Rural women farmers demand more land

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

RURAL women have demanded some more agricultural land from government arguing they were more productive than men who just own the land.

The call came out of the just ended 6th Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA) annual meeting which took place in Chigodora Ward 9 in Wedza district over the weekend.

“If you look, at the moment women have just 12% and 18% of land pieces in A1 and A2 respectively. This is despite the fact that most rural women are the ones who work on the land which most of the time is owned by their male partners,” Thandie Chidavarume told in an interview Sunday.

“Women constitute about 70 per cent of people living in rural areas across the country and land is our livelihood and survival.

“But again women did not benefit much in terms of land distribution during the agrarian reform programme. So the issue has to be addressed as matter of urgency.

“Women are productive farmers in rural areas once empowered and this will also improve food security in the country.”

Chidavarume said the meeting also discussed investment through rural farming for women.

“We have challenges in accessing financial services, quality of infrastructure and these have fuelled poverty among some rural women farmers,” Chidavarume said.

“We also had women farmers from the region who shared with us their experiences, both challenges and successes, in farming in their respective countries and we hope this will help us in dealing with our situation.”

The meeting was attended by more than 2000 women and graced by local chiefs who supported the idea of women having more land.