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Brussels Briefing n. 57: Annick Sezibera "Successes by organized women smallholders"

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The Brussels Development Briefing n. 57 on “Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security and nutrition” organised by CTA, the European Commission/EuropeAid and the ACP Secretariat was held on Wednesday 11th September 2019, 9h00-13h00 at the ACP Secretariat, Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels, Room C. The Briefing discussed smallholder agriculture and its key role in delivering food security/nutrition, and sustainable food systems, as recognised in SDG 2.

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Brussels Briefing n. 57: Annick Sezibera "Successes by organized women smallholders"

  1. 1. The role of women farmers and how cooperatives improve their skills, income and access to markets Brussels Development Briefing no. 57, Sept 2019 Annick SEZIBERA CAPAD Executive Secretary
  2. 2. INTRODUCING CAPAD • CAPAD is a national farmers’ organisation that brings together:  135,814 smallholder family farm households  123 agricultural cooperatives (Cereals, Coffee, Fruit, Vegetables, Food crops, Patchouli)  72 municipalities in 17 provinces (all over the country)  73 full-time employees  Database of its members and support to agricultural partners: 48% illiterate women  2017-2021 Strategic Plan: ‘Improving and promoting agricultural production in favour of family farmers and their cooperatives’
  3. 3. CHALLENGES FACING WOMEN FARMERS IN BURUNDI • Limited capacity, illiteracy • Limited access to factors of production: land, inputs, financing, markets • Limited involvement in decision- making • Multi-functional and multi-tasking • Tough work: agricultural tools, transport, household activities • Self-discrimination • Traditions and cultures: stereotyped
  4. 4. ACTIONS BY CAPAD AND ITS PARTNERS TO IMPROVE THE PARTICIPATION AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN FARMERS Training for women and increasing their autonomy Involving women in clusters/cooperatives, supporting their participation in governing bodies Assistance for increasing production and activities to enhance the value of the support framework Facilitating access to factors of production and finance Facilitating access to markets
  5. 5. TESTIMONIES OF WOMEN FROM THE MOSO REGION IN EASTERN BURUNDI PASCASIE NDIKUMAGAMBO – farmer Cooperation to better meet the needs of everyone • Individual awareness and collective action • Activities based on cooperation • Taking responsibility and ownership of the cooperative: becoming a leader to develop the family and the community • A new impetus for informal activities • Increase in production and standard of living • Always thinking bigger and further ahead • “Life is better than it used to be, my children have a varied diet (...) if they need meat, I can give it to them.” “Before, we used to take out usurious loans at exorbitant rates. Now, I have already contracted more than 10 credits with the MUSO under proper conditions, which allows me to gradually move forward with my various projects.” Thanks to the MUSO, Espérance was able to buy a pig and a cow that supply her with organic manure.
  6. 6. TESTIMONIES OF WOMEN FROM THE MOSO REGION IN EASTERN BURUNDI: ESPÉRANCE NIZIGIYIMANA – farmer The cluster and the cooperative, generating initiatives and solidarity • Strengthening social cohesion; always setting new goals on the path to autonomy • Developing knowledge and changing methods • Diversifying sources of revenue: working in the fields in the morning, commercial activity in the afternoon • Training in income-generating activities. Today, we are making a profit. We no longer sell our production below market prices. • Income-generating activities thanks to the strength of the group: the breaking point, grouping together into a cluster, cooperative membership and the creation of a MUSO; solidarity and daily management around common agricultural activities • The MUSO has enabled the economic development of each of its members “We have set up a chain of solidarity with the members of the group. We bought a goat together and the young of each litter are distributed to the members. In the long term, we hope that each of them will be able to receive a goat.”
  7. 7. CONCLUSIONS • The cluster and the cooperative, generating initiatives, training, solidarity, mutual aid, and empowerment, enabling access to and achievement of objectives that are individually inaccessible • Improving the empowerment of women and their participation at every level “Storing our production in the cooperative's warehouse was a good way to fight against waste. This allows us to manage and control our production. You're not tempted to grab a handful of beans or corn, just to buy a beer, for example. We can now expect prices to be rewarding.”