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Women Farmers Association of Uganda (WFAU)

We use power of grassroot associations to organize, train and facilitate market linkages for women to engage into sustainable farming.

Photo of Macklean

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Uganda is an agriculture-based economy and is regarded as a food basket in the Eastern African region. Agriculture accounts for approximately 24 % of GDP. 81 % of the female labor force and 67 % of men work in the sector. Despite the main role played by women in agriculture, it is estimated that only 7 % of them own and control the use of land. Women’s rights tend to be limited to access, whereas men are more inclined to enjoy the ownership rights and ultimately control the proceeds from the land. Uganda received a score of 1 (complete inequality) in the ‘access to land’ SIGI 2012 dimension. Women working in agriculture are more likely not to be paid than those working in non-agricultural work (36 % compared with 4 %). The domains that contribute most to women’s disempowerment in agriculture are lack of leadership in the community and time burden, with control over resources making the third largest contribution to their disempowerment. Women Farmers Association of Uganda works to improve the lives of women through attracting and engaging them in commercial farming. Women Farmers Association of Uganda shall achieve its objectives through a series of activities which include; facilitating the formation of grassroot women’s associations, conducting agronomic trainings to women farmers grassroot associations in their legal rights, group dynamics, block farming, financial literacy, good agronomic practices, post harvest handling and management to enable them start practicing agriculture as a business, conduct annual exhibitions where women will be able to showcase their agricultural products for marketing purposes, conduct annual awards for successful women in agriculture to increase creativity among women, mobilize women into groups for block farming; link the block farmers to financial and insurance institutions. All these activities will lead to increased access to land and finance among women in agriculture hence leading to improved women's incomes and livelihoods.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are women in agriculture

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Most organizations that work to support women in Uganda are not impact oriented, all they do is reach out to communities, get a big number of women and undertake them into just a one or two days workshop and expect them to acquire the necessary skills to develop their enterprises which has proven unsuccessful.

The uniqueness in our idea lies in our approach that addresses challenges that limit women’s engagement into agriculture as a business such as limited rights to land, lack of farming skills, limited capital and better markets by offering extensive training to women in their legal rights to land, good agronomic practices, group dynamics, financial literacy, post harvest handling, value addition and record keeping, support them with inputs to set up demonstration farms, link them to better markets, guarantee them to access soft loans and use innovative approaches like social media platforms,mobile phones,on farm training and workshops to provide agricultural extension services.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The Women's Farmers Association of Uganda is an umbrella organization for women in agriculture in Uganda. Its mandate is to lobby and advocate for an enabling environment that promotes women's engagement in agriculture as a business. Women Farmers Association of Uganda focuses on lobby and advocacy for women’s inclusion in the agricultural sector policies and agribusiness development of womens’ enterprises. Our ultimate goal is to improve women's livelihoods through agriculture.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

As a young woman from the rural village, tradition didn’t allow me, to own land to farm. Whenever I got permission to farm from my husband,he always took control over the profits and undertook decisions on how to spend income from the harvests. I was always challenged whenever I could use the money without his permission first. After attending empowerment training I realized that women can have the same rights to land as men hence formation of WFAU to empower women to demand their full rights.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Planet is impacted by climate change caused by human activities like agriculture. Agricultural activities has reduced forest cover by 46.9 percent over a period of 20 years that has led to a change in the weather patterns and altered farming seasons hence making it difficult for farmers to predict planting seasons leading to a decline agricultural production in Uganda.
Peace is influenced by policies and political representation. Women are not equally represented in decision making bodies in Uganda. In local government, men are represented six times more than women meaning that women's issues are not effectively presented when making policies.
Prosperity is determined by the control of means of production. In Uganda, agriculture accounts for 22.9 % of GDP. 81 % of the female labor force and 67 % of men work in the sector.Despite the main role played by women in agriculture, it is estimated that only 7 % of them own and control the use of it hence limiting their economic development.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

In implementing our project activities we work with different partners and these include:
1. Research institutions/organizations to help us to generate the necessary data about the status and the conditions of women in their communities.
2. Gender based organizations for advocating for enabling environment in agriculture.
3. Legal Aid organizations for offering legal information, guidance and support to marginalised women in their communities.
4 Donors for financing our project activities.
3. Financial institutions like Banks and insurance companies for credit facilities and other financial services.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Our biggest strength lies in the willingness and commitment of women to work together to bring a complete change of their present situation. Our first call to form this association, we received 317 women from all parts of country and these went ahead to form district and grassroot women farmers associations. Currently we have a total of 434 grassroot associations serving 500,000members from all regions of Uganda within one and a half years of establishment,why?; Because there is a need.

Geographic Focus

Both rural and urban farming communities of Uganda

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

36 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
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Attachments (2)

A POSITION PAPER OF WOMEN FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF UGANDA ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE..pdf

Document describing the status of women in Uganda and Women Farmers Association of Uganda,s aims and objectives towards improving women's livelihoods

WOMEN FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF UGANDA POLICY PAPER ON WOMEN..pdf

A document describing the roles of women in Ugandan communities, economic and social constraints women face and activities that Women Farmers Association intends to carry out in order to help them in growing, marketing, adapting, caring, connecting and leading.

14 comments

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Photo of SIMN Global
Team

how will this idea combat legal pathways of women in society? how do you foresee this idea impacting the acceptance of independent and empowered women in society? backlash or welcome?

Photo of Macklean
Team

Hi SIMN Global!

By training women to know their legal rights is a pathway to women's legal empowerment. And as for acceptance, this is a membership association that was formed by women and led by women themselves, how will they not welcome an organization which they them selves have formed.

Photo of Ezra Jay
Team

Good Work Macklean, It seems that you are on the correct track.
You mention deforestation, I am sure that some of your women are planting trees if so I would love to connect as we may be able to offer some support.
I've sent you an email and would love to connect.

Photo of Macklean
Team

Thanks Ezra, Yes we have women planting trees in our project and it will be great to connect with you. Will check out my email and revert. Thanks for the good work as well

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