United Nations (UN) Women has moved to lobby for rural women farmers’ access to loans from financial institutions.
Speaking yesterday during a round table meeting that attracted various agricultural stakeholders, micro-finance institutions (MFIs)and rural women farmers in Blantyre, UN Women Malawi representative Clara Anyangwe said they wanted to provide a platform for discussing issues pertaining to access to loans.
She said: “We want to lobby MFI’s to develop specific products and procedures to promote women’s access to loans and create a conducive environment for them to access finance.”
In his remarks, Department of Agricultural Extension and Development director Jerome Chim’gonda Nkhoma said yesterday’s platform will promote further engagements to ensure that women farmers in the country have easy access to loans.
“This is because we have different types of microfinance institutions and the farmers themselves are also here; hence, they will show and explain to them the products that they are offering and what they should do to access them,” he said.
According to Anyangwe, the meeting followed research that UN Women conducted in 2018 on gender analysis of macro and microfinance institutions which revealed that women lag behind in access to loans and also that only 2.3 percent of formal accounts are held by women while men hold 39 percent.