Report reveals lack of training for women farmers in developing countries
New Report Reveals Lack of Appropriate Training for Women Smallholders in Developing Countries
CSD Calls for a More Focused Approach to Development Skills to Stamp Out Poverty and Save Lives
Over half of the worlds agricultural producers are women, yet men still receive more and better training. A report released today highlights the need for agricultural and enterprise training for women smallholders to ensure poverty is reduced in developing countries.
Training for Rural Development: Agriculture and Enterprise Skills for Women is the first report issued by the City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development (CSD) that focuses on rural development. It investigates the kinds of training that empower rural women to respond successfully to the key challenges they face such as low literacy levels and multiple domestic obligations, and demonstrates the appropriate training that needs to be implemented.
Research shows that giving women farmers the same inputs and education as men could increase yields by 20% ; despite this women continue to receive only a small proportion of the appropriate training compared to men. CSD's report has been launched in response to growing concern around the lack of skills development for women smallholders. By bringing together existing literature on the challenges women face and drawing out lessons from successful projects in India and Ghana the report makes key recommendations for training going forward that is tailored to suit women.
The recommendations propose a more focused approach to training ensuring that projects effectively engage with women and their current challenges, use existing community structures, introduce new skills in manageable stages and work with local government structures to ensure long term change.
Commenting on the report, Nalin Jena, World Bank, said: 'In India, like many developing nations, agriculture is one of the keys to reducing poverty. The challenge of providing effective training for rural development is critical. A large proportion of India's agricultural producers are women and yet their training needs are often overlooked. This report brings out lessons demonstrating that training can make a difference to the livelihoods of rural women and its findings have real implications for the priorities and policies of international and national donors and policy makers as far as skills development in unorganized sector is concerned.'
Trainers from the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for example, recently ran training sessions that found illiteracy and low education levels to be a major issues in terms of learning skills such as record keeping and managing finances.
One trainer said: "The women find it difficult to manage money. They forget what comes from where. By organising training to manage businesses as a group, the women become accountable to each other and overcome this barrier."
By addressing the challenges that women smallholders face, training ultimately becomes more effective.
Kathleen Collett, one of the report's authors, said "With this report we want to encourage policy makers and development agencies to put more effort into focusing on women agricultural workers. We think more funding should go to that area and we also need to see projects using those funds to approach training and challenges more effectively".
For more information and to download a full version of the report, go to: http://t4rd.skillsdevelopment.org/default.aspx
About CSD: The City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development is a not-for-profit research and development body which is committed to improving the policy and practice of work related education and training internationally. It aims to achieve its vision of a world in which all people have access to the skills they need for economic and individual prosperity. To do this, it works worldwide with policy makers, employers, training providers and learners to share knowledge and help to lead the debate on policy and practice. It is a part of the City & Guilds Group.