Improving Productivity of Women Smallholders Through Capacity Building

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In Uganda, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience (MRR) in collaboration with International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) through ALL-IN grant are funding the Strengthening Women Smallholders’ Resilience to Agricultural Shocks for Enhanced Income Diversification and Empowerment in Uganda project. Led by researchers from Makerere University, the project is testing a comprehensive approach to supporting women, including interventions that improve on-farm productivity, increase their resilience to shocks and increase their overall empowerment.

Recently, a total of 640 participants (320 women and 320 spouses) In Isingiro and Alebtong districts benefited from a training on business skill, Gender Transformative Approaches (GTA) and Gender Responsive Climate Smart Agriculture (GRCSA) collaboratively delivered by Makerere University, District Agricultural Officers and Community Development Officers. The project has three treatment arms and one control group in each district. There is a group receiving both the revolving fund and training, another receiving training only, third group is receiving revolving fund only and the last category is a control group which does not receive anything. The revolving fund was received by a total of 320 women (160 in each of the districts that is Alebtong and Isingiro respectively).

With support from ALL-IN, the project is providing revolving funds to selected women savings groups to boost their small-scale enterprises. These series of trainings are designed to create awareness about the gender roles, equip beneficiaries with business skills to improve their existing business or motivate them in opening up business. The training is also meant to strengthen capacity of the group structures to manage the revolving fund as intended by the project so that all the group members eventually receive the funds.

In order to increase the success rate of the revolving fund it is important to have the support of husbands at household level. Therefore, the men were invited so that they can be sensitized on the revolving fund and their role in supporting their spouses to increase or diversity household income sources,” says the Principal Investigator, Dr. Florence Muhanguzi, Makerere University.

“This project is providing insights and evidence that will help eliminate barriers to women economic empowerment,” says Dr. David Ameyaw, ICED President and CEO.

ALL-IN is funding twelve research projects in five African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria) led by twelve Principal Investigators across nine Universities.