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Summary Report

summary-of-the-womens-conference-on-the-sadc-raiip-2017

1. Introduction The

1. Introduction The Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) convened the third annual Regional Smallholder Women’s Farmer Conference on 1 st February 2017. The third Regional Women’s Smallholder Farmers Gender Conference was under the theme: “Influencing and Monitoring the SADC Regional Agricultural Investment Plan with Gender Lenses”. The conference was about deliberating on the implementation of the SADC RAP Investments and Implementation Plan for the benefit of women smallholder farmers, the youth and poor men in the region. The conference was attended by about 50 women farmers, youth and men from eight SADC countries namely: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tanzania, Seychelles, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Other participants came as far as Kenya and Uganda, as DRC, Madagascar and Rwanda could not make due to visa challenges to South Africa. The resource person was Mr. Martin Muchero, the SADC Regional Agriculture Policy (SADC RAP) Coordinator from the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana. The resource person shared updates on the RAIIP as well as near future activities including the funding mechanism as well as the established SADC Development Funds. The conference also enabled smallholder women farmers to increase their knowledge and confidence in regional and national agriculture policies emanating from the Malabo Goals and Commitments to be realized by 2025 by African countries. The conferences have been supported by the Southern Africa Trust whose representative Ms. Christabel Phiri made valuable remarks about the importance of women in agriculture. The opening speech was done by the ESAFF Vice Chairperson, Ms. Flora Maswanganyi – farmer woman from Limpopo in South Africa. 2 | P a g e

2. Conference relevance and objectives The 3 rd Regional Women smallholder farmers’ conference was organized on the backdrop of the fact that women who constitute about 65% of the rural population continue to play an important role in our societies. Women are the ones involved in primary agricultural production for improved livelihoods, food security and nutrition and sovereignty, income and employment creation. Women also are custodian of local seeds, plants and soils and are affected most by policies, plans and budgets although are not always in the decision tables. Over the years SADC and Africa as the whole, have started acknowledging the role being played by women in agricultural activities. This is exemplified by the SADC RAP and its Investment Plan that acknowledges that women are important in agricultural activities especially in the rural areas. The conference came up to honour women in the SADC region for their important role in the entire agricultural value chain. This conference, like the other two, provided women with a platform to engage in a face to face dialogue among themselves, the SADC FANR Directorate and other CSOs in the region. In broader terms the conference had the following objectives: To enhance awareness of women smallholder farmers on the implementation and monitoring of the SADC RAP, SADC RAP Result Framework and SADC Investment Plan Provide gender perspectives to the SADC RAP Investment and Implementation Plan as it kicks off this year to 2021, To identify and map roles of women smallholder farmers in influencing the SADC RAP Investment and Implementation plan at regional and national level 3 | P a g e

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