Govt empowers 75,000 female farmers


By Nation Reporter

ABOUT 75,000 female farmers have been empowered to improve the agriculture sector in Zambia, says Ministry of Gender permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale.

Ms Mutale said the move would go a long way in expanding the entrepreneurship horizon as a strategy for creating jobs as well as growing the tax base through distribution of tractors to women.

She said the PF Government would also build 20 housing units, a district hospital and council offices in every district that had been established.

Ms Mutale said that provision of tractors to empower women would facilitate cultivation of more land as opposed to manual hand hoes to till the land.

“We are targeting 75, 000 female farmers who we want to help build sustainable lives and enhance the Social Cash Transfer mechanism.

“We believe that building hospitals closer to the people will help fight maternal death and fistula diseases which come as a result of early marriages,” she said.

And ActionAid country director Nalucha Ziba said Zambia had a lot of empowerment policies such as the social cash transfer, which did not reach intended families and individuals.

She explained that women who owned the land did not have money to develop it, saying such women resorted to depending on their husbands instead of supplementing their spouses’ efforts.

Ms Ziba said the social cash transfer was designed to empower business persons especially women in the informal sector and everyday livelihood, a lack which increased poverty levels.

She said Zambia must improve socio-economic interventions to better the livelihood of the people.

“A research on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region and Zambia in particular indicates that policies addressing issues of violence against women, social protection, and land rights have not been adequately attended to,” she said.

She said ActionAid Zambia would be inviting the media to witness the projects it had been pushing in an effort to supplement Government efforts.