CTS partner ZNCC are developing a dialogue on agribusiness and women and on June 3rd they hosted a stakeholder meeting with women in agribusiness. ZNCC gathered 150 representatives from organizations to farmers and entrepreneurs at Rainbow Towers in Harare to discuss, share and be informed about what is happening and what needs to happen for women in agriculture to move forward.
Divine Ndhlukula, vice chair of ZNCC, one of the most prominent women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe was the key person is making the meeting happen.
Divine shared her view, her insights and also her dream for Zimbabwean women in agribusiness covering some of the important points such as access to Learning, Technology, Funding and Inputs, Markets. Divine continued pointing out the need for a better understanding that agriculture is a business and should be treated as such. Food security of Zimbabwe is in the hands of women, we need to push the attitude towards allowing women to also inherit farms and teach our daughters!
“Networking is a great need – a lot of programmes and things are being given but are not tapped into” – Participant at the Women in Agribusiness Stakeholder meeting by Zimbabwe Chamber
The stakeholder meeting really managed to address the big issues for women in agribusiness. There are a large number of organizations focusing on women in agriculture (some are focused on agribusiness), but little cooperation between them. Many women are involved in several but seems still cannot find bridges between the different organizations. There are also numerous programs that addresses agriculture – but a gap in the link between the actual performers in agriculture and the business side of agribusiness.
One participants put it like this – “Access to information, training etc is a big issue – not the lack of information or possibility for training”
ZNCC as well as the newly started AWAN-ZIM can both play important roles closing these gaps making information available, creating meeting points and use the strength of numbers to scale up and reach markets.
Sofie Wikander, Programme Manager