Liberia: WASUDEV Trains Women in Agribusiness – Calls On Them to Be Innovative
Women in Agriculture for Sustainable Development (WASUDEV) has ended a day-long capacity-building training for women in agriculture in Paynesville City.
The Women in Agriculture for Sustainable Development (WASUDEV) has been supporting women’s agricultural activities by working with most small-scale farmers and farming groups.
The training which was held under the theme: “Grooming successful women agribusiness leaders” brought together women from across Paynesville and Johnsonville respectively.
Women in Agriculture for Sustainable Development is a local nongovernmental that works in rural communities to improve the living conditions of women and girls through human solidarity, agribusiness development that creates prosperity, local economy, empowerment for peace, security, and women’s representation in decision-making.
Speaking Thursday, November 24, 2022, at a one-day agribusiness training workshop for women in Paynesville, Deputy Gender Minister, Madam Alice Johnson-Howard urged women most especially women in agriculture to join forces in producing more food.
According to Minister Howard, a nation that cannot feel itself is a dead nation; noting that Liberia has land and everything that they need to produce enough food and be able to supply the world with food.
“I am very happy to be part of this program today, let’s take it seriously because it is very important. now is the time for women in agriculture to stand up and get fully involved in agriculture,” she said.
She however called on the women to create innovative ideas by using their phones and skills urging them to stand up and avoid wasting time on things that would undermine their work.
In remarks, the Gender and Social Development Specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Cheryl A. Williams stressed the need for the economic empowerment of women in agriculture across Liberia.
“If women are economically empowered, the issue of violence against women and girls will be reduced in the country,” Madam Williams noted.
According to her, if women are not economically empowered, men and society will take advantage of them and their families but urged the women to take advantage of every opportunity in agriculture to be economically strong.
“There are so many grant opportunities at the Ministry of Agriculture, but Women are not taking advantage of them, now I want to appeal to you to take advantage by improving your agricultural activities,” she narrated.
For her part, the Founder of Women in Agriculture for Sustainable Development (WASUDEV)Madam Hawa Dunor Varney noted that women play a critical role in agriculture as such; they should get involve in capacity-building training to help better understand the agriculture sector and its opportunities.
“Women play a key role in linking rural and urban markets through informal networks, thereby enhancing crop production for income generation. Yet women farmers face several key structural and technical barriers that limit their access to land, information, finance, infrastructure, technologies, and markets,” She explained.
The purpose of the training according to Madam Varney is to provide women with the requisite knowledge and skills to enable them to excel in their business ventures in the agriculture sector.
“Agri-preneurs are important to market economies because they can act as the wheels of the economic growth of the country as it is in the case of Liberia where most people are involved in the sector for their livelihood.
She observed that Women can lead the sector by creating new products and services which would help create new employment, which could result in economic development and growth.
The objective of the capacity-building workshop is to explore the agribusiness sector of Liberia to learn what women and farmers can leverage.
The training brought together thirty persons, including Small-scale farmers, business owners, and university students to teach them new innovative ideas that will help improve society economically and socially.
It helps them create and develop ideas that can help solve societal problems and give them the entrepreneurial spirit with the understanding of the concepts of entrepreneurship, opportunity identification, value creation, risk management, resourcefulness, networking, sales and marketing, and financial literacy.
According to the National gender profile of agriculture and rural livelihoods 2018, Agriculture remains one of the most important areas for women to improve the livelihoods of their households.