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CTAflash workshop on women in agriculture: More than sharing experiences and what works

Women all over the world – farmers and entrepreneurs have been the center of discussion in many international settings today. The point of discussion has been on how we can contribute to fair conditions for women farmers and entrepreneurs so that they can also benefit from the hard work they put into production. As Clare nicely puts it in her article “…moving beyond the jargon” so as to show not only what works but what do not work, for lessons to be drawn. So, this workshop has come and gone but what was the takeaways from this workshop for EAL?

Putting Women Farmers First in Agriculture: Workshop Proper

The workshop was organised by CTA and partners as part of their four activities of making agriculture more beneficial to ACP countries. In this third workshop on gender, the idea was for participants to talk about their experiences in working with women in agriculture so that it will be entry points for designing “models for making next generation ACP agriculture work for women”. It was all about looking at the challenges for women in agriculture and the opportunities that lies ahead of them to make it in agriculture. Participants at the conference came from all works of life, agribusinesses, information service providers, consultants, policy makers, researchers all having direct links to the agriculture value chain with women. We were one of the participants and regarding this conference, we facilitate markets and funding linkages between smallholder producer groups in Africa and buyers and financial service providers in Europe. In addition, we walk cooperatives and smallholder famers through the criteria to see if they meet them and how to assist them to do so. And we do that hassle free. At EAL, we believe that without the sharing of timely and relevant information to those that need it, no meaningful changes can ever take place that can impact people’s lives.

How It All Went Down

In the opening speech, the Director of CTA Mr Michael Hailu reminded participants about the focus of the day which was about how to engage and ensure more opportunities for women, so that they have a fair share of the benefits of agriculture and value addition. Mr Peter Ballantyne headed the facilitated team at the workshop. During the workshop, we listened, discussed, got some explanations and wrote down our experiences. At the end we shook hands for the friendship and good collaboration during the conference.


Takeaways From The Gender Workshop

Although all the organisations that participated had a link to women farmers and entrepreneurs in agriculture, it serves as an eye opener and game changer to us at EAL about some of the issues that women face in this lucrative agriculture sector like socio-cultural, ICT. This has motivated us to even do more for our small-scale famers in Africa.

Beside the inside gain about women issues from the talented women and men that attended the workshop, the workshop to EAL went beyond the expectation. It was also a business networking to us as we connected with some of the powerful organisations at the workshop.

Finally, it was a win – win as we shared our experiences and equally learned from others. Even more important, we made long lasting friendship with very intelligent and aspiring women and men. This will forever stay in our hearts. To us, the workshop was funny, inspiring, interesting and relevant to women today.
Thanks to CTA for organising this workshop on women in agriculture in ACP countries. For us at EuroAfri Link, it was a huge success and the lessons learned will be a game changer in our future approach to sharing information about markets and funding with our small-scale women famers and entrepreneurs in Africa! It was a pleasure to  join voices to create impact for women in agriculture especially smallholder famers. We are looking forward to more collaboration and creating even bigger impact in 2019!

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Patience Chindong is an independent consultant  from WUR and co-founder of EuroAfri Link – EAL, connecting products, businesses and students.

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