Standard Bank has said that the bank and United Nations Women are making progress to equip women farmers in Africa with the skills and resources needed to grow their businesses and succeed over the long term.

A statement from the bank on Friday entitled, “UN Women, Standard Bank equip women farmers for long-term success,” said, this was necessary despite complications by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It stated that in October 2019, Standard Bank and UN Women partnered to empower over 50,000 women farmers in Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa through modern and environmentally-friendly farming technologies that increased productivity and incomes.

“Through the Climate Smart Agriculture collaboration, women farmers, authorities, local farmer organisations and cooperatives are addressing the structural inequalities in rural economies in Africa, starting with the difficulties that women face in securing tenure for quality farm land,” it stated.

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Standard Bank said it had provided funding worth $3m as well as ongoing support through financial literacy and other programmes.

The Chief Executive, AfricaUN Women, Standard Bank equip women farmers Regions at Standard Bank Group, Sola David-Borha, stated that, “The CSA project supports Standard Bank’s drive to create a gender-equal Africa and aligns with our purpose of driving the continent’s growth.

“We believe it will meaningfully contribute to the upliftment of communities and the achievement of sustainable economic growth across Africa.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it said, digital technology was being used to conduct meetings where possible, and messages were being delivered via community radio stations, SMS and marketing material.

The bank said the project  closely aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with its focus on gender equality, access to decent work, and economic growth.

In Malawi, it stated, close to 6,000 women farmers had received support in the use of high-yield and drought-resistant groundnut seeds; implementation of modern farming methods that conserved moisture and maximise land use.

Punch

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