African Institute of Corporate Citizenship has asked women cotton farmers in Salima District to also venture in other income generating activities.
Speaking on Monday during a media tour to Senior Chief Ndindi’s area to appreciate how the women were faring, the organisation’s Women Economic Empowerment district coordinator Rejoice Jenda said they advised them not to rely on cotton production only, but also to grow other crops and venture in livestock farming as well as save their money in village savings and loans groups.
She said: “In terms of cotton, we encourage the women to use fast maturing seed to counter weather shocks, pests and diseases.
“We equipped them with skills to diversify their income sources.”
Jenda said they know that depending on one economic activity is not sustainable; hence, training the women on beekeeping and livestock farming.
Hendrina Kalanje, a beneficiary from Tiwalere Club, said the project facilitated the formation of cooperatives.
“We now gain good profits from cotton sales as buyers do not take advantage of us because we sell the produce under cooperatives,” she said.
Kalanje said besides cotton production, their group ventured into goat farming.
“We, therefore, earn more income because we are into several businesses,” she said.
Florence Kamthengo, another beneficiary from Tithandizane Club, said they are now economically independent and can equally contribute towards the development of their families.
“Previously, we used to make losses after growing our cotton because we lacked proper skills to manage our farms and we only relied on one crop,” she said.
Women Economic Empowerment is a two-year project running in Chipoka and Chinguluwe extension planning areas in Salima with support from Sweden Cooperative Association.