Farming schemes feed the family
ActionAid’s cooperative farming schemes provides a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable women in Rwanda. Single mum-of-two Beatrice, orphaned by the genocide, was made a slave by her uncle and cast out when she was pregnant, with no means to survive.
“When I joined the cooperative I was given a cow and seeds to plant vegetables and herbs. The cow means I have fertiliser for my garden and my children always have milk. We sell the rest.”
For everything the women sell, they put a percentage back into the communal fund. This means everyone can get food when they need it. They have built a self-sustaining business, where women stand strong together.
As Beatrice says: “I know my rights now. For example if cows come and eat my crops, I can report the owner to the local authority even if they [the owner] are a man.”
Women reclaim their land in Malawi
In Malawi, women farmers produce 70% of the country’s food. Despite women inheriting land from their mothers, men often grab it from them, taking the largest cut of the profits.
“My brother tried to steal land from my us when he brought his new wife to the village”, says Zenia. “Traditionally we do not question male relatives, so I felt powerless to stop him.”
So Zenia joined an ActionAid women’s group where she learned about her legal rights and how to assert them. She worked with community members and successfully reclaimed her land.
ActionAid’s work on hunger in numbers: in 2016
Women in 24 countries gained more control of the land they farm, as well as access to water and other natural resources 1
Grant from the European Union for a cash transfer programme in Lesotho to support communities affected by El Niño ￼2
Farmers in 25 countries practised climate-resilient farming methods 3
Ending hunger with sustainable farming
We aim to end hunger – for good. Millions of women rely on farming for food and income, but unpredictable and extreme weather is making farming increasingly difficult. Floods and droughts, rising sea levels and unpredictable seasons are causing harvests to fail.
So we train women farmers in resilient farming and fishing techniques, including soil conservation, crop diversity, seed banks and water management.
Read about how we’re supporting seaweed farmers in the Philippines to produce sustainable harvests.
Tackling the impacts of climate change
As floods, droughts, typhoons and other climate-related emergencies become more frequent, people living in the most vulnerable places are finding it even harder to farm and earn a living. The poorer people are, the harder it is to recover from the effects of climate change.
ActionAid is supporting millions of people with new, climate-proof ways of farming, like table gardening, or using salt-resistant seeds and heat-resilient livestock so they are better armed to cope with the massive weather changes.
El Niño and the current food crisis
El Niño, the naturally occurring warming of oceans, combined with climate change, is having a devastating impact on people in the world’s poorest places.
El Nino-driven drought and storms have left a staggering 60 million people around the world facing crop failures and worsening hunger
ActionAid is working in Ethiopia, Somaliland, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, feeding people who are on the verge of starvation and helping them tackle the problem in the long term.
Below, Amina from Somaliland describes the impact that the drought is having on her life.