Kyrgyz Rural Women Learn How To Gain Authority And Respect
In 2012, more than 3,000 women-headed households mobilised into 477 self-help groups and Community Seed Farms to improve agricultural production through high-yield vegetable seeds, agro-technology training and, most importantly, strengthening the participation of rural women in local development. This is how WFP ensures that vulnerable women-headed households across the country are prioritised for learning new skills that will enrich their lives through sustainable assistance.
A joint WFP, FAO and UN Women vegetable growing project proved to be effective as many Community Seed Farms developed into local NGOs that help rural women become the drivers of local development while improving their access to economic resources and services.
Thousands of women across Kyrgyzstan borrowed high-yield vegetable seeds from Community Seed Farms established with the help of WFP, FAO and UN Women. After harvest, the women will re-invest part of their proceeds to ensure seeds and other inputs are available to new participants next season.
Women from a self-help group, Ak-Monguluu (Mountains with snow-white glaciers), proudly show their winter stock of canned vegetables that will help their families to make it through the winter. This year’s harvest, thanks to agro-training arranged by WFP, FAO and UN Women, was so good that these women were able to sell and can the surplus, on top of diversifying their daily diet with fresh produce.
Women from Bereke (Delight) self-help group in Madaniyat village showcase their know-how of stocking tomatoes. They cut tomatoes they grew with the help of the WFP, FAO and UN Women project into small pieces, let them dry under the sun and then keep dried tomatoes in jars, tins or bags for use during the harsh winters.
Dried tomatoes and other vegetables women stocked during summer harvest months will help them ensure their families have adequate vitamin intake during the harsh winter. WFP assessments continue to reveal that diets of food-insecure families exclusively consist of cereals, oils and sugar. Dried vegetables will be a valuable addition to their table.
Women from self-help groups often meet to exchange experiences, best practices and … compete for better produce.
At a WFP distribution point, women easily organise themselves and assign roles, from registering food cards, to keeping an eye on distribution, to waiting in queue.
WFP’s vitamin-enriched cooking oil is one of the greatest incentives for women to learn new cultivation schemes. Prices for this staple food commodity remain so high that the ration of 16 litres of cooking oil that each woman brings home is very valuable.
A joint WFP, FAO and UN Women project aimes to improve agricultural production in rural Kyrgyz regions through high-yield vegetable seeds, agro-technology training and, most importantly, strengthening the participation of rural women in local development.