FANRPAN and Gates Foundation Announce 3-year Project for Rural African Women Farmers

The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), led by Farming First’s Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda, has announced a three-year pilot project to help women farmers in Southern Africa influence agricultural policy development.

The programme has been funded by a $900,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and will be presented at the annual FANRPAN Regional Policy Dialogue and Annual General Meeting held in Maputo, Mozambique in September 2009.

The pilot projects will be based in Malawi and Mozambique and will help to amplify the voices of women farmers in policy decisions at the national and regional levels.  These projects will also then help women access the tools and technologies — such as better seeds, adequate fertilizer, extension services, and access to credit — that these realigned markets will provide.

FANRPAN’s involvement across 13 Southern African countries will help it to partner with other Gates Foundation grantees to create deeper linkages within the communities where their pilot projects will take place.  The lessons learned from these pilots will then be incorporated and extended into programmes for other Southern and East African countries.