry tasks, further solidifying their role in ensuring household food security.

Apart from food production, women enhance household food security by earning income to purchase food, exemplifying their foundational role in community food security.

Meet Rose Kaunda, an inspirational farmer from Kakamega County,  Mumias West Constituency, who goes beyond cultivating crops – she cultivates change.

Rose’s journey began with a simple yet powerful idea: empowering women through knowledge on diverse crop cultivation.

“I have a group of 15 women whom I train on farming of different types of crops like soya beans, rice, and even sweet potatoes,” affirms Rose.

She actively organizes workshops and training sessions, sharing insights into modern agricultural techniques, organic farming, and sustainable practices.

The transformation spurred by Rose doesn’t stop in the fields; financial empowerment is equally vital.

Through women-led cooperatives and farming groups, Rose establishes a supportive network where resources and knowledge flow freely. These groups serve as platforms for collective problem-solving and inspiration, showcasing the strength that arises when women unite.

Technology finds its place in Kakamega’s farms under the guidance of women like Rose. Mobile apps for weather forecasting and market information have become essential tools, enabling farmers to make informed decisions and adapt to changing conditions.

“Women farmers who engage in farming of sweet potatoes have an app that helps us market our products,” explains Rose.

In Kakamega’s agricultural landscape, women are not just embracing sustainability but also incorporating smart practices through technology.

Advocacy is another front where women like Rose are making significant strides, championing policy changes for gender equality in land ownership and resource access.

Collaboration is a key theme as these women engage with local authorities and partner with NGOs, governmental bodies, and international organizations. These partnerships open doors to training programs, financial support, and market linkages.

“As women groups, we have partnered with organizations such as Anglican Development Service ADS, which promotes agriculture in Kakamega County,” Rose highlights.

Their collective efforts have elevated not only individual farmers but also positioned Kakamega County as a beacon of sustainable agriculture.

As women celebrate the International Women’s Day, women of Kakamega County plan to celebrate their inclusion in different avenues from politics and leadership to agriculture and food security, showcasing tangible impacts and inspiring a new generation of women to break free from traditional constraints.

In Kakamega County, the narrative is evolving, one harvest at a time. Through resilience, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability, these women sow the seeds of change, cultivating not just crops but a future where women lead the way in Kakamega’s agricultural revolution.

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