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Home News Women In Dairy Farming Urge Stakeholders To Prioritize Them 

Women In Dairy Farming Urge Stakeholders To Prioritize Them 

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Ritah Mukasa

Women in dairy farming in Kigezi region want government and stakeholders to address the issues that hinder them from benefiting from their work.

While at the national gathering for women in agrifood systems in Kampala recently, a group of women who represented hundreds of others shared the difficulties that hinder their full participation in the dairy farming business.

For example, Christine Muhwezi, a member of Nyakasiru Bariisa Kweterana Village Learning Group (VLG) said that women engage in the day-to-day animal care, milk production, and processing of local dairy products but in some homes, all the profits go to the husband. 

“Women don’t own livestock. Once a cow is bought, it is owned by the man. Even if you buy it with your money, the husband owns it,” another representative said.

Women want modern machinery and technologies. Photos by Ritah Mukasa

Moureen Ashaba, the gender focal person and advisor for the Integrated Smallholder Dairy Programme (ISDAP) under SNV in Kigezi adds that conflicts arise once a woman sells the products and keeps the money. For that, some women decide to shun dairy farming for matooke growing because they have full control over it.

“Needless to say, those who decide to carry on despite the obstacles also grapple with unstable market prices and poor infrastructure that makes it difficult to reach the market. Another challenge is water scarcity and animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease and tick-borne diseases that kill their animals because veterinary doctors are few and sometimes, inaccessible,” she explained. 

In addition, most women rear less-profitable livestock breeds at the household level and besides, the machinery required in the dairy business is costly. This includes; milking machines, milk coolers, refrigerating systems and tanks among others.

Ashaba calls upon stakeholders to provide subsidies for women to enable them to acquire dairy equipment. 

They also need climate-smart programs that address water scarcity and feed challenges in livestock production. 

Women also want land ownership rights and gender-sensitive technologies.

Meanwhile, Ashaba says, they always encourage women to utilize existing local solutions like Hakashenyi SACCO, Parish Development Model (PDM) funds, and PCP fund plus buffalo bicycles which have helped to enhance market access for women in Kisoro, Rubanda, Kabale, Rukiga and Rukungiri districts. 

LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Christine Muhwezi, a member of Nyakasiru Bariisa Kweterana Village Learning Group (VLG) presenting key issues with other representatives at a gathering in Kampala recently.

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