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Opportunities Unveiled For Kigezi Women In Dairy Farming   

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Ritah Mukasa

The dairy sector in Uganda is mostly dominated by men but smallholder women have risen up to also benefit from the sector. 

Many engage in all levels of the dairy value chains; from livestock and dairy production, processing, value addition, distribution, and sale of dairy products.

This has enabled women to improve their family incomes and enhance the nutrition status of their children and communities through promoting the consumption of milk and dairy products at the household level.

Moureen Ashaba, the SNV- ISDAP advisor and gender focal person in Kigezi region (left) with Christine Muhwezi, a women representative at another gathering in Kampala. Photos by Ritah Makasa

On the flip side, however, despite the efforts made, women’s contribution to the dairy sector goes unrecognized by many people. 

It’s against this background that SNV under the Integrated Smallholder Dairy Programme (ISDAP) collaborated with Food Rights Alliance (FRA) and other partners and organized a regional gathering for women in dairy in Kabale district recently.

The gathering was attended by 87 women from the different districts in Kigezi region, under the theme; Women and girls leading against hunger and malnutrition. 

The districts include; Kisoro, Rubanda, Kabale, Rukiga and Rukungiri. 

The participants shared experiences and challenges affecting their meaningful participation in the dairy sector in their communities.

Moureen Ashaba, the SNV- ISDAP advisor and gender focal person in Kigezi region says, through the discussions, it was noted that women engage in the day-to-day animal care, dairy production, and processing of local dairy products. 

However, most women rear less profitable livestock breeds at the household level.

Women urged to embrace opportunities

At the dialogue, district leaders and other stakeholders revealed numerous opportunities that women can utilize to better their lives.

For example, the Parish Development Model (PDM) where they can access finances. Others are the Agriculture Cluster Development Program, the Micro Scale Irrigation Scheme and the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program. 

They can also benefit from Women and Youth livelihoods projects and the upcoming Climate Smart Agriculture Project which enhances climate change resilience.

Christine Muhwezi, a women representative adds that they were also encouraged to utilize existing local solutions in Kigezi region such as the innovative financing opportunities by Hakashenyi SACCO and PCP fund, as well as the subsidy on bicycles, provided by a local partner Buffalo Bicycles, to enhance market access among women and youth dairy farmers.

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