BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
WATERMELON is helping empower women in north Malaita, it is said.
This changes the whole dynamics of agriculture and women are more empowered, said SPC consultant, Mrs Ruth Maetala when speaking at the “Gender in Agriculture in Livelihoods” workshop last Thursday at the Kairos conference room, Hyundai mall.
Speaking of her experience in conducting field research in north Malaita, she stressed on how watermelon farming in Kakara village is empowering women.
Maetala added that income women earn from their watermelon farms are used to pay for their children’s secondary school fees, university tuition, iron roofs for their houses, water tanks and solar.
She also mentioned that they also use the income to pay for farm labor.
In relation, Maetala stated that just from their watermelon farms they can earn up to as much as $20,000.
While watermelon farms are bringing in a handsome income for the women, it however has an impact on subsistence farming she stressed.
Maetala furthered that she also found that women allocated more land for their watermelon farms while leave little to plant crops for food consumption.