15 August 2017

Rwanda: Chinese Embassy Donates U.S.$30,000 to Empower Women in Climate Resilient Agriculture

Photo: New Times
Fatou Aminata Lo, the country representative of UN Women and Chinese ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hungwei sign the documents for the grant.

The Chinese embassy has donated 30,000 dollars (Rwf24,900,000) to empower women in climate resilient and smart agriculture.

The donation, that was extended to the women through UN Women Rwanda, aims at helping about three women corporatives in four districts of Gatsibo, Nyagatare, Muhanga, and Nyanza to strengthen their resilience against the effects of climate change.

The corporatives are joined together under a project dubbed "Buy from women Rwanda," a scheme sponsored by the Chinese embassy and implemented by the UN Women Rwanda.

The project, that started in July last year, supports 3,000 small-holder farmers by facilitating their linkages to other actors within the agriculture value chain, by increasing the gender responsiveness of farmers' corporatives and by strengthening farmers' capacities to use efficient, climate smart production and post-harvest handling techniques.

The project uses a mobile digital platform to connect women farmers to quality information, markets and financial services and to allow women farmers to establish themselves as economic entities through the creation of verifiable digital production and sales records.

It provides training through interactive workshops, and training sessions for the beneficiaries to increase their understanding of gender concepts within agriculture, climate-smart agriculture techniques, and the use of the digital platform itself aiming at reducing the gender gap in agriculture in terms of access to market information, technical skills and financial and productive inputs.

The ambassador of China to Rwanda, Rao Hungwei lauded the women empowerment spirit in the country as one of the best in the world and expressed the enthusiasm to be part of it.

"In China, the late Chairman Mao said that women hold up half the sky, but in Rwanda women hold more than half the sky," he said.

Receiving the donation, Fatou Aminata Lo, the country representative of UN Women, recognised the various efforts geared towards women empowerment in the country as she called for more efforts in form of economic investment in women.

"This is a country that has tremendous potential in making women empowerment a reality, the commitment is there at the highest level, we have all the laws and the policies. The only thing missing is implementing all those laws and policies and investing in women empowerment. The financing aspect is extremely important.

"Political representation is excellent: 64 per cent of women representation in Lower House, 38 in Senate, 45 in the justice and 43 in government. When it comes to economic empowerment, we need to do a bit more and we will be looking forward to your support in that. We need to do a bit more to make sure that women farmers in particular have access to more resources," she said.

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