Validation workshop held for women and agriculture

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BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE

SPC Consultant, Mrs Ruth Maetala

THE contribution of women to the agriculture sector is immeasurable, and this was reflected on by responsible ministries and stakeholders in a workshop yesterday.

Officials from the ministries of women (MWYCFA) and agriculture (MAL) attended the “Gender in Agriculture in Rural Livelihoods” workshop at Hyundai Mall’s Kairos conference room.

Speaking to Island Sun SPC consultant Ruth Maetala said the workshop which is supported by SPC, ADB and FAO is to validate information from field research carried out on Malaita and Guadalcanal provinces in February.

“Information from the research will be used to inform policies of FAO and SPC on how they can work with SIG under the Agriculture sector,” she said.

Mrs Maetala mentioned that two teams were sent to the provinces by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL).

Whilst presenting her findings from field study she conducted in Malaita province, she spoke of how much women in the province are engaged in agriculture to the extent that they have to juggle both farm commitment and household responsibilities day in and day out.

Maetala also highlighted how women’s participation in agriculture impacts their relationship.

She explained that in North Malaita, a place most often negatively perceived, the case of women and their partners working together is evident.

Maetala said that they came across a couple who shared roles when it comes to toiling soil in the sun and in this sense she explained that while the woman would be busy in her farm her husband on the other hand had his own farm to look after.

She added that both of them would then earn their own incomes.

Maetala furthered that the case study also found out that cash crop is something that determines what people plant for their family.

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