With an increasing middle class, dairy products are in rising demand. Women outnumber men in the dairy value chain and the potential for more women producers to benefit is significant.
However, access to agricultural markets for inputs, services and outputs is poor and women have both a limited ability to engage and negotiate fair trade terms with market actors and to lobby for social services to enhance their living standards and promote their agricultural work. In addition, there is limited leadership skills and collective action among women smallholder farmers.
The prevalence of HIV and child malnutrition also puts a significant burden on women’s care work, given the continued lack of basic social services to rural communities.
The project approach involves setting multi stakeholder platforms to facilitate engagement meetings between private sector companies and producer groups and cost-sharing mechanisms with the private sector to develop products and services that respond to the needs of women smallholder farmers. In addition, working with industry associations such as dairy association of Zambia, the project will create a critical mass of women dairy farmers for more effective private sector engagement.
The project will also support women farmers with the establishment of aggregation facilities such as milk collection centers to promote commodity marketing.
Another component intended to improve women's collective action includes capacity building in leadership, assertiveness and lobbying.
In order to reduce women's care work, the project supports attitude change among men to be more supportive to women and promotes the use of labour-saving technologies such as improved braziers.
Zambia - Copperbelt Province