Land ownership by women
Land remains a key factor of production in agriculture, ownership and control of this asset as a result becomes equally important. This imbalance of rights affects women the most. Statistics by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization from a survey of 34 developing nations put the ownership of land by women below 20%. In Kenya, an analysis of 1,000,099 out of the about 3,200,000 title deeds issued by the Government of Kenya from 2013 to 2017 done by the Kenya Land Alliance puts the percentage of women owned land at 10.3. This is despite the fact that more than 400 million women farm and produce the majority of the world’s food supply in more than 90 countries.
Access to finances
Agricultural Finance Cooperation (AFC) has for the longest time used land as security to loans and as a result, women who make a large minority in land ownership remained side-lined. The decision to widen debt security beyond land has seen the uptake of loans by women farmers double. Currently, women account for 25% of the AFC loans compared to 11% in 2017.
Therefore, in order to mitigate these challenges facing Women in Agricultural Finance, the Corporation developed a credit plus delivery model targeting financial inclusion of women in Agricultural value chain. The financial inclusion model named Women Affirmative Access Window (WAAW) is expected to enhance the participation of women in Agriculture at the level of production, mechanization, post-harvest management, value addition, and most importantly as access to local and export markets
UN Women/ AFC Partnership
UN Women’s partnership with AFC is purposed to aims to link more women to financial services through Women Affirmative Access Window (WAAW), an innovative initiative to reach out to women through training and information sharing to bridge the gap of financial exclusion. This is anchored towards increasing access to credit which will resultantly empower women in agriculture enabling them to scale up production.
To this end, AFC has partnered with UN Women who committed to support the said training in Busia, Laikipia and Kitui, and Kilifi Counties targeting 200 farmers per county.
“With more women accessing credit to improve their agribusinesses, they will have more income in their hands which is proven to improve overall household well being from a nutritional, health and education perspective for the household members, and in general contribute to SDG 1, 2 and 5 and realization of the Big Four agenda”
UN Women Kenya Women Economic Empowerment team lead, Ms Queen Katembu
Agriculture contributes directly to 26% of Kenya’s GDP, 27% indirectly through linkages with other sectors and employs 40% of the total population of which 70% are rural population.