Launch of Economic Empowerment of Women through Climate Smart Agriculture

Launch of Economic Empowerment of Women through Climate Smart Agriculture

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia on Wednesday, 20th January, 2021 presided over the launch of “Kenya Economic Empowerment of Women through Climate Smart Agriculture in Arid & Semi-Arid Areas” program. This is a four- year program funded by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and jointly implemented by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and UN Women.

The program aims to strengthen women’s capacity to meaningfully engage in Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and will be piloted in the three Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties of Laikipia, West Pokot and Kitui.

Prof. Kobia noted that the objectives of the programme, are aligned to relevant Government policies and will augment and advance women empowerment and gender equality program and contribute to overall economic growth.

She observed that the Agriculture sector has high employment potential and is capable of absorbing many women who are currently faced with high unemployment rates.

The Cabinet Secretary noted that Kenya’s Vision 2030, identifies agriculture as one of the key movers to deliver the 10 per cent annual economic growth rate envisaged under the economic pillar.

In her remarks Prof. Kobia called on partners to address an emerging gender threat before it snowballs into a bigger problem – the empowerment of the boy child. “As we continue to empower the woman we should also ensure we are not leaving anyone behind. As we empower the girl child we must equally empower the boy child in order to develop stronger and better families for the communities and the nation at large,” she urged.

UN Women Kenya Country Director Ms. Anna Mutavati on her part said the project would keep the gender equality agenda going forward despite the COVID-19 global challenge. “It is paramount that, in a country where women feature so heavily in agriculture, climate smart programmes are tailored to their needs,” she added.

FAO representative to Kenya Ms. Carla Mucavi noted that they recognize that food security starts and ends with women, who account for 60-75 percent of the labour force in smallholder agriculture in Kenya, as well as in many other countries in Africa.

“It is therefore very crucial to leave no one behind in the quest to attaining food and nutrition security for all,” she said.

She said FAO is working in collaboration with UN Women in this project as a strategic partnership to realise the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that focus on gender equality (SDG 5), zero hunger (SDG 2), no poverty (SDG 1) and climate action (SDG 13) among many other national, regional and global goals.

Among development partners present included H.E Choi Yeonghan, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kenya; and Ms. Judy Matu, CEO, Kenya Association of Women in Agriculture, among others.

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