RUNDU - Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and representatives from the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) were the recipients of a capacity-building workshop training on mainstreaming gender in agriculture programmes/activities held recently in Rundu, Kavango East.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office in Namibia provided the training.
“Gender is critical in agriculture because you cannot have food security unless we take into account the different needs and realities of women and men, so this training touched on gender mainstreaming and issues to do with gender-based violence, prevention of sexual exploitation along with abuse in regard to agriculture,” explained the FAO workshop facilitator Robert Basil, who is an expert in rural development and agriculture, based in Nairobi, Kenya.
“The participants were from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) from across the country and we also had representatives from NNFU. It was a group of extension officers, some senior government officials and a number of officials involved in monitoring and evaluation within MAWF, it was a well representative training,” he said.
The government recognises that gender equality is central to achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development for all its citizens, as well as ensuring food and nutrition security.
“The participants are the right team and we do presume that the message in regard to gender-based violence and how it relates to agriculture, that they will be able to articulate it and implement it into their activities and programs,” Robert noted.
According to FAO major gaps still exist in programming for gender equality, which can be ascribed to high levels of poverty among rural female-headed households, limited sex disaggregated data and limited knowledge and skills of staff to mainstream gender. The two-day workshop was held in Rundu on August 21-22 at a conference centre at a local hotel with 41 participants drawn from MAWF and two from the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU).