Zanzibar — THE visiting United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Ms Sima Sami Bahous has lauded Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) for initiatives to develop the economic potential of rural women.
Ms Bahous who made a maiden official tour to Tanzania from October 9 – 13 this year, had an opportunity to visit Kimbojo and Shukrani Zetu women groups engaging in horticulture farming in Zanzibar, under TAHA support, to experience the rural women empowerment initiatives first hand.
“I’m stunned by TAHA’s approach of empowering rural women through horticulture cultivation, whilst protecting nature, using the climate-smart technologies” UN-Women boss commented during her brief tour at the horticulture farms at Kitongani in South region in Unguja, Zanzibar.
She added: “This practice is certainly embedded as an integral to all dimensions of gender equality, inclusive and sustainable development”.
Ms Bahous, however, encouraged the cheerful women who greeted her with great excitement to use the opportunity to work diligently to produce high quality and volume of horticulture crops in order to generate substantial income to foster rural economic development.
Financed by Norway and Sweden, the $5 million project will benefit more than 8,000 rural women in Singida, Dodoma and Zanzibar by helping to secure their livelihoods, through resilience, in the agriculture sector.
TAHA Chief Executive Officer Dr Jacqueline Mkindi, said what the delegation have seen was just a part of the real success story of her organization in supporting rural women in Singida and Shinyanga.
“It’s a profound privilege indeed for TAHA to host this highest delegation of UN-Women. This offers us a fresh impetus in our quest to lift thousands of rural women from the world of abject poverty to a promised land of milk and honey” said Dr Mkindi.
Lumolumo women group chairperson, Ms Angelina Jackson Lutego, confirmed that her cluster in Msalala district, Shinyanga region with just a little over two acres under passion fruits are looking forward to harvest 78.4 metric tonnes by the end of the year, earning them 78.4m/-.
The group has also been able to replicate the model to 14 other women groups and 30 individuals within the Shinyanga region who are now engaging in horticulture cultivation, a huge multiplier effect bringing in a critical mass of small-scale farmers.