Solidaridad works to close gender gap among farmers in Bangladesh

Female farmers in the Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security and Linkages (SaFaL) programme in Bangladesh are becoming examples of how gender inclusive approaches to sustainable agriculture can benefit entire communities. In support of International Women’s Day in March, Solidaridad sustainability experts organized community events and interviewed successful women in agriculture to promote the engagement of women in the sector.

Women as entrepreneurs and role models

The recent publication entitled “Promoting Gender Equality and Balancing Equal Benefit for Women and Men” (PDF) produced by Solidaridad South & South-East Asia profiles the achievements of female farmers in the community:

  • Milita Mondol (37) is a mango farmer from the village of Beli in Kolaroa, Satkhira. She has emerged as a leading women producer of safe mango.

  • Pratima Rani Saha (28) started making Aton-traps for harvesting shrimps with her husband’s inspiration, and support and motivation from SaFaL.

  • China Mondol (35) is a member of Palashi Daspara Vegetables Producer Group. She received a range of training on safe vegetable production as well as on the production and use of vermin compost. This helped her boost vegetable production in her own field at a much reduced cost.

  • Nila Rani Biswas (52) has been acting as a lead farmer of SaFaL since 2013. A series of trainings offered by SaFaL has enabled her and other lead farmers to achieve a wide range of skills and capabilities.

  • Smriti Mullick, one of the women members of SaFaL Milk Producer Group in Narail, has successfully adopted the technology of hydroponic fodder production and increased the milk production of her cows while reducing the cost of cattle rearing.

An inclusive approach for women and men

Solidaridad is facilitating women’s leadership capacity to be an innovator for social agri-business in farming communities. Solidaridad will continue the gender-responsive approach for promoting inclusive and equitable engagement of women and men in sustainable agriculture and businesses. Consideration is given to the differing priorities of women and men in the following areas:

  • developing women’s agency and relations for the adoption and adaptation of technologies, access to information and finance

  • understanding the gender-differentiated value and use of time and resources of women and men

  • promoting equal rights and entitlements for women and men to land, water and eco-system services

  • developing women’s leadership and decision-making ability for their inclusive engagement in agriculture, small businesses, productive employment and decent work

Support for farmers in SaFaL

Solidaridad South & South-East Asia has been managing the SaFaL programme in the southwest of Bangladesh since 2012 in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. SaFaL supports farmers and workers in adopting global sustainability standards and eco-friendly agricultural practices in livestock, horticulture and fisheries. The goal of the programme is to improve agricultural productivity and quality which will create availability and access to nutritious food for the rapidly growing population in Bangladesh.

For full profiles of successful women on the farm, download the newsletter here (PDF).