While women account for a growing share in agricultural sector, yet, women are more vulnerable to negative effects of environmental damage caused by unsustainable agricultural practices. Tackling this, ARCOS and partners joined efforts with the community to restore one of its focal landscape-the Rukeli which has been suffering from the negative effects of extreme weather events and climate change, and outdated farming practices in uphill farmlands.
ARCOS is currently partnering with women to champion restoration of this landscape through the promotion of sustainable agriculture and other good practices. Through the SDGP1014RW Project, on 26th April 2022, ARCOS organized a farmer field school of 37 representatives from seven farmer women groups at Sina Gerard’s Enterprise Urwibutso’s model farm.
The farmer field school served as an occasion to share hands-on examples of agricultural good practices and set of activities that bring a basic agricultural product mainly fruits and vegetables from production in the field to final consumption, where at each stage value is added to the product.
Nyirambarushimana Agathe. a, was among the 37 women who paid a visit to Sina Gerard’ Enterprise Urwibutso’s model farm. “I was impressed to see how the value of farm products is increased in various way.” Said E. She added that as a smallholder farmer, she got an inspiration of embracing cash crop instead of practicing subsistence farming.
Gilbert Micomyiza, Project Coordinator under the SDGP1014RW Project, emphasized that this farmer field school was indeed needed. “These farmers have been trained on sustainable agriculture land management practices, so this was a good occasion to showcase them the fruit of good practices.” Said Gilbert.
It is important to note that the majority of the seven women groups members rely on tea picking as a source of income and their small farms provide for need of their family need.