Mahila: Women and Farming as a Business, Nepal 

Full Title: Promoting agricultural entrepreneurship among disadvantaged women in the Rasuwa, Nepal

Location: Dandagaun, Thulogaun and Ramche, Rasuwa District

Period :  2014–2018

Beneficiairies : 800 people from 140 families

Local partner: SAHAS

P8 - Training to NFE facilitaor 6

This project aims to improve the lives of women in the remote, mountainous region of Rasuwa, Nepal, by supporting farming activities.

Background

The project north of Kathmandu, is a particularly poor region in Nepal. Only a fraction of the land is suitable for agriculture and grazing, however 89% of the population comprises men and women farmers, struggling to meet the basic needs of their families.

In this region, life is even harder for women confronted by sex discrimination. Following the migration of men to the cities in search of work, women are responsible for more than 85% of all agricultural work. However, no matter how hard they work, their income remains pitiful or non-existant. Widespread discrimination prevents them from sustainably improving their living conditions.

Due to a traditionally patriarchal system, women farmers are often denied access to public and economic life, and tend to have a very limited access to education, health services and information. In addition to their intensive agricultural work, they are also constrained by heavy domestic and care duties, leading to long workdays of up to 16 hours. This affects their health and the well-being of their families, but also has an impact on the rest of society in terms of loss of production and economic growth.

Objective

The objective of this project is to promote agricultural entrepreneurship among disadvantaged women in the three villages of Rasuwa: Thulogaun, Dandagaun and Ramche. Accordingly, Norlha has formulated a comprehensive strategy aimed at addressing the economic, strategic and practical issues that women farmers encounter. The project seeks to enhance the economic potential of women, while reducing their practical constraints, especially those related to drudgery. A component is also devoted to education and capacity building of women farmers.

Project beneficiaries include 120 women and 80 men. Their families – around 800 people – will directly benefit from the project though a facilitated access to resources and increased incomes of women farmers. Various awareness-raising activities will help them to improve their living conditions (more balanced diet, more equitable gender roles and improved health). Many other families in the region will also benefit from our action indirectly with the spillover of knowledge and techniques, and the overall development of the economic activity. In total, our intervention will benefit more than 2,000 individuals.

Finally, this project has been created to complement Norlha’s “Kheti Rasuwa” focused on strengthening food security and incomes of the most vulnerable families in the Rasuwa district. It aims to reduce the constraints faced by women farmers in order to allow them to fully benefit from the “Kheti Rasuwa”.

Outcomes

The economic potential of women farmers is enhanced as a result of access to suitable financial services and strengthened knowledge on business, finance and land ownership issues. Women farmers are empowered to take action through education programmes, the creation of networks and awareness-raising activities for men and women on gender equality.

Practical constraints faced by women farmers are reduced though technologies that allow them to better access resources such as water and electricity and facilitate their daily agricultural and domestic tasks that are particularly strenuous.

The health of women farmers and their families is improved through training activities on nutrition, health issues and prevention against disease and malnutrition.

For more information about this project, please contact us at partnerships@norlha.org.

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