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In rural Sierra Leone, Agriculture rules like a King or maybe... like a Queen.

Agriculture provides employment for around 65% of Salone's work force including 80 percent of women- according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

At SGUW, we empower women in agriculture through improved access to resources, training, and support services which are essential to ensure food security and household income for themselves and their communities while enhancing agricultural productivity, food security, and rural development more broadly.

It is hard to overstate the central role women play in the agricultural sector in Sierra Leone, contributing significantly to food production, household income, and rural development. Here are some key aspects of their involvement:

Work Force: Women make up the vast majority of the work force, especially in rural areas where agriculture is the primary livelihood. Women participate in all aspects of farming such as planting, weeding, harvesting, and post-harvest processing.

Food Production: Women play a central role in food production, particularly in smallholder farming which is the largest part of the sector. They are often responsible for cultivating staple crops such as rice, cassava, and vegetables, which are essential for household food security and nutrition.

Income Generation: Women engage in income-generating activities within the agricultural sector, including selling surplus produce in local markets, processing agricultural products such as palm oil and cassava into value-added goods, and engaging in small-scale livestock rearing.

Entrepreneurship: Many women in Sierra Leone demonstrate entrepreneurial skills in agriculture, establishing small businesses such as market gardening, poultry farming, and food processing. These enterprises not only contribute to household income but also stimulate local economic development.

Access to Resources: Despite their significant contribution to agriculture, women often face challenges in accessing land, credit, inputs, and agricultural extension services. Addressing these gender disparities is crucial for empowering women farmers and enhancing their productivity and resilience.

Household Food Security: Women play a critical role in ensuring household food security by managing food production, processing, and distribution within the family. Their knowledge of local food systems and dietary practices is essential for promoting healthy diets and addressing malnutrition.

Community Development: Women's involvement in agriculture extends beyond farm work to community development initiatives. They participate in farmer groups, cooperatives, and community-based organizations, where they contribute to decision-making, knowledge sharing, and collective action for agricultural development.

Additionally, women's roles in agriculture extend beyond farm labor to include various activities along the agricultural value chain, such as food processing, marketing, and agribusiness. Despite their significant contribution to agriculture, women in Sierra Leone often face gender-specific challenges related to access to land, credit, inputs, and extension services, which can affect their productivity and livelihoods.

Efforts like those undertaken at SGUW, to address these gender disparities and empower women in agriculture are essential for promoting inclusive and sustainable agricultural development. SGUW's expanded projects planting pineapples, cassava, ground nut, corn and other staples are designed to improve women's access to resources, knowledge, and market opportunities, leading to enhanced food security, poverty reduction, and rural development.

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