Like in many areas of the developing world, women in Nepal face intimidating economic, social, political and cultural barriers when seeking to make a positive contribution to society.
About Family Strengthening for Female Farmers
The Rosie May Foundation, in partnership with SAHAS Nepal, is supporting a female farmer’s cooperative to expand their activities and to further embed the collective into the local community. Close to the Chitwan National Park in the south of Nepal, this group of inspirational women have established a cooperative group to empower them economically and to challenge cultural norms. The group of 189 members currently coordinate agricultural income generating programmes.
We have delivered:
- The construction a lift drinking water and irrigation system.
- 30,000-water reservoir tank and a 7,000-litre reservoir tank
- 21 plastic greenhouses
The women have faced opposition from the local police as well as having to deal with the disbelief of men in the local community for performing these roles. But, things are beginning to change as males in the community have seen the success of the group and are now actively supporting the cooperative’s work.
Why is Family Strengthening for Female Farmers needed ?
- 1 in 4 people in Nepal live below the poverty line with many struggling to feed themselves and their families (United Nations World Food Programme).
- Approximately 5 million people in Nepal are undernourished (United Nations World Food Programme).
- 31% of households are female headed (World Bank).
- 37% of women in Nepal are married before the age of 18, meaning they often remain at home while husbands go to work (Asia Development Bank).
The project aims to:
Empower women through agricultural activities for income generation purposes so they can support themselves and their families.
Educate women to increase their knowledge and skills so they can work towards their selling targets in an efficient and sustainable manner.
Enable women to take a leading role within their households and to positively contribute to the economic development of the local community.
Family strengthening for Female Farmers works towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:
Family Strengthening for Female Farmers fits the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC):
Article 2 – Non-Discrimination
Article 3 – Best interests of the Child
Article 6 – The right to life
Article 9 – Right to a family life
Article 27 – An adequate standard of living
Article 28 – The right to a quality education
Sumaiya used to get by selling homemade alcohol. When she joined the cooperative, she took out a loan of 600,000 NRS (£4,100) to buy herself a cow and to makeover her house. A cow used to cost 40,000 NRS (£270) and can now cost 100,000 NRS (£680). Thanks to her incredibly hard work and with the support of fellow members of the collective, Sumaiya now has ten cows and has paid back half her original loan. On seeing the success of his mother, Sumaiya’s son has returned from Kuwait and is joining the family business by building a floor on the house for chickens.
What next for the Female Farmers?
Over the next year we are planning to build a 2nd floor of the community building where the collective is currently selling produce. We are anticipating that 500 small holder farming families will see the benefits of lower prices for produce sold by the collective and the 189 members of the collective will benefit from higher, more sustainable incomes